Monday, 24 April 2017

Writing Together

Our second Animal Magic workshop took place on April 8th in Brighton. 

It was an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday morning - writing together in the upstairs room of the old Hop and Vine restaurant (now named 300). We were happy to welcome Tag, a doe eyed lurcher-collie cross pictured below who behaved beautifully - until lunch when his hunger overwhelmed him and he helped himself to some of Diane's pizza! 

We took inspiration from poems by Ted Hughes (The Horses), Mary Oliver (The Swan) and John Drinkwater (Deer) and wrote from Native American animal medicine cards to describe the sensory aspects and qualities of the animal we'd chosen. We went on to write from the animal's perspective or to imagine an encounter with it. 

During the two hours we shared writing about a porcupine, a whale, a bear, badgers, foxes, a snake and a butterfly.  

We look forward to holding more opportunities to write together.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

The Caterpillar and the Butterfly

Our Metamorphosis and Change workshop in January with Alison Clayburn chimed well with new year motivations to 'turn over a new leaf.'

Instead of resolutions to be better, it was a practical and illuminating insight into where we see ourselves now, our hopes and dreams. 

Alison encouraged self expression through drawing and writing using the metaphor of the caterpillar - pupa - butterfly.

Afterwards participants said they felt "energised," "revitalised," "more confident to be free in my writing," "more open to being creative," "good to express myself," "more positive".

We highly recommend Alison and her wonderful workshop. Alison facilitates regular writing workshops in Rotherhithe: find out more at Creative Writing in Rotherhithe.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Exploring Resilience: Workshop with Ted Bowman

On Saturday, 24th September 2016, we held our well attended ‘Exploring Resilience Workshop’ facilitated by the inspirational Ted Bowman, a leading family and grief educator from the States

Wwere delighted to welcome Ted to the Friends Centre here in Brighton as part of his annual UK tour during which he worked with Lapidus: The Writing for Wellbeing Organisation and Cruse Bereavement Care. 

During the day Ted shared stories, poems and literary resources with the intention of promoting resiliency for participants and the people they work with. 

Poems included ‘The Guest House’ by Rumi, ‘The Peace of Wild Things’ by Wendell Berry, 'Blue Heron' by Deborah Keenan, and 'For the New Year, 1981' by Denise Levertov.

Ted asked the question ‘How do we bring our better selves rather than our depleted selves?’ when working therapeutically with others. 

He talked about joy and grief and the moments of intersection between them, citing a quote from 'Caring: A Feminist Approach to Ethics and Moral Education' by Nell Noddings. "... even in the deepest grief, filled with guilt and sorrow and regret and despair, I may still see and feel joy there-in-the-world, trembling at my fingertips. Turning from a graveside or leaving the hospital after holding a dying hand, joy may burst through like a rainbow over tears."  

Through writing experiences and discussion, participants were able to share and extend their resources for doing therapeutic work. Ted encouraged us to follow the metaphor when working with clients. He believes that metaphors can be even more personal and meaningful than straightforward words. When we follow the metaphor by asking certain questions we can move someone to a different place.

‘To invite people to tell their stories is one of the greatest compliments we can give another human being.’ Ted Bowman

More about Ted Bowman

Friday, 17 June 2016

Writing About Animals

Our writing for wellbeing workshop Animal Magic, for Creativity and Wellbeing Week 2016, was held in The Kipling Gardens, Rottingdean on Wednesday. 

The idea for the workshop came from our experience of pet bereavement amongst our own families and friends and the little support there is for people experiencing this type of loss.

The Rose Garden was perfect for quiet thought and inspiration.

The intention was to provide a space for those who wanted to write about an animal they knew and loved - past or present.

To begin we read Mary Oliver's poem: For I will Consider My Dog Percy.

Then we got to doing our own writing. We wrote about  a Lurcher, a Newfoundland, a black cat, an otter, two more cats - a boy and a girl, a tortoise, a Staffie and a Dalmation. 

Much enjoyment was had in the process of writing and later in listening to each other's stories and poems and chatting about them. Thanks to the Open Arts Cafe for their hospitality and allowing us to use their space when rain looked likely.

"Because of the dog’s joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift. It is not the least reason why we should honor as well as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born. What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? What would this world be like without dogs?" Mary Oliver

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Exploring Resilience with Ted Bowman, Loss and Family Educator

Stories evoke stories. We story and re-story all our lives. 

In this experiential day workshop Ted Bowman will use story-gathering questions, writing prompts, vignettes from memoir, poetry and fiction to promote the caring exchange when working one to one or facilitating groups. 

Ted Bowman

Exploring Resilience using Literary Resources, Writing and Stories: 
for working creatively or therapeutically with groups, individuals and the self.  

Suitable for professional and/or personal use and development. 

Saturday, 24th September 2016, 

10.30am - 4.30pm   
£45 Lapidus Member / Early Bird Offer if booking before 22nd July.

Participants will be invited to explore metaphors of resilience with the intention of promoting resiliency for themselves and others. Through writing experiences, sharing and discussion, they will extend their resources for doing therapeutic work.

Ted Bowman is a family and grief educator who uses stories and literary resources in his workshops, teaching, consultation and writing. He is an adjunct professor in the University of Saint Thomas School of Social Work in St. Paul, Minnesota, his home town. 

Ted is the author of three books and editor of two poetry collections. He has written over 25 articles in professional journals, and over 50 articles and poems in other journals and newspapers. This will be his 20th consecutive year of work in the UK with organisations including Lapidus: The Writing for Wellbeing Organisation and Cruse. Ted's Cruse masterclass is on 20th September in London. 

Sharing your writing is optional. All writing will be received supportively.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Writing Workshops Exploring Summer

We're facilitating a course of six writing workshops 
at the Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham

Exploring Summer
 Friday mornings, 10am – 12pm
10th June – 15th July 2016
 Taking the theme of summer we’ll use different inspirations to encourage your thoughts and words to flow on to the page.
Whether you're new to writing, want to record your personal stories or to write creatively these workshops provide an ideal space to begin.
No previous experience necessary.
There will be opportunities to share writing if you choose. All writing will be received supportively.  
£60 for six weeks – payable in advance.
To book your place email us at:
For more info: 07773 379526

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Creativity and Wellbeing Week

The WordTherapy Centre is taking part in Creativity and Wellbeing Plus Week 13th - 19th June.

Our writing for wellbeing workshop Animal Magic is on Weds 15th June, 1-3pm in The Kipling Gardens in Rottingdean.

Inspired by Kipling's Just So stories and the natural surroundings of the Gardens, the workshop draws on animals past and present in our lives.

This is an opportunity to write about an animal you know well and capture its spirit in a story for yourself, and others if you wish.

Animals and writing are linked to therapeutic benefits.

More info and how to book here