In 2019 and at the start of this year we developed Therapiece to being viable – now I think we are entering a new stage of growth – sustainable, we don’t want it to go viral (-!!-). In a nutshell Therapiece is about your creative mind helping to express the way you feel.
The vision of the Social Enterprise, in some shape or form a Community Interest Company, is to develop some of the technology which will help Therapiece survive and thrive. These ideas are still being developed but the intent is to create a community of likeminded people.
At the heart of the Therapiece vision are people and how creativity and expressing our emotions are key in Wellbeing. At present we have suspended all physical meetings and are only having meetings over the internet – our chosen tool is Zoom which is like Skype but facilitates many aspects of Therapiece. In particular the Author or Creator is in charge of their time to communicate with the others in the group. Equal time and non-judgmental contributions are the other key aspects. Zoom allows for smaller subgroups to co-exist so Therapiece groups will remain between two and five people per meeting even as we grow. Trust in each group is a fundamental part – and engenders the creativity and expression of feelings.
Therapiece has started with Creative Writing but we believe that it can be applied to other Creative activities – such as Art, Photography, Hand Crafts, Acting and even Cooking.
We work with a system of donations to join Therapiece meetings of £3 (or more) per month but we are now accepting donations if you wish to contribute and not come to any Therapiece meetings. This cost is aimed at covering the running costs of Therapiece but we also want to develop software that will help run Therapiece in a peer-to-peer way.
If you wish to join Therapiece or donate or help in some other way then please reply to this email / post or use the link on the Website:-
There are more ways to fight isolation than Therapiece but think about it as one way to stay mentally healthy.
I was zooming along looking after my own life as a gliding travellator (anti-gravity skate board) when something stopped me – it was a sort of deceleration, a blur backwards. I turned in to a jelly fish and felt a punch hit me in a very sensitive part of my anatomy it was like I had exploded and bits of jelly were splattered all around. Gradually making use of mind over matter I managed to scrape myself together and I found I was a cat and able to lick my wounds and I slunk away and hid for a while until I could feel the hairs on my back standing up and I was ready to defend myself to the death – or a fate worse than death whatever that is. I tried out a couple of hisses and bared my teeth. I felt a bit better.
Gradually I began to see that would not do at all – not be helpful and slowly I flowed in to a comfortable cushion seat to support my daughter as best I could.
For me January 2019 has been the best when it comes to making progress – in previous years January and February have been a dull and gloomy time for me to endure. I have not written a great deal this year so far, but I have begun to explore a new form of Therapeutic Creative Writing. I chose “Therapiece” as a name for a group of Therapeutic Creative Writers – it is based on a co-counselling (CCI) model. The group co-created (what else would you expect?) a framework document that outlines the process – Therapiece
So far, we have had two meetings on group video-conferencing and also a physical meeting. The plan is to have these two sorts of meeting every month. I have agreement from the Therapiece members to report progress here and have everything in place for an initial trial of six months.
The first part of each meeting includes a group writing experience. Thereafter equal time for each author is key.
The author is in charge of the reviewing of their writing process – they have the choice of including the content of a written piece and then they outline the contract for the rest of the group listeners. The contract can invite exploring the writing or the authors feeling or both. Or they can just ask for the others to listen.
The initial feedback is that this approach encourages confidence to explore and also can be very freeing. I think feeling good about creative writing is similar to any form of feeling good about yourself, but it allows a rich set of tools and dimensions for you to do this. There is a risk that if you are not in a good place it could spiral down and be destructive; however, Therapiece helps prevent this by providing a safe space – this has been in the feedback so far.
I feel the jury is out in terms of if the group is more writing or therapeutic centric. Indeed it might be possible for different members to feel that this changes from meeting to meeting. For me I will return to my writing group while still developing Therapiece. I have already been back to the Cutting Edge Writers group and taken some ideas from Therapiece – and received a friendly response! Watch this blog if you are interested to see what happens during the rest of 2019. I’m also looking at the influences on my writing in more detail and will work on this web site and use these in both of these groups.
This is my first blog and I have decided to treat it much the same as anything else I write. I have thought about my own remit and researched the subject a little – but I thought that in this case I should record how I think and feel withouttoo much outside influence. I sometimes apply this to my creative writing to.
Before I could write I told stories in my mind. I found reading and (reading) comprehension quite difficult until I was at least ten – but there were many sorts of stories being told around me. My early storytelling in my mind helped me explore and develop my imagination. Often it was based on what I had listened to but from a different Point of View; from a bird flying high or from the point of view of a message being carried.
For many years as an adult I did not write much but still I told stories in my head. About a project at work, a computer program, team work that achieved great stuff. I would sometimes suggest to others that they wrote a letter about something that was bugging them – sometimes I would do that too.
I remember one colleague who could write much more eloquently than me, but when it came to writing about getting support from a sponsor or boss she would come to me to build a plot that would convince the necessary people.
All the hours I spent asking “what if” in my mind and exploring stories that never happened stood me in good stead when I started writing in my mid-fifties. I can just hear one of my brothers saying “good therapy”.
I remember my father getting up every day in England or Arabia and practicing playing his violin. I have never been in the habit of getting up and writing “Morning Pages” but quite often I spend time before going to sleep on those mind stories. Like writing this blog late, as I’m doing now, I write them down.
I hope to study some more of the concept, expressing ideas and feelings helps people become more fulfilled. I think that the feelings of wellbeing are deeper if the person finds receptive listeners. At one level I have found that this is true for me through my writing and other activities. I also know for other people and for me at other times, writing is not therapeutic. So, I am interested in looking at this and understanding ways to encourage effective ways to write therapeutically. Also, to understand how to help safeguard against any long-lasting ill effects, of say reliving trauma, while enabling deep seated beliefs to be challenged.
I feel I have been helped by the act of writing and expressing my ideas and feelings. I would say more than passive acts like reading something which support my beliefs. I am interested in looking at this from two different angles – Creative Writing Therapy and Therapeutic Creative Writing. I hope to keep an open mind and discover the usefulness of both. I think in my first Volume Anthology of Therapeutic pieces there are examples of both.
Look out for my Anthology in Published section of my Website www.foresaw.org