Frequently Asked Questions
Please note: these FAQ cover possible questions arising for individuals wishing to book workshops for the new Writing for Wellbeing for those in the Caring Professions (WCWCARE)
Healthcare Organisations, Universities and anyone considering commissioning me to design and facilitate workshops, please contact me using the General Enquiry Form here or on the relevant page, to discuss ideas and requirements.
What is Writing for Wellbeing?
Great question! There are many definitions,some of which I have quoted on the Resources page.
For me personally, Writing for Wellbeing is any form of writing whose express intention is to contribute to an emotional state of wellbeing and personal development, by exploring and expressing thoughts, experiences, memories and insights, through the act of putting pen to paper and reflecting on one's thinking and writing processes, as well as the actual writing itself. This can contribute to our self-awareness and that of those around us personally, professionally and within society as a whole.
This type of writing can also allow us to be more free and creative in our self- expression,discover new writing techniques such as poetry techniques, prose, journalling which can be empowering.
Refreshingly, there are no hard and fast rules as compared to academic or some other forms of writing-grammar, syntax, which can deter and hinder many of us to give writing a go.
Two 'mantras' which are commonly used in the Writing for Wellbeing ethos:
"Nothing you write is wrong"
"Whatever you write is right!"
"Therapeutic writing"-so are these sessions 'therapy'?
Writing, like making art or making music, can be therapeutic but it is not therapy per se. Although I am a medical doctor by training , I am not a therapist.
Like formal therapy, writing about experiences may at times unmask unpleasant feeling and memories, as well as positive ones and new connections.
Your wellbeing and safety, as individuals and as a group, is always my priority and I have been throughly trained and I am experienced, from my medical career, education career and on the MA Creative Writing & Personal Development to facilitate groups of varying sizes, and to foster and maintain this, we will establish collaborative ground rules at the start of each session.This is a core of any Writing for Wellbeing practice.
Can you give me an idea of how a workshop will run?
Each "block" of four workshop Writing for Wellbeing for the Caring Professions (WCWCARE) consist of four workshops each. All can be taken as stand alone workshops , but I will build on trying out different blends of writing techniques across each block of four workshops. This will include poetic techniques,fiction, journalling and other creative non-fiction such as memoir.
Please note, this does not mean you need to produce a completed piece of writing in each workshop -this is not school/college/ university!
Each workshop is 2 hours long with two short breaks.
In each TWO HOUR workshop, we will start by introducing ourselves , then establishing collaborative ground rules, to ensure we all feel more comfortable to write and share together.
We will then do a shortfree writing (writing whatever comes to mind, for your self,uncensored,which will not be shared with the group at all).
We will then move on to the first of the main writing activities, relating to the theme of the workshop.I will suggest a writing 'prompt.' 'prompts' are there to give you a stimulus to express yourself in some way, "if nothing comes" from these, then you are very welcome to write whatever you feel you wish to/draw/sit and reflect-there is no "right or wrong" thing to do.
We will write for a set amount of time, sharing some of our writing, reflections and thoughts after each writing task.
There will be a short break within the two hours, with writing tasks either side of the breaks
Note: There is no finite product or outcome that needs to be achieved in these workshops; the key is giving yourself space and time to engage in the writing as a process. That is where the therapeutic benefit lies.
You will all be invited to share your work and/or process , if you wish, as part of the Writing for Wellbeing process.( Please see "Do I have to share my work?")
Final reflections and any queries answered.
Do I have to share my work?
My personal ethos and certainly the approach in this type of writing, is that no one should feel under pressure to share anything that they are not comfortable to share, be that personal writing or views.
In my workshops, you will invited to share an extract of your writing and/or writing process with the group.
Others in the group will be invited to respectfully reflect on what you have shared, from a point of how it impacts on them, not from a critical view point on the actual writing; this is why we set ground rules at the start of each session.
Please note, although I use creative writing techniques and attend Creative Writing groups myself, these workshops are not a conventional creative writing workshop; in those, participants either write and discuss the writing with the group and facilitator and /or bring pieces of poetry/prose/screenplays, to workshop" ie. for constructive creative feedback from the tutor or others in the group, with a view to publication.
Writing for Wellbeing focusses on the process as well as the writing, but not to the point of writing quality critique, that is not the purpose of these workshops.
You may of course wish to edit and develop the writing you start in these workshops, and consider attending separate creative writing groups and /or publishing some of your writing.I am happy to give general signposting on this to you, after a workshop, individually through email, if you wish if you feel that is one way you may wish to take your work.
Where do you hold the workshops?
These will be on the Zoom online platform online platform.
A Zoom link will be sent to you 3 days before the workshop, and a reminder on the morning of the workshop.
How do I pay and book?
Writing for Wellbeing for those in the Caring Professions (W4WCARE) can be booked via Eventbrite.
Zoom links will be sent by me, five calendar days and one calendar day, before each workshop.
If a workshop is fully booked, can I join a waiting list in case of cancellations?
You have the option to join the waiting list for each workshop via the Eventbrite booking site; you will be notified by email if a place becomes vacant.
I work in one of the caring professions; can I come to Writing for Wellbeing for the Community workshops instead of Writing for Wellbeing for those in Healthcare ? Or "mix and match" between both blocks?
Enter the Answer to your Question here. Be thoughtful with your answer, write clearly, and consider adding examples. This can help your visitors get the help they need quickly and easily.
Can I get a refund if the session is cancelled or can I transfer to an avaliable workshop?
Please see Terms and Conditions for full details, but in summary:
A workshop will only run if there are 2 or more participants booked (maximum 8 participants). Full refunds will be issued to all booked participants within 48 hours of notifying you of a cancellation which occurs on my side as a facilitator e.g. illness/unforeseen circumstances or undersubscribed workshops.
If you are the only person who has booked by the close of booking (3 days before the event), I will email you and offer you a 90 minute 1:1 session for the same fee they have paid or a full refund;however you will need to email me back with a decision within 24 hours of that email.
Workshops are not transferable as they run independently.You will need to request a refund to me directly by refund request via Storied Selves contact form (if eligible-please see the Refund procedure in Terms and Conditions) ,then rebook into a repeat on an alternative date/any other workshop, if you wish.
What if YOU as the Facilitator, have to cancel the workshop, am I entitled to a refund?
If I have to cancel a workshop, I will contact you by email, with as much notice as possible, and fully refund you the Storied Selves fee (£25 if you paid a concession or £35 if you paid full price)
Please note:the Eventbrite booking fee is NOT refundable as stated on their website.Storied Selves is not responsible for the booking fee.
Booking closes 3 days before the workshop.If you are the only one booked for a workshop, I will email you to offer you two options,either:
a full refund of the fees (not booking fees as above) OR
a 90 minute 1:1 writing session for the fee you have already paid for the group session, and this will be held at 7-8.30PM in the original session slot.
I am not sure if I can commit to all workshops in a block, can I try one and see how I go?
Yes,you are warmly welcome to come to one workshop and see if it is for you. Each workshop can be taken as a "stand alone" workshop
What do you do with my personal detail-my name, email,phone number etc. collected as part of my booking or querying workshops?
I fully respect your privacy and I also adhere strictly to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation, that came into place in the UK, on 25th May 2018.
If there is anything else you’d like to know,please don’t hesitate to get in touch- I am ALWAYS happy to hear from you!