Therapiece Ethos sheet:
- Equal time for all.
- Author always in charge – outline contract at the start. Free Attention vs. Contributions.
- Reflective listening in authors’ sessions – foster a culture of respect. Avoid comforting.
- Stick to the session structure, stick to the author’s contract, stick to contributions on author’s topics, avoid life advice. Encourage creativity. Writing advice is up to the author.
- Non-judgmental contributions – but can include positive listener/reader views.
- Self-responsibility in order to support others – ensure you are well enough in terms of attention.
- Class exercises should not contain writing by anyone in the group – this role should be rotated.
- No intoxication at meetings (alcohol or recreational drugs).
- Confidentiality – what is discussed in the group stays in the group.
Examples of non-judgmental interventions/contributions
- Is this part of a bigger project/piece?
- Do you want to focus on plot/character/description?
- Are you writing from experience? (debatable if this is non-judgemental)
- Has your relationship to your writing changed by sharing it?
- Do you want to explore character X?
- Do you want readers to like character Y?
- Author may use self-interventions e.g. Please may I have an attention switch?
- Judicious use of co-co interventions e.g. Action planning, ID Check, Scanning etc
- …..many others
Feedback by author – 1 to 2 mins
- At the end of Author time: Do I want an attention switch?
- Would I do it differently next time – e.g. choose a different contract?
- Did it help? Did I enjoy it? What have I learnt?
- Did the session follow the Therapiece ethos – Author in charge, free attention, encourage creativity?
- What could my Listeners have done differently?
- Is there anything I can celebrate or appreciate about my session?
Membership and Joining
- Open to all who write in English
- Members are expected to uphold the Golden Rules (i.e. adhere to and remind other members if necessary)
- Members are expected to engender “the safe feeling” of the group
- New members may attend two meetings before they formally join the group by affirming that they will stick to the rules and ethos of the group.
Therapeutic Creative Writing based on a peer-to-peer model
Therapeutic Project – Creative Writing Group Framework
Therapiece – A project aimed at encouraging creativity within a therapeutic framework. Based on peer-to-peer principles, equal time and author in charge, the idea is to use an App developed by a charity to support all those who join. Geared to helping people meet their emotional needs and strengthen their human resources, we focus on Creative Writing.
The simple art of expressing oneself. Making marks on paper to share with others. To be truly seen and heard, without judgement. To explore/discover aspects of ourselves that we may have either hidden or defended against or which are unfamiliar to us. To integrate and accept these aspects. To experiment with storytelling/imagination/ /metaphor/stream of consciousness as a way of both exploring our writing and also our thoughts and feelings. To be informed/inspired/opened up by others – through their stories, methods, beliefs, ways of being. A present moment process, with immediacy; raw and real, where the end result is of lesser significance than the experiencing, where it feels as if something has changed or released, where whatever is current has been expressed. And/or a long-term revisiting of past writing as well as reworking of current writing.
Being part of a group – learning to experience sharing, participating, supporting, leading, following, trusting, being open, being ourselves.
To spawn new ideas and increase creativity. To enjoy ourselves!!
Meetings: agreed times a month – physical and video over the internet.
Group work (small: two to five members – can split in to sub groups if larger than this)
1. Opening “circle” (equal times – discussion of expectations, contract/interventions) 1:30mins
2. Description/remit of Group Exercise – 5mins
3. In the moment Writing – 20 mins
4. Talking session about the writing or experience (equal times) + attention switch – 12-20 mins each
5. Break at an agreed time – 5-10 mins each hour
6. Feedback & Closing “circle” each member (equal times – summary includes their feedback).
7. Next time summary – who is leading next time and AOB
Just Write: to optionally get together when there is no meeting to Just Write in a video meeting 20-40 mins
- Opening circle 2. Writing 3. [Optional] Closing circle
The emphasis is on self-discovery and stimulating creativity, not necessarily on writing good English.
The creative mind in each member should be encouraged – confidentiality is under the author’s control – written work can be published to the group or be for discussion only – both discussion and written work are confidential.
There is a built-in wellness model that depends on the individual deciding what they share and also being responsible for their own and not adversely impacting the whole group’s wellness.
While exploring feelings is encouraged, reliving/retelling trauma without processing can be harmful.
Think of Therapiece as a network of people with the aim of linking creativity with emotions that will help exercise and relax their mind muscle.
Issue 1.1 May-2020 (Taken from the Therapiece Framework)