Conference Programme Sunday

Sunday 14th July 2019

10.00am to 10.30am – Registration

10.30am to 11.00am – Guest Speaker: Larry Butler

11.10am to 12:30pm – Choice of:

Research & Sustainability Strand Sunday 1:What Can Writing for Wellbeing Offer in an Environmentally Challenged World?

We are at a point where the world faces unprecedented climate challenges and many societies are experiencing enormous uncertainty and change. Human wellbeing is deeply implicated with environments: inner environments of body, mind, emotions, thoughts, spirit; and outer environments of landscapes and societies. We will explore what writing for wellbeing offers ways to engage with the issues by involving our imaginative capacities.

Presenter: Fiona Hamilton’s recent published writing includes a piece for the BBC Radio 3 series Cornerstones about the ‘heft, grain and rub of the subterranean world’ which was published as a book by Little Toller (2018). She wrote and performed a follow-on piece to her book of poems Fractures in response to historic land and buildings undergoing transformation in the Brecon Beacons, and her article about the poetry of buildings is forthcoming.

Diversity & Communities Strand Sunday 1: Raising Voices & Visibility: the power of writing for wellbeing in overcoming isolation in the Australian Outback.

Stephanie Dale’s interactive presentation introduces participants to her writing for wellbeing work in remote areas, including the Australian Outback. Stephanie will offer participants direct experience of her program, and the session will include a research discussion and Q&A. Stephanie is particularly interested in the function of courage in healing.

Presenter: Stephanie Dale is an award-winning journalist and author who has pioneered writing for wellbeing in the Australian Outback. In 2014, she founded The Write Road, a proactive mental health initiative for people who are geographically isolated. Stephanie has worked with numerous communities facing loss and trauma, including drought and bushfires.

Expressive Arts & Embodied Practice Strand Sunday 1: Writing from the Uncomfortable

Often we write from that which inspires or attracts us. However, Focusing, a body-based therapeutic practice, encourages us to notice those elements in us which are uncomfortable in our lives, our inner world. Primarily an experiential presentation, with some theoretical input, we will be writing from our less attractive responses.

Presenter: A supervisor and a Focusing-oriented counsellor in private practice in Bristol; Nigel Gibbons 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 for Network Training. He runs writing groups, which include spirituality and Focusing approaches.

Why (Not) Writing? Strand Sunday 1: CREATING MEANING IN OUR LIVES THROUGH NARRATIVE INQUIRY: Exploring the process, ethics and resolution involved in writing our stories

Joint presentation based on experiences of writing our stories:

‘Labyrinth – A Journey of Becoming Unshrouded’ and ‘Wearing Red – One Woman’s Journey to Sanity.’

We will explore:

  • how insight, resolution and healing from traumatic experiences can emerge from the process of narrative inquiry.

  • the notion of memory and ethics involved in writing stories about family

Presenter: Reaching a point of crisis, Lizzie Chittleboro unexpectedly discovered a poetic voice which came unbidden but has transformed the way she sees the world and process my life. Walking and engaging with the arts are central to her creative process. She facilitates writing groups to help others explore and nurture their own unique voice.

Eva Melissa Roshan is a redheaded writer; mental health awareness trainer; coach; workshop facilitator and lives in Bristol. Her first book: Wearing Red – One Woman’s Journey to Sanity, will be published in summer 2019. She is passionate about addiction recovery; writing for wellbeing and am a fervent campaigner to change mental health attitudes.

Change and Possibilities Strand Sunday 1: TBC

Presenter: TBC

12.30pm to 1.30pm – Lunch and Networking

1.30pm to 3.00pm – Choice of:

Research & Sustainability Strand Sunday 2: Explorations in writing for transformation within and beyond the academy: Australian and British perspectives

This panel will discuss writing for transformation in an academic context and outline the state of play for writing therapy in Australia and writing for wellbeing in the UK, and encourage discussion about the potential role of universities and Australian arts therapy organisations and Lapidus International in developing this field. 

Presenter: Dr. Ffion Murphy, Barbara Bloomfield, Claire Williamson

Diversity & Communities Strand Sunday 2: Out of the Box – an experiential writing workshop

We will draw on developments from Open Field Poetics and Buddhist-influenced poetry, drawing on notions of the breath, psycho-geography and experimentation. We will consider why we think it is relevant and necessary to ‘open the boxes’ in which our writing may seem contained and to embrace experimental procedures in the fields of writing for well-being.

Presenter: In the early 80’s Graham Hartill became a mainstay of the burgeoning poetry scene in Cardiff and in the 90s a Scottish Arts Council Bursary enabled his involvement in the Open World Poetics movement in Glasgow. He is a writer in residence at HMP Parc, Bridgend and teaches on the CWTP MSc. His latest publication is The Seven Masters of the Jian’an Era (with Wu Fu-Sheng) published in Beijing.

Clare Scott taught creative writing at all levels and to all ages since the 1980’s and began to develop her own from the early 90’s. She has an MA Creative Writing and has just completed a PhD: ‘Poetic Responses to Place: Psycho-geography and/as Practice’. Her poems and short stories have been performed and published in anthologies in the UK and Ireland. She was shortlisted in 2010 for the Welsh Poetry Competition. She was writer in residence for a National Trust venue from 2014 to 2016.

Expressive Arts & Embodied Practice Strand Sunday 2: Release Trapped Emotions Through Movement, Art and Writing

This workshop will include performance, images and writing exercises that take participants on a journey of self-discovery.  Ritualized performance can lead towards healing of past wounds. The goal is to provide self-healing tools, and share the results of this project from a personal and community perspective.

Presenter:  Raven Speak Performance Art is a storytelling experience of transformation and healing. Artistic mediums are Indian and Middle Eastern movement, music and poetry. Neena Massey utilises spoken word in Urdu, Spanish, French and English. Artistic expression healed an autoimmune response, by releasing past grief and emotional trauma.  She incorporates movement art to attain balance and inner peace.

Why (Not) Writing? Strand Sunday 2: Breaking Down Loudly; exploring grief through clown-poetry

A personal exploration into the link between poetry, clowning and grief. Iona will discuss the way clowning enabled her to write poems about her mum’s death and give a clown-inspired performance of these poems. This is a moving investigation into the meeting of public performance and private introspection as well the meeting of body and language.


Presenter: Iona May is poet, performer and secondary school teacher who has recently completed a MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Drawing on her clown training, her poetry experiments with taking the trivial seriously and finding the ordinariness in catastrophe.

Change and Possibilities Strand Sunday 2: TBC


3.00pm to 3.30pm – Break

3.30pm to 5.00pm – Choice of:

Research & Sustainability Strand Sunday 3: Researching the Therapeutic Impact of Words

In this session, I will describe two recent research projects, with time for discussion afterwards.  The first involved a systematic review of the literature, to establish whether writing-based interventions effectively support the recovery of eating disorder survivors.  The second was a qualitative investigation of how CWTP groups benefit participants.

Presenter: Christine Ramsey-Wade works as a Senior Lecturer in Counselling Psychology at the University of the West of England, where she is a member of the Psychological Sciences Research Group, and as a counselling psychologist in private practice.  She is also a registered mindfulness-based teacher, and is currently conducting a PhD on mindful eating.

Diversity & Communities Strand Sunday 3: Poetic Expression: Silent Room – Creating Video Poems For Adults With Speech Disability, Aphasia

The interactive presentation focuses on using poetry and film with adults who experience speech disabilities. Poetic Expression is in two parts: the first part will focus on the artistic practice of Silent Room; the second part, a linked workshop, will explore various communication methods to create poetry in workshop settings.

Presenter: Denise Saul is a writer, poet and PhD researcher in creative writing at the University of Roehampton. Her research focuses on speech disability and the carer’s narrative in contemporary poetry.  She is the founder of Silent Room: A Journey of Language, a video poem project funded by the Arts Council.

Expressive Arts & Embodied Practice Strand Sunday 3: Embodying Practice at the Edge: The ‘emotional geography’ of CWTP

We invite you to drop into your body and inner emotional geography through creative writing and contemplative mindful-based practices. Two Metanoia CWTP Masters students, and one graduate, share their innovative research and emerging practices, including the use of Focusing, Vedic Meditation and our Re-connection with Nature.


Kerryn Alt holds an MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes and enjoys facilitating and attending CWTP workshops incorporating mindful-body-based practices. Her life and career is Social Work has spanned three countries, reflecting her love of exploring. She enjoys reading suspenseful novels and writing flash fiction, poorly-formed poetry and blogging.

Ruth Evans’s background is rooted in the environmental movement stemming from a childhood conviction that we must live and work in harmony with the natural world, culminating in her current endeavour into the therapeutic effects of writing in nature – exploring a lost connection with trees and inspiring individual agency through dialogue.

Rajeshree Sisodia’s love of words and desire to explore neglected issues led to a career in journalism, photography and communications. It remains an important part of who she is, and led her to delve into the exciting potential that fusing CWTP with meditation has on internal landscapes, emotional health and wellbeing.

Why (Not) Writing? Strand Sunday 3: Corresponding with yourself in letters and postcards.

Come and write a postcard or a letter to yourself! Hear two personal journeys of using epistolary forms to transform challenging experiences and find out how, in our different ways, we learned about the power of writing to pay attention and practise patience.


Stephanie Parker is a recent graduate of the Metanoia MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes and wrote an autoethnographical dissertation about writing letters to herself.  She is a writer and editor of English Language teaching materials and is starting to launch a practice in CWTP alongside this.

Victoria Wells lives on smallholding near Bath with her family. Previously facilitated parent groups, which focused on adult creativity, while children played freely. In the last 12 years, personal life experiences led on to public involvement health research. With creative insight collaborating with patients, scientists, researchers enhance treatments.

Change and Possibilities Strand Sunday 3: TBC


5.00pm to 5.30pm – Plenary