Conference Programme

Saturday 29th July 2017

10.00am to 10.30am – Registration

10.30am to 11.00am – Introduction

11.10am to 12:30pm – Choice of:

Research Strand Saturday 1: The Tiger Who Came to Tea: Playing with the potentiality of research impact 

We need to become joyfully aware of how research approaches can give and take from the world, but also the potentiality of how it can help change the world. Participants at any stage of their research journey are encouraged to bring their work to expand its reach. Tigers, are welcome.

Presenter: Dr Tony Wall is director of the International Thriving at Work Research Group, where he supervises multiple research and doctoral projects linked to his aspiration to put an end to toxic workplaces and spaces which damage people, planet and productivity. He is an international visiting scholar in the US and Australia and is board member of Lapidus, the words for wellbeing organisation. He was the Editor of the 20th Anniversary Special Triple Edition of the Lapidus Journal.

Writing with People affected by Trauma Strand  Saturday 1: CWTP and Acquired Brain Injury: Notes on Delivery

A practice-based presentation, workshop and discussion around delivering CWTP for groups with acquired brain injuries. Includes reflections on the varying physical and cognitive support needs of this group, as well as broader considerations for projects of this kind (such as funding, evaluation and sustainability).

Presenter: Louise Emma Fellows is an Expressive Writing Practitioner working in Edinburgh.  Having gained an MSc in Literature from the University of Edinburgh, she went on to study CWTP with the Metanoia Institute.  Louise is also a qualified Pilates teacher, and has a particular interest in verbal and written expressions of the body.

Writing in Groups Strand Saturday 1: The Group As Poem: Writing for Well-being in the contexts of Modernism, Post-modernism and Beyond

There has always been a tension – both creative and problematic – between the notions of writing for well-being (or CWTP) and writing as literature. I will seek to define our work in its collaborative, experimental and performative nature as an authentic contribution to literary culture. All aspects of a group’s creative process combine to make a poem.

Presenter: Graham Hartill teaches on the CWTP MSc for Metanoia, is a writer in residence at HMP Parc and was the first writer in residence in Swansea College of Medicine. With Victoria Field he co-hosts the popular Writing in Health and Social Care course at Ty Newydd and was a co-founder of Lapidus. Graham lives with his family in the Black Mountains of South Wales.

Good Practice and Evaluation Strand Saturday 1:  A Fine Balance: Preparing and Supporting the Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes (CWTP) Practitioner.

CWTP is a skilled profession, requiring therapeutic and literary sensibilities, CWTP specific knowledge and the ability to facilitate a research-informed, safe and inspirational environment. This workshop will suggest key elements of preparation and support for CWTP practitioners, and ask: How do CWTP practitioners attain, maintain and develop their competence?

Presenter: Claire Williamson is Programme Leader for Metanoia Institute’s MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. Claire has worked extensively in CWTP for over twenty years, including addiction recovery, profound disability and bereavement. A published writer: Split Ends (Eyewear, 2016) and Visiting the Minotaur (forthcoming Seren, 2018), Claire is studying for a doctorate in Creative Writing at Cardiff University.

12.30pm to 1.30pm – Lunch and Poster Presentations

1.30pm to 3.00pm – Choice of:

Research Strand Saturday 2: Creativity and Research: how do they go together?

The aim of this presentation is to spend time exploring what we mean by creativity; the conditions that support creativity and work against it; how we can achieve those conditions; what research has said about the characteristics of creative people and how all of that might inform research training. This presentation is in two parts: the first deals with theories and concepts of creativity. In the spirit of ‘showing’ and ‘telling’, the second part shows how Kim has used a fairy story genre to disseminate knowledge gained from one of my own studies of male survivors of sexual abuse.

Presenter: Kim Etherington PhD is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Bristol, BACP Fellow and senior accredited counsellor and supervisor, and accredited EMDR practitioner. She has published seven books and many journal papers that link practice with research. She has taught nationally and internationally on topics related to research, trauma, abuse and health.

Writing with People affected by Trauma Strand  Saturday 2: Poetry as First Port of Call for Newly Arrived Children

Poetry is a shared language and a bonding activity. With increased immigration and continuing refugee crisis, poetry has an important role to play. Writing and translating poetry with newly arrived children can help to smooth integration, cope with prejudice and trauma and put into words the complex feelings that go with being a stranger in a strange land.

Presenter: Cheryl Moskowitz writes for adults as well as children and works as a writing facilitator in schools, prisons, hospitals and in other areas of the community. She is a founding member of Lapidus and taught on the Creative Writing and Personal Development at Sussex University from 1996 – 2010.

Writing in Groups Strand Saturday 2: Group Work in End of Life Care

This workshop will focus on initiating and running Writing for Well-being groups in hospice settings, exploring the particular challenges and benefits of using creative writing groups to enhance the quality of life for those with life limiting conditions,their carers and medical staff.

Presenter: Helen Stockton is a writer, creative writing tutor and writing for well-being practitioner with sixteen years experience of teaching creative writing and writing for-wellbeing, working in a variety of settings. She has published a book on teaching creative writing and has been specifically involved in writing for those with life-limiting conditions since 2013.

Good Practice and Evaluation Strand Saturday 2: Feedback Informed Practice

Are our writing workshops helpful? Can we accurately assess if we are improving? Based on research from the International Centre of Clinical Excellence this will explore why these questions are so important. Research suggests that most practitioners plateau as they become more experienced. What can we do?

Presenter: Nigel Gibbons is a supervisor and counsellor in a private practice in Bristol; he is also a creative writing practitioner, a tutor on Metanoia’s MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes, and a tutor on a Diploma in Counselling. He has worked as a programme maker for ITV, enjoys running and practices spirituality.

3.00pm to 3.30pm – Break

3.30pm to 5.00pm – Choice of:

Research Strand Saturday 3: Sounds and Words in Brain and Body: Connections to Well-being. 

This presentation introduces neuroscience research relevant to voice, sounds, words and images, and discusses possible effects on our sense of ease and well-being. A speculative model postulates how different levels of the brain may interact to explain the power of voice and poetry. Participants explore relevant experiential exercises in a linked practical workshop.

Presenter: Christina Shewell is theatre voice teacher, university lecturer, speech and language therapist and communications skills coach.  With a special interest in the links between voice, psyche, body and brain, her experience across the fields of medicine and the arts led to her book ‘Voice Work: Art and Science in Changing Voices’.

Writing with People affected by Trauma Strand Saturday 3: Writing With Women

Lorna runs bibliotherapy projects for Women’s Aid East and Midlothian, working with women who are victims of domestic abuse. In this workshop she will share her practice based exercises, which show how simple yet effective creative writing can be in terms of building self-esteem and confidence.

Presenter: Lorna Hill is in her final year of Doctoral research at Stirling University. Her PhD in Creative Writing focuses on the role of women in Scottish and Scandinavian crime fiction. She runs a bibliotherapy/creative writing project at Women’s Aid East and Midlothian as part of the SGSAH doctoral artist in residence scheme. This work was recently shortlisted in The Write to End Violence Against Women Awards.

Writing in Groups Strand Saturday 3: Play-dough and Understanding Externalising Devices

We look at the contexts and expectations that participants bring with them when they come to a CWTP workshop and link this to multiple intelligences and preferred learning styles. Then I make a case for “having something to do with your hands” as part of a workshop in writing for wellbeing. I will demonstrate a way of using Play-dough as a prompt, and talk about how the speed of using Play-dough can bypass the frontal lobes and access new ideas and fresh material, a gentle and playful way to unlock creativity and develop our life narratives. Using a key concept of systemic family therapy, we can discuss Externalising the Problem and whether this should be deconstructed or not, and we test out our narratives by sharing stories and creating supportive objects.

Presenter: Barbara Bloomfield is a Director of Lapidus. She is Counselling Supervisor for Relate in Wales and has a private counselling practice with individuals, couples and families in Bristol. She has written five books about relationships and has written for the BBC and national newspapers. She taught creative writing for six years at Bath Spa University and runs creative groups all over the country.

Good Practice and Evaluation Strand Saturday 3:  Writing for Well-being Group Intervention in an Older Persons Mental Health Service: The Isle of Man Experience

The presentation will provide a brief profile of our service including a literature review in relation to this intervention, the interdisciplinary facilitation and how this was undertaken. Outcomes for the patients and the research findings to date will also be discussed along with future proposals for this service.


Dr. Susan Ferry has worked in the area of Clinical Psychology since 1997 and specialises in Neuropsychology.  She completed a one year course in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes in 2014. Susan has run writing for well-being groups for adults affected by mental health problems, cancer and neurological conditions.

Nicola Sinclair has worked as an Occupational Therapist in hospital and community settings within Learning Disabilities and Mental Health services. She has a broad knowledge of psychological approaches including Brief Solution Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Approach and a personal interest and experience in the facilitation of groups using creative media.

5.00pm to 5.30pm – Plenary

6.30pm to 11.00pm – Evening Event