Writing Therapy Workshop Response :)

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;

One more day to get Freedom Writing for free! No. 1 Amazon Best Seller Free Downloads.

Hey guys,

There is only one day left to grab a copy of Freedom Writing. 🙂

Feel free to download it, post a review it would be most appreciated! Thanks for reading.

My book has been Number 1 on the Amazon Best Seller, downloads in two categories. 🙂 Thanks guys for those downloading it and if you still want to, it is available for free for one more day!

Kind regards, Suzanne

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“Freedom Writers”- tells story of writing therapy transforming lives…

The Freedom Writers movie tells the true story of Erin Gruwell, who taught at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California. This was shortly after the Rodney King riots in 1994 when she began teaching a disadvantaged class who were at risk. Many students were from different racial backgrounds, members of gangs who had been in and out of prison and had experienced indescribable violence from extremely young ages. These students would not accept a white woman from Long Beach would know or even have a clue about what they faced every day.

Erin was not dissuaded, most of all she cared. She knew she could make them see they mattered, their lives mattered and they could have a different life. She came up with a brilliant idea, and she utilised writing therapy without even knowing it.

One morning in the class she told them all she had bought them their own diaries. In these diaries they could write anything they wanted, a story, a poem, an account of their day, anything, a song. She specified it didn’t matter about the grammar or structure, what mattered was they could be honest and they could write something. Lastly, she said to them, this is for your eyes only. “Write as if no one else will see. But if you want me (Erin) to read it place it in this cupboard at the end of the day and I will be the only one who reads it.” They took their journals slowly and she had no idea if they were open to the idea or not. But the following day, she checked the cupboard and it was filled with 40 books of students who wanted her to read it.

For the first time in their life, they felt they had a voice and that someone cared.

Erin utilised the power of writing therapy:

  • to write completely honestly
  • to without an audience unless you want to share it
  • to not be concerned with grammar, spelling etc
  • to write every day

These students did this, and you know what happened – through her teaching and this writing, they completely changed their lives. They were able to express the things that were happening to them – in words on a page, and this is the power of writing therapy that can be anyone’s. These students were the first in their families to finish high school and the first in their families to go to college and now they have a foundation that visits schools and inspires other students that they can have a different life.

This is the power of writing therapy. 🙂 I have seen it with the people I have worked with, I have seen it in my tutorials at university when I read their life stories and tell them I will be the only who reads it and I care about their life story. It is one exercise of writing therapy I do with my tutorials. You should see the honesty I receive and the healing they also receive. Below is a link to the movie; which shows an overview of the story. This movie is a stunning account of an amazing woman who used simple techniques of writing therapy along with her desire to see people free from prejudice and hate, and from the violence and poverty they could not escape. She is my hero as are all of those students and the students I have known who have suffered horrendously but who still stand tall and survive. I have known many of these students as well and I have been inspired by them. As Erin says in her talks, when the teacher becomes the student and is humbled by her students. Check it out…takes my breath away.

Freedom Writers Movie

Feel Free Through Expressive Writing Therapy

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Write for life

Expressive Writing Therapy Workshop

Saturday, June 22, 2013

10am – 12:30

Maroochydore Neighbourhood Centre

Cost: $55.00 (includes morning tea)

Do you sometimes feel stressed and overwhelmed with issues in your life? Are there emotions you wish to be free from? There is a way. Expressive Writing therapy has been proven to provide healing from any issues as well as provide tangible, physical health benefits.

Come and join with others in a fun and safe environment to experience freedom through written expression achieving a feeling of well being and peace whilst making exciting discoveries about yourself.

Bookings are essential, as numbers are limited. Contact Suzanne on strong.suzanne@gmail.com. You can also find us on Facebook at Write for Life.