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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.


Community Engagement


 Poonam Madar

Dr. Poonam Madar


Dr Poonam Madar is a writer, sociologist, visual methodologist, consultant, and life coach. After winning a scholarship at the University of Warwick, Poonam went on to graduate with a PhD in Applied Social Studies. Her research includes the use of arts based methods to explore themes of identity, culture, difference, and belonging. Poonam specialises in Visual Methodologies, Qualitative Research, and the Sociology of Emotions. She writes on social issues and factors that influence the human condition. Poonam has over 20 years of extensive experience in the world of teaching and learning, having taught across universities in and around London, including having been the only woman to be nominated as Lecturer of the Year in her Law Department (2018). For two years (2017-2019), Poonam was a Sprint coach and mentor; an immersive personal development programme that aims to inspire and empower women in achieving their goals. She has a proven track record of delivering innovative and engaging education and wellbeing seminars and workshops. Poonam is the owner and founder of Working Warrior and through her company she promotes, encourages, and facilitates personal development and growth.

Among other things, Poonam enjoys reading, swimming, music, travelling, cinema, and art exhibitions.


Finance and Connections


 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 (




 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.





 Dr.Jeannie Wright

Dr. Jeannie Wright

Dr. Jeannie Wright has been a member of Lapidus almost since its beginnings. Now in a Lapidus group based in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, we identify with Robin Hood. She has taught and researched in several universities and practised writing for wellbeing in community agencies internationally. She has been a reviewer and editorial board member of journals mostly connected to talking therapies and is delighted to be part of the new Lapidus journal, LIRIC. Reflective writing in counselling and psychotherapy’ is now in a 2nd edition with Sage. Editing books like ‘Writing Cures’ and producing other publications that show how fantastically useful creative writing is will continue and she is now writing more poetry and fiction.




 Lina Mookerjee

Lina Mookerjee


After a decade as a professional electrical engineer in industry, Lina has spent much of the following 25 years as co-Director of Praxis-PPD (Therapy, Yoga and CPD) in Nottingham in her roles as: Yoga teacher, trainer of Yoga teachers; BACP Senior Accredited psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, university teacher, CPD trainer and polarity therapist. Her wide interests and variety of work roles are reflected in her fascination for study. Lina has a first degree in Engineering, a postgrad Diploma in Management Studies, an MA in Jungian Psychotherapy and Healing, and two qualifications in training and teaching.

Lina is also a published writer, international cruise-ship lecturer, story-teller, blogger, vlogger, podcaster, published writer, micro-filmmaker, contributor on BBC Radio & TV, counselling trainer at the University of Cumbria and Guest Lecturer for Nottingham Business School/Nottingham Trent University. She is currently writing her first book: Starting in the Middle – for women about women at mid-life and in menopause. She is now based in Silloth on Solway, Cumbria.






Sophia Stirling

Sophia has been on the Lapidus board since November 2020. Sophia currently works as a School Business Manager for a Catholic primary school and has over 30 years finance and administrative experience working in local government. Sophia also works part time as a diet consultant. Her aim is to ensure that Lapidus members and associated stakeholders receive the best resources and services possible.

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..

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.