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Lapidus News

Words, wellness and writing!

Here's Why BAME is A No Go Term for Minority Ethnic (ME) Communities

Since the Black Lives Matter movement drew us closer to the reality of racism in the world today, the term ‘BAME’, meaning ‘Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic’ has been bandied about everywhere.

I don’t do ‘BAME’. I don’t like the term that is. I am BAME, according to someone who made up the acronym. But do I want to be? Why should I? Do you like being called ‘White’? Black? Asian? And having that pointed out on forms, in funding calls and in research?

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Celebrating 25 years of Lapidus International - Networking Event

Saturday May 22nd 2021 – 10am until 12pm.

Free Workshop – Donations welcome

To start our 25th Birthday celebrations, we are pleased to offer a Saturday morning networking event on the 22nd May 2021.

We are offering Lapidus members an opportunity to share their experiences of writing for well-being/ personal development/therapeutic purposes.   

Lapidus International is a leading organization in supporting this work and we would like to discover more about the diverse and distinct ways practitioners are working during these challenging times.

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Lapidus is Growing!

As you know, Lapidus is run by a small band of volunteers who give many hundreds of hours of our time because we believe in writing for wellbeing. We want to bring people and communities together, to bring hope, challenge and enjoyment and to offer opportunities for self-development and healing through writing and words.

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Event Round Up

There are a lot of events going on at the moment, run both by ourselves and our members. We don't want you to miss out, so please find below a summary of the events happening over the next few months. We'll continue to update it every time someone sends in something new! (All times are in timezone GMT+1 unless otherwise specified)

Are you running an event? Let us know by emailing the details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Creative Writing for Wellbeing under lockdown: Zoom’s double-edged sword

Professor Tony Wall reports on a lockdown study of 100 therapeutic writers carried out by Lapidus International.

A new national study by the University of Chester and Lapidus examines how creative writing for therapeutic purposes provision changed under the first lockdown of 2020. The study focused on the top 1% most health deprived areas in England (clustered into 16 areas) and combines web analyses, virtual focus groups and interviews, to find out how provision changed, how these changes impacted people, who had been excluded, and what is needed at the local level.

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Lapidus International AGM 2020

 

Saturday 28 November - 11:00am to 2:30pm

Join us this November for our online AGM - free for all Lapidus members to attend. It's another chance to catch up and connect with your fellow members, as well as take part in a workshop run by Jeannie Wright, one of Lapidus's directors.

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Therapeutic Writing Groups Embrace Art Forms, says Research

 

A research project involving 100 writers for wellbeing has detailed the many creative forms that therapeutic writing is taking. Professor Tony Wall of the University of Chester explains.

This summer, our study investigated the impact of COVID-19 on the provision of therapeutic writing groups across the top 1% health-deprived areas in England. The initial findings shed light on the diversity of practice and practitioners and how adaptable the community has been to respond quickly to the pandemic using technology.

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LAPIDUS INTERNATIONAL SEEKS NEW CHAIR OF BOARD

 

Lapidus International is seeking a candidate to lead the organisation in the future. We are seeking someone with experience in the field of therapeutic writing – preferably someone who has a history with Lapidus International and is passionate about promoting its values and leading the company onward into the future. 

Lapidus International is an expressive arts company that believes in the power of words, both spoken and written, to provide benefits to wellbeing and professional development. The company supports its members internationally by giving them opportunities to connect, develop and share in the Lapidus community.
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Top tips for running a writing group

Thinking of running a writing group? Already organise workshops but want to enhance them? Here are a few top tips from our community.

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Therapeutic Writing with the Five Senses

Therapeutic Writing with the Five Senses

 Saturday, July 11th, 11.00am – 12.30pm

 

THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT. PLEASE GET IN TOUCH IF YOU'D LIKE TO BE PUT ON THE WAITING LIST.

Our awareness seems to have been heightened in recent months and a hyper-sensitivity to our encounter with our environment has been described by many. 

As we seek to hold a fragile balance in uncertain times, the use of our five senses may be significant and supportive. This online workshop is designed to for enjoyment, using verbal expression and writing as we focus on our interaction with the world and explore our emotions in relation to our sensory experiences.

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The Importance of Nature Time

 

*Look up*

A few years ago, on a trip to London, I met a woman named Clare. She runs a project called Urban Curiosity. We ordered lattes and deliciously buttery breakfast treats, and I asked her, “What’s this project all about?”

It’s pretty simple. Mainly, she leads people on walking tours throughout the city of London. People wander through different neighborhoods, and through beautiful green parks, noticing the trees, noticing the sky, the clouds, the pets, the people. The only rule is that you have to put away your phone. No photos. No videos. No texting. Just walk.

“I want to inspire people to look up, not down,” Clare told me.

I remember feeling a rush of energy in my body, almost like my skin was tingling, when Clare said those words. I remember thinking, Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes.

I watched a short film about a man who set up a high-powered telescope on a random sidewalk in Los Angeles and invited strangers to peek inside and look at the moon. It’s incredible how each person—all ages, all kinds of people—react in the same way. “Oh my god. Wow. Just…oh my God.” The filmmaker concludes this tiny, 3-minute film by saying:

“We should look up more often.”

Imagine if we looked up into the sky, and into people’s eyes, as often as we look down at our phones. Imagine the difference it would make. We would all walk around shimmering, awestruck, grateful, just one big collective WOW.

At least once a week, I have one of those weary, frazzled moments when my to-do list feels never-ending…when my inbox feels frighteningly full…when the quarterly reports come in and the book sales aren’t as high as I thought they would be…when I feel very small and very insignificant. Those are the moments when I feel tempted to dive into a digital device to escape and numb out. Instead, next time, I will try to remind myself:

Look up.

The answer I’m seeking is not down on my laptop screen, or my phone. It’s up. It’s out there. It’s above and beyond. In the trees, the sky, and the stars.

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CALL OUT: CHAIR, DEPUTY EDITOR & SECRETARY, LIRIC BOARD

 

The Lapidus International Research and Innovation Community Journal is a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal.

Our aim is to foster debate that can support the growing acknowledgement of the written and spoken word in supporting mental and physical health and wellbeing.

We publish articles, essays and reviews by academics, writers and clinical and cultural practitioners from diverse perspectives who use writing in any number of different contexts to this effect.

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Lapidus International to announce change of name

 

With the start if this new month, we are happy to announce our plans to change Lapidus International's name to a new, improved name: Writey Alrighty.

"We think it's a really cool name," says the chair of Lapidus, Barbara Bloomfield. "It really says what we believe in: that if you write, you'll feel alright." 

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COVID19 : MESSAGE FROM LAPIDUS INTERNATIONAL

On behalf of the Lapidus Board, and all our colleagues, we would like to wish our members and their families a safe and healthy passage through the coming months. Though Covid19 is putting so many strains on our lives, it is now, more than ever, essential that we share and connect. 
 
Lapidus will be offering online opportunities to do just that over the spring and summer as we work up online courses to share with you. Any meetings planned in person have been postponed but we will continue to support our members by offering creative ideas for wellness via our Facebook pages (Lapidus Members and Lapidus International) and our website, www.lapidus.org.uk.
 
We encourage each of you to take the time to write a record of your experiences of this unique historical moment. 
 
With best wishes,
 
The Lapidus International Board
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Lapidus Australia has wings!

An inaugural meeting to gauge interest in Brisbane recently resulted in a commitment to form a group currently known as Lapidus Australia. It’s early days for us, with our next meeting to consolidate our plans to be held on 19 March 2020

 
What can be said so far is that all of us are inspired by our colleagues in the distant north - that would be you Lapidus International, with your spidery connectivity and peer support for practitioners of words for wellbeing in our myriad forms.
 
In Australia, writing for wellbeing practitioners have tended to be solo operators, with clusters forming friendship/support groups here and there. One such cluster is in Brisbane, the other in Perth. Bridging distances in our vast land will be a challenge for the group, so it is our intention to inspire more localised groups. One step at a time!
 
We look forward to engaging with our peers on the Lapidus Facebook group - stand by for a rush of antipodean interest.
 
Anyone interested in attending our next meeting is welcome to get in touch with Stephanie Dale from The Write Road - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

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A Words and Wellbeing Retreat – working with ‘the journey’ 2nd - 4th September 2020

Make self-care a priority in your practice. Come to Shropshire for a little magic over three days in a luxurious country house and have the chance to experience the delights of Deborah Alma’s new shop and centre, the Poetry Pharmacy.

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NEW FRAMEWORKS NEEDED FOR THERAPEUTIC WRITING, SAYS REPORT.

 

A two-year study into words for wellbeing has concluded that practitioners need new structures for training and supervision in order to work with vulnerable people. The study, commissioned by Lapidus International, suggests that training opportunities are needed in the areas of safety, safeguarding and supervision.

The report, written by Prof. Tony Wall of Chester University and Richard Axtell from Lapidus, argues that ‘transition spaces’ should be created to educate and raise awareness and reflection among practitioners. Prof. Wall said at the launch today (Saturday, 18th January): “There are gaps in knowledge that can be filled in a positive and gradual way. We can put structures in place such as CPD, supervision and recognition of skills and all this will build credibility among leaders of creative groups.”

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Lapidus Links: Pam Blamey

Every month we have a chat with a Lapidus member, and get them to share their words and wellness journey. First up, it’s Pam Blamey.

Tell us about yourself:

I’m a British Colonial Empire girl by birth but not by political persuasion. My father was a New Zealander, my mother was born in Kenya to British parents. I migrated from Kenya to South Africa as a teen and then to Australia with my husband and children in 1981 to escape apartheid. We settled in Brisbane and when my children went to university I did too. I studied Social Science, where I was introduced to Joseph Campbell and Carl Gustav Jung, and later did a Masters in Art Therapy. Before that I had been a nurse and a teacher of English as a second language. At some point my childhood love of fairy tales was re-ignited into a full-blown passion when I read an anthology of tales with a Jungian commentary and I knew I had found my vocation. 

 

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The Kindergarten Teacher (2018) - A Film Review by A. Hurford

 written & directed: Sara Colangelo - based on a Screenplay by Nadav Lapid

Nadav Lapid, directed a 2014 original, Haganenet. A prizewinner at Cannes. I'd very much like to see that version now. I loved this. A film made with wonderful understanding, beautifully paced, shot, acted - a gem.

Middle aged kindergarten teacher, Mrs Lisa Spinelli (Maggie Gyllenhaal), has a husband and two teenage children. She attends an adult education class on writing poetry. She seems good, practised, and caring at her job. Perhaps so good it's somewhat automatic, even when listening to care and not pushing children too far. She comes alive when playing with them, in a golden light.  In exploring poetry maybe she's reaching for something she needs. We see her write a poem as she goes to class.  But it's judged as dull. She feels snubbed. Though she doesn't work that through fully.  She may be more in tune with her class than this teacher his.

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Connecting Communities

Wellbeing practice through the arts is growing across the world but how many black and brown faces do you see at conferences, at universities and in your sessions? Which poems or writing would attract 'Others'? Why do dementia choirs sing western classics and not reggae?

For those born abroad, and for those with a cultural spectrum encompassing more than Europe, words for wellbeing could connect deeply. I would love to see people from every background represented in our work - especially those who are might not normal seek therapeutic help or who receive inadequate or discriminatory service-provision. I'd like to remind everyone using any kind of art in health practice that the world is an open channel for connection. We just have to tune in our dial to match new frequencies, if we want to welcome everyone in our community to join us. 

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