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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 [...]
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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 [...]
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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 [...]
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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 [...]
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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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The Power of Creative and Reflective Writing

By tricking our conscious minds into allowing unconscious thoughts and processes onto the page, we can be surprised by where our pen takes us, by a voice we hadn’t known existed. In fact all kinds of enlightening new connections and insights can reveal themselves when we’re writing - particularly in a group setting. Many of the writing exercises that make up Write your Mind workshops are designed to promote Read more [...]

Write your Mind….. Feed your Mind!

An extremely important part of a Write your Mind workshop is the food! All home made and including sourdough bread, pauses in the day's writing to share lunch, and breaks for morning coffee and afternoon tea with cake are just as crucial when it comes to well-being as the writing and reflecting that goes on between the group.  By popular request, I will be sharing some of the recipes that have featured in Read more [...]

A Mindful Doodling Exercise

This simple doodling exercise is an interesting way of warming up to writing for wellbeing, and can reveal a surprising amount about our inner worlds, and our relationship with the 'inner-critic' that censors what gets transferred from pen to page. Sit comfortably, holding your pen in your hand with a clean page of paper in front of you, and close your eyes. Take a moment to focus on how the pen feels in Read more [...]
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Acrostics: A way into Writing our Minds

I often find myself reassuring people that you do not need to think yourself a good writer in order to experience, gain benefit from - and enjoy - a Write your Mind workshop. Much of the writing done requires that we do precisely the opposite of what we'd expect to if, say, we were writing an essay, a report or even a letter or email to a friend. Switching off the logical, censoring left-hemisphere thinking Read more [...]
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How writing down your worries can help you leave them behind

Worries can tend to hook themselves onto us like sticky burrs, taking up valuable mental resources and headspace, often with the ‘snowball’ effect of gaining in size and momentum the longer we allow them to hang around in the hope that they will just ‘go away’. Human instinct often tells us to side-step facing our difficult thoughts and feelings head-on, and we can become highly adept at avoidance tactics, Read more [...]

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