Title

Writing therapy: Paradox, peril and promise

Document Type

Journal Article

School

School of Arts and Humanities

RAS ID

23701

Comments

Originally published as: Murphy, F. (2017). Writing therapy: Paradox, peril and promise. TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses, 38, 1-17. Original article available here

Abstract

Belief in the remedial potential of the writing process has intensified in the past three decades, with scientific studies indicating health and wellbeing benefits; poets, novelists and memoirists proclaiming therapeutic effects; and, innovative and broad-ranging use of creative writing in counselling and health care. This paper proposes that tertiary writing education can benefit from the explicit study of writing therapy as a complex, evolving and contested set of theories and practices. It outlines and contextualises my own approach, discusses some relevant literature, and proposes future interdisciplinary mixed-methods research, for the time is ripe in Australia for writing and health teachers and researchers to work together to investigate writing’s risks, paradoxes and recuperative possibilities.

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