I’m doing an MSc. In Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes.
Sounds fancy, right?
It’s actually just the science and research based around the assumption that writing can be good for you, and can make you feel good. The same is accepted of Art Therapy, Drama Therapy, Dance, Crafts, anything. Anything that involves creativity and expression is usually quite powerful for your mental state.
I’ve loved studying about this. Learning about the psychology of it, trying different techniques and consistently writing and playing, in order to learn and experience.
But here’s the hard part: I’m doing my own research. And it’s hard.
I’m studying the response from women who are in recovery from eating disorders when they take part in a therapeutic creative writing class.
Which sounds really intense and a lot of work. And when you work through the hundreds of (very necessary) ethics forms, work out how you’re going to be self aware, keep everyone safe, allow everyone to be authentic, avoid triggers and still let people actually do the writing, well…it’s exhausting.
But the workshops will be fun! We’ll be looking at poems and playing with metaphors and writing letters. The whole thing is designed to be positive, and engaging and to encourage self love and self respect, as well as even creating bonds with the people who take part.
But when you try to advertise things like this, well, they are serious, and they do have to be safe. So no-one signs up because it sounds like a drag. It’s a catch 22.
So here, in a basic way is what I’m asking:
-Are the things in the creative writing sessions ‘useful’ or ‘helpful’ in eating disorder recovery?
-How do you define ‘useful’ and ‘helpful’?
That’s pretty much it! I’m asking women in recovery from eating disorders if they want to do some creative writing sessions with me and then talk about them. If they’re fun, if they’re exciting, stressful, relaxing. That’s all!
The aim is to find out what is ‘useful’ and ‘helpful’ and one day design workshops for people in recovery that can really benefit them. It already exists for other types of recovery from other illnesses, and I think it’s time it existed for those dealing with EDs too.
So, IF you know anyone who might be interested in taking part (and can get to London for the three sessions in the Spring) please do share this or ask them to get in touch at:
Even if they can’t come to sessions, or they’re abroad, but they want to share their ED story, have some recommendations, or have used journalling before…anyone who wants to talk to me, I’m happy to listen/read an email.
It’s hard to talk about serious things like this, and it’s hard to make it sound like an engaging and positive experience, especially when it can be scary to ‘own’ an ED so publicly, but I really think the work I’m doing could benefit people (and if it can’t, it’s best I find out now!)