Restorying Our Lives
A 6-week writing workshop
How would I benefit from this Workshop?
- Gain tools to reduce anxiety and depression.
- Learn to reframe your past and recreate your present.
- Discover how ‘old stories’ hold you back.
- Learn writing and mindfulness techniques.
- Help to manage current challenges or get ‘unstuck’.
Expressive Writing Works
In a 2005 study (Emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing,
Karen A. Baikie, Kay Wilhelm) on the emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing, researchers found that just 15 to 20 minutes of writing three to five times over the course of the four-month study was enough to make a difference to physical and mental well being.
This 2005 study showed some of the longer-term benefits of expressive writing include:
- Fewer stress-related visits to the GP.
- Reduced blood pressure.
- Improved mood and affect.
- Fewer post traumatic intrusion and avoidance symptoms.
- Feeling of greater psychological well-being.
- Improved immune system functioning.
By writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events, participants were significantly more likely to have fewer illnesses and be less affected by trauma.
Expressive writing opens up our hearts and minds to the present moment and gives us an opportunity to live life to our fullest potential.
A chance to reframe, rewrite and integrate our unique stories
This workshop introduces you to a range of writing and mindfulness exercises to help explore, identify and reframe your life stories. The aim is to help you develop a more integrated sense of your self in the present, past and future.
All our lives are rich with stories that define who we are. Studies have shown that writing about these key events in our lives can help us heal wounds give us permission to feel, remember, articulate, reclaim and to restory our lives.
We are all unique – with our own story, personality, goals and way of expressing ourselves. The wide range of exercises provides an opportunity to experience the mindfulness and writing techniques that are best suited to our individual needs, circumstance, and style.
About the workshop
This is an experiential workshop. It is not a therapeutic group and you will not be asked to discuss any content about your writing or your life. No one will be asked to read out their work. The group discussion focuses on reflections about the experience of mindfulness and writing – not the content of our actual ‘stories’.
While you will be introduced to the basic theory and context of expressive writing and mindfulness, the aim is to give you an experience of the power of practising writing (stories and reflection) and mindfulness in the group sessions and at home.
Over six weeks you also have an opportunity to develop a connection to the others in the group. Many participants noted that they felt very supported by the group. One participant wrote ‘for the first time I didn’t feel so alone, even though no one knew my story’.
The aim is to experience the ways writing can help you open up to and explore your own story. Through the writing exercises (in the group and at home), the mindfulness practices and group discussion you may begin to discover which stories hold you back and which ones call you forward. .
You may still have questions or concerns:
I anxious about being in groups.
This is a common concern, particularly when people feel they will be exploring difficult or personal stories. While it is a group process in terms of reflection, it is a totally confidential, personal process around the content of our stories. It can be distressing to write about difficult stories but the exercises are designed to be short, there is always a way to ‘write yourself out of the distress’ and the focus is always on reframing – finding another way to experience ‘the story’. Writing and mindfulness can be very powerful tools in reducing anxiety in general. Social anxiety can be debilitating – this is a very safe, supportive small group facilitated by a psychologist whose key concern is ensure every participant feels safe, valued and respected.
I have done mindfulness and writing groups before how is this different?
This six-week workshop introduces you to some basic mindfulness practice and a range of expressive writing techniques. Over six weeks you have an opportunity to practice writing and mindfulness activities at home, which helps you start to build a regular practice. Expressive writing and mindfulness both have a common purpose – to name, identify and participate in our experience of the world in this current moment with a curious non- judgmental mind.
I can’t write very well.
This is a writing course where everything you write is for you, and you alone. You don’t even need to keep what you write. The focus is on the experience of the writing, not reviewing, correcting or adding to the writing. If you wish to use this work to start a writing process that you edit and develop that is something you can later explore.
Expressive writing is writing we do in the present moment, there is no concern for grammar, spelling or even if you can read your own writing. I introduce you to a range of writing exercises to help you discover which exercises resonate more with you. This is writing where the pen doesn’t’ stop, where we leave our analytical, critical and frightened mind behind to just find out what is going on right here, right now for us.
Discover the power of writing as a way to reframe your life
If you are interested in joining this workshop contact me.
When: 2019 TBA
Register for this Workshop here.