Backed by years of research in the neurological sciences that suggest writing leads to healing, two Durban based creative-thinkers have developed an interactive writing course that encourages healing and wellbeing.
Physician Laura Campbell and artist and theologian, Bernice Stott are the two women behind Write to Right – a specialised writing course that explores the discipline of writing as catharsis. The duo jointly created the course which teaches creative writing as a means of personal expression.
“The course is for anyone who loves to write and is looking to loosen up their creativity,” said Bernice, adding that participants range in age from 18 to 88.
“We are offering this course for anyone who would like to find healing through the art of writing or those who want to write about loss, love, and life’s challenges. Writing keeps us healthy. It can prevent an illness occurring, progressing or recurring. Writing finds personalized meanings in times of change, struggle, loneliness, loss and illness,” explains Laura.
“We will also show you what is happening to your body when you write. What chemicals are released, why these chemicals can be useful, what parts of your brain are engaged and why using these parts of your brain encourage health, contentment and acceptance,” added Laura.
The course is tailored to suit the group of participants and runs over eight weeks or there is an option to do an intensive weekend course. “Some of our participants have gone on to publish books and some have created a support group and continue to meet every month,” they said.
The next course takes place in Westville from Tuesday, 11 February to 31 March from 5pm to 7.15pm. The cost is R3800. The weekend course takes place at the Solitude Retreat Centre in the Midlands on 13, 14 and 15 March and costs R2400, all inclusive.
To book, R1000 deposit is required.
Contact [email protected] 083 343 8994. Visit www.writetoright.co.za
Five reasons why creative writing is therapeutic:
1 Studies have shown that creative writing enhances our ability to make a rational choice, articulate a preference and take action based on those choices.
Creative writing can enhance psychological health. People who did a creative writing course reported reductions in depression and lower levels of stress.
3 Creative writing has been associated with enhanced functioning of the immune system with lower incidence of illness and increased the speed of recovery. The field psychoneuroimmunology has been developed to explore the link between creative writing and the functioning of the immune system. It is known that people who write have more active immune cells including T Helpers, CD4 and CD3 cells.
Creative writing has been shown to have a positive association with a wide range of illnesses. For example it has been proven to influence the outcomes of breast cancer treatment, Lupus, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Creativity writing reduces the distress of parents who have a child with autism. It also has a beneficial effect on chronic pain.
5 Recent research has shown that creative writing positively activates parts of the brain used for memory formation and word retrieval. Writing could be a tool in delaying dementia.