writing mental health anxiety wellbeing hampshire

Love our Libraries

I’m sad to hear that my local village library is threatened by closure. The council needs to make huge spending cuts across the board next year and as a ‘third tier’ library, in an area that is not marked as one of significant deprivation, Lyndhurst is on a list of 10 possible closures. I can still recall the excitement I felt as a child, being taken to my local library to choose some books that I was Read more [...]
writing for change journal Jo Bisseker Barr Hampshire

Making Change Stick

At the start of a new year so many of us are full of good intentions: to spend more time outdoors, relaxing or kick-starting that running regime; to cook more plant-based healthy meals that include a rainbow of colours, or de-cluttering our clothes collection to reveal the capsule wardrobe that lies within… The theme of change is one that is familiar through my work as a therapist - helping people, once they’ve Read more [...]
New Forest Writing for depression anxiety counselling

What Trees can Teach us

I try to cycle in the New Forest where I live at least once or twice every week. It's such a good thing to do, on many levels -  physical exercise, out in the fresh air, and in nature; pumping the blood around the system, a change of scene away from devices and To Do lists. Always something different to take in, to catch my interest or stimulate my imagination, especially in noticing the changes through the Read more [...]

Writing from Nature

Workshop participants have commented on how quickly writing about an object can turn into writing about oneself - a porthole into our unconscious, reflective selves. An exercise gave the writing group a small box with a delicately woven birds nest inside. This was used as a simple prompt to write - and to see what emerged.     NEST Interwoven pieces; twig and stick and nylon thread. Read more [...]
writing for grief and loss

Writing to Help us Grieve

October 2019 marks the 60th anniversary of CRUSE bereavement counselling being established by a social worker, to provide support to those who have suffered loss and struggled to come to terms with it. The grieving process can become complicated, leaving unanswered questions where we’re unable to make meaning from loss that may have been sudden or unexpected, and feels traumatic and unjust. Everything we thought Read more [...]
depression counselling therapist New Forest Southampton

Batteries and jam-jars for Positive Mental Health

Alastair Campbell is best known as Tony Blair’s former spin-doctor and at one time cut a forceful figure, very much in the public eye of UK politics. He has suffered from life-long bouts of debilitating depression however, and in the programme ‘Depression and Me’, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, explores some less common cures for depression whilst thinking about the impact it’s had on his life, Read more [...]
Creative writing counselling therapy

Writing for well-being in schools

At a recent workshop for a writing group in a Dorset village, I presented the task of 'free-writing' (see blog: 'Silencing the Inner Critic', June 2017). This exercise is a bit like limbering up before a work-out, designed to get the creative juices flowing. Participants are asked to 'just write', non-stop for around 5 minutes, without thinking too much, or pausing - which can allow the inner judgemental critic Read more [...]
Benedict Cumberbatch reading quote

The Bibliotherapy Cure

Reading is my passion – it has the power to change the way we think and feel, and can open our minds to imagining different possibilities for ourselves. I keep a physical, and an on-line list of novels or biographies that I would like to read, a pile of books in the house, and no sooner is one book started, than I’m planning what the next read is to be. I dearly love talking to my friends about what books Read more [...]
writing course counselling training Hampshire New Forest

End of Summer Workshop

It is so interesting to observe the themes that come up during writing workshops - at once unique to each individual, yet universal to us all. Fragility, struggling with identity on the prospect of retirement,  feeling stuck. NOT having/wanting any more; the 'non-striving' ! Moments of lyrical expression where participants search to express themselves, so often lost in the conversation - but this memorable Read more [...]
creative writing course hampshire New Forest southampton

Writing about Landscape and Journey

A theme that emerges frequently during writing workshops is the influence of place, the landscape, and physical journeys on our psychological well-being, whether through the powerful memories they evoke, the comfort they can bring, or the opportunity for reflection, self-discovery, and processing of trauma they seem to unleash. I was reminded at a recent end-of-summer workshop of a book that really touched Read more [...]

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