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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Margate Bookie have a special offer for Lapidus members. On Sunday 23 November at 1pm at Turner Contemporary, Margate, you can apply the science of happiness to creative writing, and join two experts to explore how mindfulness can enhance your storytelling powers.
Take a moment to be kind. Be kind to yourself, or to someone else. Write a positive affirmation in your journal. Hug a kitten. Tell someone how great they are. Why not all three?
Then once you've finished doing that, head on over to our store page and download our completely free e-book: A Moment of Kindness.
This month's newsletter has been a bit of an adventure - madness with Mailchimp causing malicious malfunctions! On top of that, our chair's introduction got lost somewhere in the technological ether. Here is the introduction for you all to read so you don't miss out and we should be back up and running smoothly by next month. Enjoy! - Richard
As someone who is fairly new to this world of words for wellbeing, I was nervous, as well as excited, to be attending the Creative Bridges conference in Bristol this summer. So I appreciated it when the event opened with a reminder from the organisers to look after ourselves.
The emphasis on self-care continued in the opening session, on ‘Finding oneself in a different form’, run by Claire Williamson of Metanoia. In fact I was constantly reminded throughout the weekend of the importance of taking care of ourselves in order to help others – and also reminded that this is not just about setting boundaries and taking baths, but also acknowledging our pain.
Did you know that the Lapidus International Research Innovation Community (LIRIC) Journal is open for submissions until the 31st December 2019?
The LIRIC journal provides an interdisciplinary space to extend and develop scholarship that explores the relationship of creative writing to health and well-being. Our aim is foster debate that can support the growing acknowledgement of the role of the written and spoken word in supporting mental and physical health and wellbeing.
The more eagle-eyed of you may have noticed that our website has been going through a few updates recently. The biggest change is the introduction of our new resources page - a link can be found to it in the menu bar at the top of the website.
We hope that with the introduction of this page, it will make finding things on our website a little bit simpler.
I went to the Creative Writing group in Avebury today. It was perfect. The room we were in looked over the stones and the local pub. It was a day of sunshine, then showers, then sun again, just in time for our walk! Magic.
On Thursday 3rd October I attended a symposium in response to Francesca’s facebook suggestion. As I live in Birmingham, I jumped at booking a ticket, without any expectations other than to enjoy a few hours on reflecting on wellbeing.
Nicola Naismith, author of ‘Artists Practicing Well’ opened the event introducing her research on how practitioners have a responsibility to practice self-care. Even though, there are good practice guidelines helping organisations and freelancers to deliver activities for wellbeing, Nicola has found through her research that there is limited support for practitioner wellbeing.
Nicolas’s report recognizes that the self-care of the practitioner should be a team effort, involving the commissioner, organizational leader, funder, policy maker. This is necessary for practitioners not to feel isolated. See synopsis of report.
Facilitator: Dimitra Didangelou, Psychologist, MSc, Specialist in Therapeutic Writing
A monthly Lapidus group for the first time in Athens.
The meetings will be guided by psychologist Dimitra Didangelou and are open all year round for new members.
An online writing circle guided by psychologist Dimitra Didangelou.
Dimitra’s approach through expressive writing techniques encourages life reflection, self-exploration and creative expansion.
The group is useful for all individuals, while the practice of expressive writing can particularly benefit those seeking to gain insight into their inner lives, increase self-awareness, listen to their inner voice and connect with their full creative potential.
The writing focuses entirely on tapping into our inner selves, without any concern for narrative structure or grammar rules.