Writing is a means of making sense of experience, and of arriving at a deeper understanding of the self. The use of creative writing therapeutically can complement verbal discussions, and offers a cost- and time-effective way of extending support to depressed or psychologically distressed patients. Suitable both for health-care professionals who wish to implement therapeutic writing with their patients, and for those wishing to start writing creatively in order to help themselves, The Therapeutic Potential of Creative Writing provides practical, well tried and tested suggestions for beginning to write and for developing writing further. It includes ideas for writing individually and for directing groups, and explores journal writing, poetry, fiction, autobiography and writing out trauma, with established writers and those who have taken up writing for private enjoyment.
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1. Introduction. 2. Therapeutic writing: How and why: The healing pen 3. Keeping a journal: 'The diamonds of the dustheap'. 4. Writing openers: Unbuttoning, opening the box. 5. Images: How to find, create and use them – Echoes. 6. Dreams which put us in touch with ourselves: 'The royal road'. 7. The power of poetry, fiction, autobiography: 'Something hatches'. 8. Waiting to help you take control of your own life: This is my decision! 9. Writing and groups: Laugh and cry with each other. 10. Writing out trauma: A bobble hat, a pair of jeans, and Grandad. 11. Writing at the doctor's, the hospital, the hospice: Writing on prescription. 12. Writing in prison, the old people's home: 'Reach for the stars'. 13. Approaches to therapeutic writing: 'But who are you?' 14. Conclusions: 'Thought made flesh'. Appendix: Useful contact addresses. Bibliography. Index.