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About Lapidus International

The Writing for Wellbeing Community


Chair of the Board


 Val Watson

Val Watson


Val Watson is an independent counselling and psychotherapy practitioner, supervisor, coach, consultant and trainer. She has worked in education settings for over 30 years and has extensive voluntary work experience with community-based organisations and projects. She has a passion for racial justice, a continuing interest in community work and learning about equalities issues and change. Val has published chapters in edited texts on race and counsellor education. She has recently stepped down from her role as Head of a University Counselling Service for students and staff. Whilst in that role Val discovered and built on the therapeutic benefits of journaling and letter writing

Amongst many other things Val’s interests include, walking, reading, music, gardening, sport, travelling, cinema, TV, singing and attempting craft projects.


 Francesca Conti

Dr. Francesca Conti


Francesca Conti (PhD) is based at the American University of Rome, where she teaches courses on sociology, anthropology, gender and migration studies. She is also a counselor specialized in existential reprogramming and uses writing and drawing as techniques to help her clients. Francesca lived in the UK for many years and is now living in Rome. She got into the field of writing for well-being while trying to write her own journey with cancer, back pain and other life turning events. She is happy to be involved in the Lapidus community and looks forward to see it grow and flourish.


 Kim Etherington

Dr. Kim Etherington


Kim Etherington PhD is Professor Emerita at the University of Bristol, Fellow of BACP, semi-retired BACP senior accredited counsellor and supervisor, and accredited EMDR practitioner in private practice. She is an experienced author, journal reviewer and editor.

Kim has been a member of Lapidus since 2005 but has used writing all her life as a personal resource which she has integrated into her work as a therapist. In March 2021 Kim became interim Chair of Lapidus International, a shared role with her longtime friend and colleague Jeannie Wright with whom she also shares the role of Lapidus Research Director. She is also on the editorial board of the LIRIC journal.



 Carolyn Grisold

Carolyn Grisold

Carolyn is a British-Canadian writer living presently with two cats and one rascally wiener dog in Hamilton, Ontario, but virtually all over: her day job as a senior public affairs writer is in Ottawa, her most recent schooling is in England, and her writing workshops are online. Carolyn holds an MA in reflexive writing from Athabasca University in Alberta, a path she forged independently as there are no official therapeutic writing degrees in Canada (yet!), and a BA in English Literature and Philosophy from Glendon College, the bilingual campus of York University in Toronto. She has post-graduate certificates in Creative Writing from The Humber School for Writers and in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes from Metanoia Institute in Bristol. Currently pursuing doctoral studies in the UK, Carolyn’s interest in writing for wellbeing rests more on the writing side – neither therapist nor counsellor, she is a professional writer with 20 years’ experience in copywriting and journalism, as well as a faculty member of a local college where she teaches freelance writing and editing courses to adults. Carolyn also runs her own freelance business, Innings Gate Co., where she designs and delivers reflexive writing workshops that help participants unlock creativity and enjoy writing for themselves. Carolyn is currently editing her first poetry collection, Pretty When You Smile, and believes the process of craft is just as important in reflective practice as the initial draft. You can learn more about Carolyn, her writing and her workshops at or on social media @inningsgate.



 Jess Moriarty

Dr Jess Moriarty

Dr Jess Moriarty is Principal Lecturer in Creative Writing and Course Leader for the Creative Writing MA, and the new Creative Writing with Wellbeing BA at the University of Brighton. She is an experienced researcher and editor for the book series, Performance and Communities for Intellect Books. She has published extensively on creative writing pedagogy, autoethnography and community engagement. Her current book – Walking for Creative Recovery – adopts an autoethnographic approach and explores creative practice as a method for supporting well-being. Jess is the co-director of the Centre for Arts and Wellbeing Centre for Arts and Wellbeing (


 Rick Wilson

Rick Wilson

Rick is a freelance consultant specialising in business management and development.
Having been trained in Accountancy initially, Rick has always used the insights and disciplines learned there to understand and improve business performance across a wide range of industries Combining these functions with a love of creativity and supporting others was what attracted him to Lapidus International.
Rick’s interests include reading and writing, watching most sports but particularly rugby union and American football and, of course, socialising.



Our Staff


Membership, Communications and Events Coordinator


Richard Axtell

Richard Axtell


Richard Axtell (he/they) is a writer, illustrator, administrator, coordinator and they make a pretty decent lemon drizzle cake too. Working with Lapidus for 5 years, they have coordinated multiple Creative Bridges Conferences and events, undertaken writing for wellbeing research, made far too many jokes and tried to encourage the growth and development of the field of writing for wellbeing in any way they can. If you have a question about Lapidus, you can email him on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .You can learn what Richard is up to at the moment here:


Our staff work part time and are not always available. Please give 2 - 3 days for a response to any communications sent in. Thank you.