A day training session for therapists, counsellors and those providing mental health support for children and young people in schools and educational settings.
From the University of Chester, a conference with free tickets for Lapidus Members:
I’ve journaled and made art for over 60 years now, but for many of those years I thought of it as simply a pastime.
Then one day I went down a deep, dark, rabbit hole and just by chance the writing and art changed.
The art got abstract and the writing came from the bottom of that deep, dark hole. I had no understanding of the whys or wherefores but the whole process helped me to reflect on the pain, the sadness and the angry resentments and to heal so that I could move on and pull myself up into a place of wellbeing, a place where the sun shone more often. But it never lasted and I came to understand that there was more to this and I needed to know what the more was. I thought school might have some answers so I took another BA which allowed me to enroll in a Master of Arts in Integrated Studies through Athabasca University by distance … and it is quite a distance from Southern Ontario to Central Alberta.
For many of us, this year has been challenging, drawing on our depths of compassion and humour, demanding that we strive harder to keep our balance in choppy waters. Events in the Middle East, particularly Syria, deaths of iconic figures, surprises in the democratic process in the West, news about the effects of global warming have placed us in a position now where we may have to adjust the stand that we wish to take, our values and our priorities. It is certainly a time of change, when we need to think differently and decide what to keep and what to discard. Events within Lapidus have led us to a position in 2016 when we have reviewed our history, our core ideology and have begun to look towards the future. Some key members of the Board with a long-term relationship with the company have moved away and some fresh faces have stepped up. We felt it important to forge a strong working relationship between the team, with those who are paid by Lapidus and with our members. To that end, Barbara made contact with a number of regional groups and visited them. Lisa continued to steer the activities of the (new) Digital Editor (Christine) and our Membership Secretary (Caleb).
Rose Flint's fifth collection A Prism for the Sun opens our senses to birds, animals, elements, flora, while attentively contemplating human involvement with other-than-human worlds. She draws us close, almost inside, each moment, offering shifting perspectives on these interconnections, giving spaces for us to consider their prismatic forms.
In 'Marking china-blue' the physical sensation of cold sea on hands begins the poem. The lines achieve a fluidity as the poet attempts to ‘pull’ waves forward and they separate braid-like around her fingers. This interconnects with thoughts of the writer or artist’s efforts to mark or record a colour - aquamarine - or a state. By staying with the motions of the waves, body and water become almost indistinguishable:
Huge thanks to everyone who came along to the July Research Day, and to Metanoia Institute for providing such a wonderful venue. It was a vibrant day, covering a wide range of topics. Below are links to resources from the event, including information from our displays and slides and notes from some of the sessions:
The national Lapidus day conference took place in Cardiff on Saturday 14 March 2015.
Click here for the Lapidus Day Programme
Our keynote speakers were Professor Jeff Wallace, Professor of English and Creative Writing, at Cardiff Metropolitan University and Fiona Hamilton. Jeff talked about the journey leading to his interest in therapeutic writing; Fiona explored the writing process that led to her book Bite Sized - a story in verse, about a mother's perspective on her child's eating disorder.
Jeff Wallace is Professor of English at Cardiff Metropolitan University. He is the author of Beginning Modernism (2011) and D. H. Lawrence, Science and the Posthuman (2005), and the editor of books on Darwin's Origin of Species, Raymond Williams and Gothic Modernism. He is a specialist in the study of literature and science.
(Oneiros Books 2013, price £5)
Bethany Pope’s latest collection Crown of Thorns describes itself on the title page as a ‘Marriage of Forms’. Indeed it is the formal structure the poet employs in this book, with such elegance and apparent ease, which must be first and foremost admired. A marriage is a union and Pope’s collection, a complex weaving of narrative is conceived as a single poem which tells the story of family – Pope’s own family and her place in it. And quite a story it is too. The story is told unflinchingly through a series of sonnet crowns that are variously and ingeniously linked, by theme, by storyline, even by bloodline. The final section of the book ‘Bloodlines’, consisting of 45 sonnets subdivided into three sections is a further variation on the sonnet crown form described by Pope as an Emperors Crown. The result is an epic, almost biblical depiction of ancestral ties and the family tree to which the poet belongs. In the first of these 45 sonnets Pope writes The/History of family sets the future in its tread. This is the adage on which the entire book rests.
It was good to see Lapidus members and guests from all over the UK gathered in Bristol for the Lapidus weekend, on 5-6th October 2013. The sun shone, Bristol looked beautiful and the venue - Engineers' House - was welcoming and very comfortable.
The weekend was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with others with an interest and/or working in writing and wellbeing, and hear guest speakers Ted Bowman on how to Pack Your Bag with Words, (the man is amazing) and poet Matt Harvey on tennis and conkers and many other things.
There were a range of workshops including one on the therapeutic benefits of Hip Hop for bereaved young people by Kiran Bangerh.
Manu Rodriguez spoke on writing another perspective on disability/ability and Victoria Field about the training she is offering to become a Poetry Therapist. This is the first time this training has been available in the UK. Contact Vicky for more details.
Accreditation in the field of literary arts in health and social care
by Dominic McLoughlin Sessional Lecturer in Counselling at Birkbeck, University of London FCE, and for the MA in Creative Writing for Personal Development at CCE, University of Sussex. 2004
This contribution to the debate on accreditation was originally sought from the Writing for Personal Development special interest group within Lapidus. This group was formed to cater for those in the membership who have an interest in the field of writing for personal development as participants rather than as practitioners, i.e. people who don’t necessarily want to run workshops for other people. Although I was one of the founder members of the group I have not consulted formally with members of the special interest group so in no way can I speak on their behalf. I do have personal experience of using writing as a way of recovering from depression, but my contribution here is mostly an exercise in imaginative thinking. I have asked myself what might the key issues be around accreditation from the ‘user’ or client perspective?
by Victoria Field
A description and critical appraisal of the US National Association of Poetry Therapy accreditation process and its possible application as a model for the UK. I am currently approaching accreditation as a Poetry Therapist and, increasingly, I am being contacted by others in this country thinking of undertaking this qualification. This is possibly due to the absence of any other practitioner-based training in the UK. I feel it would be very useful for Lapidus to react to this existing model as well as devising its own accreditation policy from scratch. I will begin by presenting a poem:
WORDS FOR WELL-BEING
A BIBLIOGRAPHY RELATING TO LAPIDUS' INTERESTS AND ACTIVITIES
Originally compiled in 2003 by Dr Maria Antoniou, this list is intended to be of use to all members of Lapidus - including writers, therapists, service users, academics and those with a personal interest in using ‘creative words for health and well-being’. As such, a diverse range of material is included.
Many of the materials listed could be classified in several categories. However, each text is listed only once – in the category that seems to best describe its content and potential audience / use. Where all of the chapters of an edited collection are potentially suitable for inclusion in this list, only the book title is listed.
There are inevitably gaps. Many subjects remain un(der)-represented. These omissions point to areas where more writing and research work is needed.
Last November I participated in an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Round Table at the Houses of Parliament looking at the arts in Palliative Care, Dying and Bereavement.
Standing on the windy gangway waiting to be checked in, dwarfed by the towering palace and stone and bronze statues, I felt excited and intrigued. Jane Moss and I had met up beforehand. We ran through points we hoped to make (and had a few laughs to dispel nerves), before entering the main hall. After taking photos, reading quotes on the colourful banners depicting political movements, and noting the plaque on the floor where Nelson Mandela once stood, we found our way through the central lobby, familiar from news on TV, into a quaint wood-framed lift, which took us up to the committee room.
by Celia Hunt, Reader in Continuing Education and Convener of the MA in Creative Writing and Personal Development, Centre for Continuing Education, University of Sussex 2004
Amongst my hopes for Lapidus when it was first established in 1996 were that it would be able to organise training for people wishing to work with the literary arts as a developmental and therapeutic tool, and also to facilitate accreditation for such people. Training has been the easier of these to achieve, and it has been exciting to see the development in recent years of short training courses and the peer-learning programme organised by Anne Caldwell and others. The Postgraduate Diploma (now MA) in Creative Writing and Personal Development at the University of Sussex which I set up with Fiona Sampson in 1996 was also partly a desire to provide such training, and in the last two years the expansion of the programme into a two-year part-time MA has enabled us to include specific professional development options for people wishing to work with the literary arts in therapeutic contexts.
ORGANISATIONS: INFORMATION AND NETWORKS
Arts, Health and Wellbeing - the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing is a national resource for creativity and health
Healthy, Social, Creative - Information and signposting for health professionals and others working with people affected by long-term conditions in relation to arts and creative initiatives
Arts & Health South West - Aims to raise the profile and influence the development of the Arts and Health sector across the region as well as provide information and support, including a database of practitioners and projects
This document is a distillation of our thoughts and discussions over the past year. Here we aim to set out the conditions necessary for creative writing sessions to be delivered and received effectively in healthcare settings. We hope that this document will provoke discussion and further contributions from all interested parties to the evolution of this vital and exciting field of work.
Should you have an evaluation report related to a project, please do share for the wider Lapidus International community. Here are some examples from
Report - Brooklea Health Centre Creative Writing and Art Groups for Patients 2010-2011 by Dr J. Wood and Dr L. Younie. See Brooklea Health Centre Creative Writing & Art
A Thematic Analysis of Participants’ Feedback in Writing Sessions in a Primary and a Secondary Care Setting in the NHS by Fiona Hamilton. See A thematic analysis
University of Gloucestershire Evaluation of Art Lift Executive Summary 2011; Art Lift - Economic Impact Study; Art Lift - Case Studies - see ArtLift Evaluations
Out of Our Heads! Four Perspectives on the Curation of an On-line Exhibition of Medically Themed Artwork by UK Medical Undergraduates by Trevor Thompson, Danny van de Klee, Catherine Lamont-Robinson, Will Duffin in Medical Education Online