The narratives of mothers are usually not expressed through cultural and national memories. In addition, the psychological theories insist on defining motherhood and subjectivity from the point of view of the developing child. The term “subjective motherhood” enables us to attempt to describe and theorize maternal subjectivity in this complicated and contradictory sense. The aim of this research is to create a wide enough concept of motherhood subjectivity in order to contain the motherhood experience as a process of creating identity and meaning. The blog “this is the way I am” is the room of Pema, a 49 year old Israeli mother and the author of a weblog. The written narratives in her blog reflect the dialogue between the mental dimensions of rememory and meaning. Through the writing process, Pema is giving narrative birth to her subjective identity as a mother. Writing a blog gave Pema the most precious thing she owns, the story of her subjectivity.
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.
In this article, a model of transformation-through-writing will be introduced that helps to explain how a transformative and dialogical-learning process occurs when narratives or poetry are used for healing. We focus in particular on how a “boundary experience” is processed—or how a painful “first story” can be rewritten to become a more life-giving “second story.” We propose that this occurs stepwise in four cognitive stages: sensing; sifting; focusing; and understanding. These stages are explained and underpinned by research on neurobiology, neuropsychology, and on identity learning. The case study used to illustrate this process, focuses on expressive and reflective writing in emotional recovery from domestic violence. To be effective, therapeutic writing requires a safe and enriching learning environment; we discuss how such an environment supports the dialogical self and what considerations a facilitator might take into account when working with a student or client.
Integrating narrative/poetic content with the professional literature relating to trauma, the author explored how writing poetry contributed to her recovery and growth following the murder of her sister. It was concluded that writing poetry helped to reduce internal conflict and restore psychological balance. Metaphors and symbols enabled the exploration of the author’s response to trauma, which in turn led to recovery and growth.
This narrative perspective focuses on the therapeutic effects of songwriting. The author examines the process and product of his own writing through a developmental period. Lyrical analysis is provided within the context of the related professional literature.