Monday, May 09, 2005

Creative Writing as Therapy

Apparently you have to go and pick up copies of MPH's free Quill magazine yourself these days, but the little magazine has grown a little thicker, has more articles and is printed on much nicer paper this time round.

This issue has my article on the benefits of creative writing (p29). Among other things I touch on is the use of creative writing as therapy.

One very interesting fact is that in one study by the Academy of Management in the UK, unemployed professionals who were given the opportunity to write about their thoughts and feelings surrounding job loss, were found to be reemployed much more quickly than those who did not!

Creative writing honours the individual and boosts self-esteem, and writing workshops around the world have given a voice to battered women, the bereaved, the elderly, the sick (particularly cancer sufferers), and disadvantaged groups.

Would love to run "writing for therapy" classes and wonder if anyone out there knows of a group who would benefit? I have done some reading about the running of such groups and have been in touch with a woman who has run groups for cancer sufferers in the States. The most inspiring text I've read on the subject is a chapter called Using Writing to Empower the Silenced in
Writing Alone and With Others
by Pat Schneider who runs course for low-income women. Many of her former course participants have in turn gone on to teach the same courses to other women, and some have had their work published. And just claiming for themselves the space and freedom to write gave these women the strength and encouragement to find other ways of turning their lives around. Inspiring stuff!


Kak Teh said...

Sharon, where can I get a copy of yr article? Before I left the BBC (which was yonks ago) when our section was closed down, I was asked to write something about my feelings on job loss...and yes, it did help, especially reading the letter a year later.

bibliobibuli said...

Kak Teh - the article is Expressive Writing and Coping with Job Loss by Stefanie P. Spera; Eric D. Buhrfeind; James W. Pennebakar. It appeared in Academy of management Journal, June 1994 v37n3 p722(12).

I found the article on the Infotrac database which I subscribe to through the British Council. You should be able to get as copy though any academic library. but if you hav e problems let me know and i can post you a copy.

Kak Teh said...

thanks sharon. I will try my library as well as the british council at spring gardens - very near where i work. Thanks.