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Writing Well: Creative Writing and Mental Health

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Writing Well is a practical handbook of creative writing exercises which forms the basis of an indirect, nonconfrontational approach specifically intended for therapeutic use within the mental health field. Although people with emotional or psychological problems can find creative writing particularly difficult and unsettling, when writing courses are sensitively designed they are known to be of therapeutic benefit to people with mental health problems. The exercises are taken from the authors' successful practice with groups of people from a range of backgrounds in a variety of settings.

The book is structured to be accessible and easy to use. The warm-ups and main exercises are organised by themes, such as positive memories, imagined worlds, changes and painful feelings. Guidelines are given for developing and adapting the exercises and practical suggestions for materials are included in the appendix. This volume will be an invaluable practical resource and imaginative inspiration for creative writing tutors and mental health professionals.
  • Published: Feb 01 1999
  • Pages: 152
  • 228 x 152mm
  • ISBN: 9781853026508
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Press Reviews

  • British Journal of Occupational Therapy

    ...a valuable resource for those wanting to use creative writing in groupwork. Every chapter provides a wealth of different exercises. Each exercise lists the materials needed and gives a recommended warm-up exercise as well as possible prompt questions to ease discussion following the period of writing. The book therefore provides a clear framework for running creative writing groups. The exercises provide a useful primer and can be adapted to suit a wide range of needs. The appendices are equally useful with one on how to devise your own exercises, another providing a list and outline of useful books, and a third giving a comprehensive list of useful organisations. The book offers a practical resource and many of the exercises contained in this slim, well-organised volume appear to be original and are likely to prompt many creative activities.
  • Therapy Weekly

    There are several good creative writing handbooks on the market at the moment but, as any therapist running groups on the subject in mental health settings will know, they generally just miss the mark, being too skill-based on the one hand or too process orientated on the other. This slim new volume goes some way to closing the gap. What the busy therapist might most appreciate is the resource aspect of the book. It is full of ideas - recommended warm-up activities for each writing session, along with useful commentaries on how to take creative ideas further. Writing Well clearly meets a need and will prove a welcome addition to every therapy department bookshelf.