Thursday, 06 February 2020 08:44

Writing for Wellbeing

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At the moment I am offering a workshop called Writing for Wellbeing. If you don’t think of yourself as a writer and have only memories of low marks at school, the hideousness of trying to concentrate on something you don’t want to write while you would rather be outside, as well as being befuddled by the mysteries of spelling and grammar, the idea of my workshop will probably make you shudder – and move on. Of course I suggest you stay for a few minutes and see what I have to say.

Because even with those memories, writing can be a lot of fun. In this workshop, for example, you can throw fears about spelling and grammar to the wind and find within yourself this creative aspect who is dying to get some thoughts out there and figure out a few things in the company of others. After all, we are not working towards becoming famous novelists here, although you may find within you an unsuspected passion for putting words on paper.

Poetry Therapist, Victoria Field, says: “There is a special kind of alchemy when people write together in groups, especially if competition is removed from the session.” We might look at some poetry and even make some, but using methods you may not have tried before, methods that ease the way. I think you may be astonished to meet the poet who has been quietly living within you.

In a therapeutic writing group, we are trying to learn about ourselves but in a very safe way. There is every chance you may be moved at times by your writing and the words of others but there is no requirement to share your thoughts or your writing unless you choose to do so. Carol Ross, Therapeutic Writing Practitioner, points out: “Writing can help both mental and physical wellbeing. It can clarify thoughts and feelings, improve mood and positivity, bring more focus to the mind, change your perspective on things, and through all these help you manage stress.”

Recently I explored an exercise with a friend of mine. We chose 3 words and then wrote a short piece that included those 3 words at some point. It was only a paragraph or so and great fun to let the imagination go. We enjoyed both the writing and the hearing. But later, to my surprise, I realised that each of those paragraphs carried a current life theme or reference that is currently concerning the writer. Here was a surprising insight gained from 30 minutes of amusement.

There is a lot of variety in the Writing for Wellbeing sessions, with no week’s program the same as the rest. We will use art, music, movement, current affairs – you name it. This will be a lively and interactive affair.

We will also begin doing some journaling if you are not already in the habit. It’s a useful way to talk with yourself or aspects of yourself, even to things that might be troubling you or to people you just want to have a word with but want to keep it to yourself. You can talk to those who have passed on, say what needs to be said.

It’s as well to know, too, that you don’t have to write about problems for writing to be therapeutic. It’s just as useful to write about things you want celebrate, or that bring you joy.

Have a think about it. Maybe I’ll see you there.

Writing for Wellbeing

With Barbara Churcher, psychotherapist.

Let’s take a little literary risk & weave a wordy path together (ability to spell not required).

Sharing stories through creative writing & journaling to open up & discover more about who we are.

At least 6 participants needed for the group to begin.

Eight weekly sessions beginning

Wednesday 11 March 2020, East Melbourne.

6 – 8pm (with a cuppa & a bikkie in the middle)

To request a more detailed description, including cost, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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