Pick up your pen and WRITE YOUR­SELF WELL

Woman's Weekly (UK) - - Health -

Iwas a coun­sel­lor with 20 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence when I came across the phrase ‘writ­ing for well­be­ing’. It struck a chord – com­bin­ing the two things I love, and I re­alised that through­out my own life I’d used the process of writ­ing to help me work through my emo­tions, self-care and well­be­ing.

I have an honours de­gree in English, in­clud­ing creative writ­ing, so two years ago I started host­ing ‘Write your mind’ work­shops, for self-de­vel­op­ment through ex­pres­sive writ­ing, at my tran­quil pe­riod home in the New For­est – visit writey­our­mind.co.uk.

Writ­ing things down helps us iden­tify and clar­ify what we’re think­ing and feel­ing. It has an amaz­ing way of get­ting at what sits just un­der the sur­face of your mind.

There’s a pow­er­ful ex­er­cise I of­ten start peo­ple off with. I ask them to write with­out

stop­ping for five min­utes – I tell them not to think about struc­ture or gram­mar and to try not to al­low their crit­i­cal mind to as­sess what they’re writ­ing. Just write.

It can feel like a load of rub­bish but it’s al­ways of in­ter­est to peo­ple what

they find they put on the page. You’re reach­ing into what is sit­ting in your un­con­scious mind. And as a coun­sel­lor in the ther­apy room, I of­ten rec­om­mend that clients write things down. It might be keep­ing a jour­nal to

re­flect on things, or writ­ing a let­ter that won't be sent – to free you up to express your pent-up feel­ings.

I run full- and half-day work­shops and sev­eral peo­ple have re­turned to do more than one. They’re pop­u­lar among 40-plus women who are of­ten at that ‘What now?’ stage of their lives. It’s a chance to give your­self breath­ing space – there’s some­thing kind and nur­tur­ing about pick­ing up a pen in a re­laxed at­mos­phere and writ­ing down your thoughts and feel­ings.

Jo Bis­seker Barr, 50, is a writ­ing coun­sel­lorfrom Lyndhurst

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.