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In 1998 my life was disrupted by a significant trauma, and my work as a psychotherapist was put on hold. Recovery for me turned out to be through expressive writing (via Julia Cameron’s ‘The Artist’s Way’), and then studying creative writing and learning the craft of poetry. I completed my psychotherapy training and then studied for a PG Diploma in Integrative Arts in Health, Education & Community settings where, as well as my mental health therapy work I set up, acquired funding for, and ran writing and arts workshops for my local mental health trust in Derby. In 2010-2015 I trained in singing and songwriting part time at Leeds college of music and helped where possible to setup local groups in songwriting. Although I am a ‘talking’ therapist by training, I know that writing offers a mode of expression that is just as important. I see personally and in my practice how beneficial expressive and creative writing are in helping us to process, integrate and understand our experiences and our sense of self, and am fascinated in what is taking place inside the brain and body when we utilise writing in this way. There also seems to be something special that happens when we write in a supportive environment with others.

Donna M Bottomley

Location of Practice:
Wales, West Midlands

BSc (Hons) Psychology 2:1 BSc(Hons) Occupational Therapy 2:1 PG Diploma Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy PG Certificate Artists in healthcare settings PG Diploma Integrative Arts in Health, Education & Community Settings Diploma in Journal Therapy EMDR Practitioner Training All Parts 1-4 General Certificate in Online Counselling & Therapy Part 1 (ACTO) City & Guilds Teaching Adults in Further Education Mindfulness Guide training course (21 days with Nature Connection), also Forest Bathing practitioner course. Writing a Memoir course – Curtis Brown Creative (Online 6 weeks) Popular Singing – Leeds College of Music Jazz Singing – Leeds College of Music, Songwriting – Factory Street Studios, Recording and Production – Leeds College of Music, Creative Writing (Poetry) – Manchester Metropolitan University Creative Writing Short Course – UEA, Arvon Retreats x 3, Arvon Creative Writing Course (Poetry) Jo Shapcott, Arvon Songwriting Retreat – Kathryn Williams and Chris Difford, Songwriting Retreat with Martin Sutton (The Songwriting Academy), Dance Foundation Course (Morley College)

Skills & Interests:
I’m a psychotherapist (BABCP, BACP, HCPC) and published writer and songwriter, with my first non-fiction book due to be published Spring 2021. Creative and Expressive writing are my go-to activities personally and also something I offer in my work with clients via therapeutic writing sessions. I’ve also completed a post graduate diploma in Integrative Arts for health, education & community settings as well as several shorter writing courses. I am interested in the way that writing can help us to process, restructure and integrate certain aspects of our experiences and can be just as helpful as a talking therapy. I keep up to date wherever possible with research into the use of writing therapy and am interested in the benefits it offers over traditional talking therapies, and how this can be utilised in mental health settings and with neurodiverse populations. I am dyspraxic and writing has been my main way of organising information. I’m also interested in walk and talk, and combining my forest bathing and mindfulness practices with writing.

Contact Details:
hello (at ) donnambottomley (dot) com

Website & Social Media: @donnambottomley (Instagram and Twitter) @ortenseblue (Performer name)