A dream may offer a unique pathway to a person’s inner world. This article begins by examining the combination of dreams, creative writing, and poetry therapy. The case study gives an idea of a creative writing process combined with the thought of Jungian self-analysis and poetry therapy experienced in Finland in 2011. With the perspective of poetry therapy, this study has its focus in dreams, depicted by words and by metaphors in the images of dreams. The research outlines the possibilities to study one’s inner world and gain insight, by having a dream diary. Dreams are commonly used in the contexts of bibliotherapy, and creative writing, but the topic of this three-dimensional combination has been studied relatively little considering what a popular everyday phenomenon a dream is. This qualitative study provides an example of a fascinating area of research in the field of fine arts activities and therapies. Writing dreams creatively in the context of poetry therapy, can be described as a possibility for self-knowledge.
Int J Ment Health Nurs. 2013 Oct;22(5):444-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0349.2012.00891.x. Epub 2012 Dec 5.
There is evidence that creative writing forms an important part of the recovery experience of people affected by severe mental illness. In this paper, we consider theoretical models that explain how creative writing might contribute to recovery, and we discuss the potential for creative writing in psychosocial rehabilitation. We argue that the rehabilitation benefits of creative writing might be optimized through focus on process and technique in writing, rather than content, and that consequently, the involvement of professional writers might be important. We describe a pilot workshop that deployed these principles and was well-received by participants. Finally, we make recommendations regarding the role of creative writing in psychosocial rehabilitation for people recovering from severe mental illness and suggest that the development of an evidence base regarding the effectiveness of creative writing is a priority.
J Health Psychol. 2009 Mar;14(2):158-60. doi: 10.1177/1359105308100199.
There has been substantial empirical research on the health benefits of expressive writing. However, there has been less psychological research on the broader nature of writing and its relationship with health. The aim of this special section is to promote a more extensive engagement between health psychology and writing. It includes three articles on the value of investigating more established forms of writing, the nature of creative writing and the value of an intensive analysis of written accounts of illness. This article introduces this special section.
J Health Psychol. 2009 Mar;14(2):171-80. doi: 10.1177/1359105308100201.
Pennebaker’s expressive writing paradigm has helped to introduce the benefits of writing to health care. However, research in expressive writing has been largely dominated by an experimental and quantitative approach that does not take into account critical methodologies and approaches in health psychology, the increasingly complex ways in which creative writing is now being used in health care settings or recent research in the broader field of creative writing and personal development, health and well-being (developmental creative writing). This article contrasts expressive writing theories and methodologies with those evolving in the relatively new field of developmental creative writing. It investigates a number of theoretical and methodological problems with the expressive writing model and argues for a more critical approach to future research.