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The Self on the Page


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Table of Contents

Introduction, Celia Hunt and Fiona Sampson. Part 1 Current Practice of Creative Writing in Personal Development. 1.Writing and the Voice of the Child: Fictional Autobiography and Personal Development, Celia Hunt 2.The Self as Source: Creative Writing Generated from Personal Reflection, Cheryl Moskowitz, creative writer 3. The Web of Words: Collaborative Writing and Mental Health, Graham Hartill, Newport and Abergavenny MIND 4.`Men Wearing Pyjamas': Using Creative Writing with People with Learning Disabilities. Fiona Sampson. 5.Writing or Pills? Therapeutic Writing in Primary Health Care. Gillie Bolton, Sheffield University. 6. Final Fictions? Creative Writing and Terminally Ill People. Colin Archer, freelance writer. 7. A Matter of Life and Death of the Mind: Creative Writing and Dementia Sufferers, John Killick, Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling Part 2: Theoretical Contexts for Creative Writing in Personal Development. 8.The Creative Word and the Created Life: The Cultural Context for Deep Autobiography, Peter Abbs, University of Sussex. 9. Thinking about Language as Our Way through the World: Some Sources for a Model, Fiona Sampson. 10. Writing, the Self and the Social Process. Mary Stuart, University of Sussex. 11. The Empty Word and the Full Word: The Emergence of Truth in Writing, Trevor Pateman, University of Sussex. 12.The Transformative Effect of Reading, Janet Campbell, University of Sussex. 13. Autobiography and the Psychotherapeutic Process, Celia Hunt. 14.Towards a Writing Therapy? The Implications of Existing Practice and Theory, Fiona Sampson and Celia Hunt.

About the Author

Celia Hunt is Lecturer in Continuing Education at the University of Sussex Centre for Continuing Education, with special responsibility for creative writing. She has established the certificate in creative writing and the postgraduate diploma in creative writing and personal development at the Centre. She is also associate fellow at the university's Institute of Education where she teaches the creative writing component of the MA in Creative Writing, the Arts and Education. She is a founder member and chair of LAPIDUS, the Association for the Literary Arts in Personal Development. Her main research interests are in the relationship between fiction writing, autobiography and the self, on which she has published a number of articles. She is co-editor (with Fiona Sampson) of The Self on the Page, also published by Jessica Kingsley. Fiona Sampson has pioneered the development of writing in healthcare in the UK. Over the last ten years she has worked across the range of health authority care settings with offenders and in social services community care. A prize-winning poet, she is engaged in doctoral research on the theoretical foundations of writing in healthcare. She is a founding member of LAPIDUS. Fiona Sampson has pioneered the development of writing in healthcare in the UK. Over the last fifteen years she has worked across the range of health authority care settings with offenders and in social services community care. A prize-winning poet, she is currently AHRB Research Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts at Oxford Brookes University. She is a founding member of LAPIDUS, the Association for the Literary Arts in Personal Development.


An absolute pleasure to read. I now have a broader understanding of the issues involved in creative writing, and look forward to the development of this exciting area both in research, and my own practice. -- The Journal of Critical Psychology, Counselling & Pschotherapy.
The Self on the Page embraces a highly complex issue and is important and exemplary in many ways: it is compellingly written, useful, lucid and inspiring. Unequivocally, it provides an engaging entry into the topic of creative writing and personal development. This is a book for immediate reading and constant reference. -- Auto/Biography University of Sussex publication
The seven projects the editors have chosen to present are deeply engaging, intriguing, thought provoking. -- Therapeutic Communities.
This book is divided into two sections: in part one practitioners from a variety of settings say how they use writing to help personal development, and part two puts forward theories linked to using autobiography as a form of psychoanalysis. Targeted at anyone working with people, whether as a group or individual, in any setting, this interesting and unusual book benefits from a wide range of viewpoints. -- Therapy Weekly
I would certainly urge drama-therapists to read this. I found it stimulating and often moving. Once or twice I discovered things in it which led me to revise assumptions I habitually make about the importance of the written word, and the sources and nature of its power to heal. Much of the text is informative and helpful, particularly the final chapter, in which the two editors draw conclusions about the potential for future development of writing as a psychotherapeutic resource. -- Dramatherapy
This collection of essays will surely be welcome in all kinds of contexts. The editors have collected a fascinating range of material, all complementing each other, and providing an overview of the current thinking about how creative writing is a form of therapy or at least, a tool for self-knowledge. The essays cover general formal concepts such as the wonderful Peter Abbs on autobiography to the applications of writing in workshop and therapeutic sessions. The book introduces a subject that ought to take centre stage in writing courses: creativity as a satisfying end in itself, rather than something that leads to huge advances and reading tours. In other words, the writers here are aware that we live in a society in which emotional and spiritual communication are being increasingly marginalised rather than being a focal part of our ways of living together. Gillie Bolton's work with GPs, for instance, is partly about the nature of doctors as family members, listeners and friends ... I can't recall the last time I read such a positive, life-affirming book on what is often called "arts in society" as if it were a concept grafted onto "reality" in some way. Some of the work here uses literary theory and some keeps the focus firmly on the practical and immediate; but what all the essays offer is a selection of fresh approaches to areas we all seem to be aware of in conversation, but rarely have the chance to develop or satisfy our curiosity. The lines of thought here are so thought-provoking that some of the investigations and enquiries should lead to more substantial work in the future. This is a timely statement of intent from all of us involved in proving that writing is not simply a kitchen table hobby for would-be novelists, but something deep and integral to the personality. It is a need and professionals in classrooms and in clinics are recognising this. I know that I shall be using some of the ideas here to add to my resources for teaching, particularly in courses on writing for community and writing autobiography, largely because the spirit of the book is about transformations. -- Writing in Education

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