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Write Yourself is a complete introduction to facilitating creative writing for therapy or personal development, both with individuals and groups. Clear and practical, and with a strong theoretical base, it is also an essential handbook for individuals embarking on their own personal writing journeys. Topics covered include the nature, values and principles of therapeutic creative writing, how to begin - illuminated with a wealth of examples from the author's extensive and varied experience - and how to write with specific client groups, including children, the very sick, those with mental health or substance misuse problems, as well as those receiving psychotherapy or counselling, and for professional development. Also included are detailed instructions for running a writing group or a longer or residential writing programme, as well as 175 exercises for readers to use in their own personal writing practice, or with their groups or clients. This book will be an invaluable resource for creative arts therapists, professionals working in the caring professionals, and for everyone interested in the therapeutic potential of creative writing.
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Nicholas F. Mazza, Ph.D. Acknowledgements. Preface. Part 1: Creative Personal Writing - What, Why, How, Who When, Where. 1. Becoming Our Own Shaman: Introduction to Therapeutic Creative Writing. 2. 'A Story of Gaining Understanding and Insight': How to Begin. 3. 'I Got in Touch with Myself': Values, Principles, Practice. Part 2:Writing with Specific Groups. 4. 'Secrets Kept Safe and Sound': Children Writing. 5. 'Writing is a Way of Saying Things I Can't Say': Writing with the Very Sick. 6. 'Keep Taking the Words': Writing to Help with Anxiety, Depression and Mental Health. 7. 'Follow the Wings of the Imagination': Writing and Therapy or Counselling. 8. 'Writing Gives us Wings so We Can Fly': Writing in Substance and Alcohol Abuse Treatment. 9. 'Ideas Hunt Me, Catch Me, Make Me Write': Writing for Victims of Torture and Asylum Seekers. 10. A Craft to Take You Through Storms, and Keep You Still': Writing in Prison. 11. Understanding Misunderstanding: Reflective Writing for Professional Development. Part 3: How to Run Groups; Conclusion. 12. Mystery and Mastery: Running Therapeutic Creative Writing Groups. 13. 'It Helped Me Get Involved with Myself': Running Residential Writing Groups. 14. 'Tread Softly Because You Tread on My Dreams': Conclusion, a Conversation Between Juhani Ihanus and Gillie Bolton. Appendix: Writing Exercises by Theme. Bibliography. Index.

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Complete introduction to facilitating creative writing for individuals or groups

About the Author

Dr. Gillie Bolton has researched and practised in reflective and therapeutic writing for personal and professional development for twenty five years, and has written and edited six books, one of which is now in its third edition. A grandmother of three, she lives in Bloomsbury, London, and Hope Valley, Derbyshire.


In her latest book, Write Yourself, Bolton offers ways into expressive writing, information on writing with specific groups, and detailed advice on how to facilitate writing groups. It is a handbook for anyone interested in the field of creative writing and personal development, which Bolton believes should be an "open and less rule bound field". Nurses, doctors, therapists and social workers are named as potentially "excellent facilitators". It is this feeling of generosity and inclusiveness which infuses the book and Bolton's work. -- Lapidus Journal Writing becomes therapeutic to the extent that it is a way of communicating with the self, and this is where |I believe the book is of particular interest to the counselling profession. -- Therapy Today Persuading your inner person to tell you your true name is the most intricate and fateful of all quests - but even to venture a little way on it can make your life richly creative. Gillie Bolton's Write Yourself is an essential field guide to all of the territory. -- Les Murray, Poet Gillie Bolton's latest book is filled with wonderful and moving insights that speak to the value of creative writing. It is inspiring, challenging and also practical. All those who read it can learn from it how to help themselves and others - trust in the method and give it a try! -- Amanda Howe, FRCGP, Professor of Primary Care, University of East Anglia, Medical School Write Yourself is a powerful handbook that is the culmination of Gillie Bolton's sustained scholarship and wisdom focusing on therapeutic creative writing for reflective self-insight. Her ideas and practical knowledge provide uplifting support for writing group facilitators, as well as individuals, in exploring practical approaches to expressive writing. This work is an important and lasting contribution to the field. -- John D. Engel, Professor Emeritus of Behavioral Sciences, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine Write Yourself is the ideal introduction to how to facilitate groups and individuals in finding inspiration for their creative personal writing voices. This book explains how and why writing is such an illuminative, healing, and cathartic process, and provides many practical exercises that encourage the exploration of emotions, memories and experiences... Clearly exemplified, engaging and accessible, the series is appropriate for therapeutic, healthcare, or creative writing practitioners and facilitators, and for individual writers or courses. -- Tilt Magazine

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