Entry 1/2 Reflective writing and reading
I have just been looking at the work of Gillie Bolton (2005, 2006) and her colleagues  on reflective writing and writing for therapeutic purposes, having met Gillie by chance in London at a Poet in the City event. Her insights and methods reaffirm for me that there is art in the way that people can be helped to explore their lives and work through writing. No good expecting that resistance to writing, or indeed any art practice, will be overcome simply through the enthusiasm of the facilitator. Richard Winter and colleagues (1999) also provide a rationale for the use of writing as an act of investigative imagination. The book includes accounts of reflective writing courses run for health and social work professionals.
 
Related areas include reflective reading and the use of published works, in particular poetry, as a springboard for personal reflection. At last week’s Lapidus conference in Bristol (26/04/08) Ruth Field led a session based on Robert Frost’s poem ‘The road not taken’. Her reading pointed up themes for brief pieces of individual writing on choices in our lives that we make and live with. It was lightly and sensitively handled and left the resonances of Frost’s imagery to work on the imagination.
 
The theme of reflective writing and reading is one that I will develop further over the coming months, drawing on my own practice and that of others.
 
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References
Bolton, Gillie, Field, Victoria and Thompson, Kate eds. (2006), Writing Works. London:  Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Bolton, Gillie, (2005), Reflective Practice, Writing and Professional Development, 2nd edition. London: Sage Publications Ltd
Winter, Richard, Buck, Alyson and Sobiechowska, Paula, (1999), Professional Experience
and the Investigative Imagination. London: Routledge
 
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