What is the course about?
Research over the last 30 years has found links between writing, health and wellbeing. This course is a practical and
experiential course for people in the helping professions who are interested in introducing therapeutic writing or
poetry therapy in their work. Where 'talking therapies' may sometimes feel too challenging, working with the poetry
and writing therapy is powerful, and can facilitate clients to access emotions and feelings that they may have not
been able to reach through other means.
Using our own experiences, we will reflect upon this process, and be introduced to some basic knowledge of poetry
therapy which will support you and your clients through the process of self-discovery, creativity, healing and
What will we cover?
This course offers insights into poetry therapy and therapeutic writing at an introductory level. The course is
experiential and will explore the uses of poems and expressive writing as a tool for healing, growth and personal
You can expect to, experience various creative and expressive writing exercises, using prompts such as: words,
poems, post cards, positive affirmations, stories, unsent letters, acrostics and metaphor as a medium for personal
growth and healing.
You will learn the key concepts of group process, structure, pacing and containment within a poetry therapy group
session and develop a plan to use poetry therapy skills within a professional context.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Describe the basic principles of poetry therapy and therapeutic writing
- Identify two ways of how poetry therapy increases self-awareness and self esteem
- Evaluate the importance of a safe and supportive framework for therapeutic group work
- Explain the difference between creative writing and therapeutic writing
- List three different poetry therapy / therapeutic writing techniques.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course will be of interest to writers of all kinds, medical and healthcare professionals, counsellors, therapists,
social workers, librarians, academics, teachers, service providers in a variety of health and therapeutic environments.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Information offered by the tutor, course handouts, group discussion, group process, guided imagery and a range of
creative and expressive writing exercises facilitated by the tutor.
Discussion (in pairs and groups) will focus on the process of writing, accessing memory and imagination, sharing
outcomes and options to develop your work. You will be encouraged to practice writing (journaling) between
sessions and while this isn’t essential we hope you’ll want to find the time to do it.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
All art materials and poems are provided, but please bring your own notebook. We suggest:
A new notebook – one that you can use just for this class and between sessions
A pen or pencil which enables you to write quickly and freely.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Inklings Write yourself: runs in October & July PG701 / PG712,
Journal writing for self-discovery which runs in May: course code PG612.
Introduction to drama therapy D001
Using art in therapy course code PC419
Working therapeutically with masks course code PT569.
General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details