Monica, a Social Worker, recently attended my Expressive Writing Therapy Workshop and this was her written response.
“I attended the workshop as a personal and professional development opportunity. I already knew of and experienced the therapeutic benefit of writing, however I wanted to learn more about how this works- particularly the benefit of writing as a way of working through previous trauma.
The workshop was excellent. As I had attended a previous workshop with Suzanne, I knew of the quality of workshop she facilitates and this workshop did not disappoint.
I got the most out of the part where we were encouraged to write about something negative or traumatic. I found that the exercise was confronting, yet liberating. I could feel the tension in my body as I wrote the words on paper but as the story unfolded on the page and came to an end, that tension dissipated and I felt at ease. This was a very powerful experience.
Probably the most challenging part of the workshop, for me, was the task of writing a poem. Because I am so used to writing in far less creative ways, I found myself struggling to even contemplate what to write. I went ahead and did it anyway and actually surprised myself about how lovely it was to use words in this way.
Time seems to go by very quickly when you are immersed in these types of exercises. I would love it to have gone for a few hours longer. I did feel a release of tension having tackled one of my current issues in one of the exercises. Overall, I left the workshop feeling inspired to continue using these exercises frequently to help process and manage my challenges.
The writing I did in the ‘life story’ exercise gave me the opportunity to step out of my current life circumstances and instead almost take a bird’s eye view of my life so far. That did bring up areas that I had not thought about for ages and it allowed me to put into perspective some of the things that are happening now. That experience allowed me to recognise that I have gotten through many difficult situations in my life and anything I am experiencing currently will be resolved and overcome- just like past challenges have been.
I felt very positive after the workshop. It is a powerful way of releasing built up stress. It was also lovely to share the experience with the other participants.”
If you’re interested in my writing therapy exercises, my book Freedom Writing goes into detail about this;