“Finding the unexpected”: An account of a writing group for women with chronic pelvic pain

Pages 95-103 | Published online: 14 May 2012

The focus of this article is on a creative writing group developed for women with chronic pelvic pain. The authors address whether their experiences have anything to say about how creative writing sits within the current Western health paradigm and its approach to people who suffer from medically unexplained symptoms.


Conversation about poetry/writing therapy: Two European perspectives

Pages 167-186 | Published online: 08 Jul 2011

This conversation about poetry/writing therapy germinated from many discussions between two authors with long experience in the field. Their conversation has an essentially European quality, deepened by cultural differences. They talk about fundamental principles and values used in their practice and professional writing; their own personal writing experience that brought them to this work; characteristics and history of European approaches; its foundations in education, psychology, and philosophy; the difference and similarities between published literary writing and therapeutic writing; and the role of metaphor, narrative, and descriptive observation writing. An eclectic range of references, vital to the field, including selected research trial evidence from the United States and Europe, are drawn upon and critically discussed.


Writing and the development of the self- heuristic inquiry: A unique way of exploring the power of the written word

Pages 55-68 | Received 08 Jan 2014, Accepted 07 Feb 2014, Published online: 12 Mar 2014

This article presents a heuristic research project designed to explore the role of personal writing in the development of the self. True to the heuristic process as outlined by Moustakas, the author analyzed over 30 years of personal poetry and journal writing through her mother’s mental illness and brother’s traumatic brain injury and epilepsy. Phase two of the project included nine participants (co-researchers) who were lifetime writers. Results indicated themes related to the (i) interpersonal and personal nature of writing, (ii) the spiritually transcendent nature of writing, (iii) the fact that writing facilitates perspective taking, (iv) the importance of challenge in personal growth, (v) the dynamic nature of writing, and (vi) the power of writing to influence personal identity. The paper presents the process, stories of the author and three participants, synthesized results, the power of the heuristic process, and potential application to the creative arts.

Write Yourself: Creative Writing and Personal Development

Pages 235-237 | Published online: 30 Oct 2012

Beyond the classroom: Writing as therapy

Pages 93-104 | Published online: 09 May 2011

The focus of this article is on the use of therapeutic writing methods in high school English classes. The genres include essay, autobiography, and poetry. Classroom assignments and student work are included with the delineation of specific techniques. A review of the theory and practice of writing is therapy is provided. Implications for further practice and research, including ethical issues, are also addressed.


Programmed writing and therapy with symbiotically enmeshed patients.

Am J Psychother. 1995 Spring;49(2):225-36.

Jordan KB1, L’Abate L.

This paper illustrates how programmed writing lessons to be completed as homework assignments can be used in conjunction with traditional verbal psychotherapy. Each patient was involved in a symbolically enmeshed relationship. Special benefits for patients from the combination of programmed writing lessong with traditional psychotherapy were: (1) increased couple communication; (2) possibly more rapid change; (3) possibly shorter-term therapy; (4) increased forgotten trauma discovery; (5) and increased explicit and specific instructions. Patients were informed from the outset that the use of programmed writing lessons would or might: (1) help the therapist get a better idea of what was going on in regard to the development, values, rules, etc. of their symbiotic relationships; (2) decrease the time spent in therapy, and (3) encourage self-realization through self-directed assignments between sessions. For psychotherapists there are advantages of: (1) putting the responsibility for change on the shoulders of patients rather than on themselves; (2) using programs of theoretical and therapeutic approaches that may not be well known to the therapist; (3) reducing the frequency of sessions and administering written homework assignments when the therapist is on vacation; and (4) increasing the number of patients that can be seen for unit of therapist’s time.