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Creative Bridges Conference 2021

Bridging the world with words

A Lapidus International eConference
18th & 19th September 2021


Please find below descriptions of the workshops taking place at Creative Bridges 2021.


Click on the button if you would like to read the schedule in a downloadable pdf format:


Conference Session descriptions



Conference Sessions Day 1: Saturday, 18th September




Express Gratitude through Writing

by Dimitra Didangelou


A writing workshop to create space and time for gratitude to enter our lives and open a new window of positive thinking. Through expressive writing techniques, we will deepen the concept of gratitude in these challenging times of pandemic crisis.

Note 1: Participants should bring pen and paper.

Note 2: After the workshop all attendees will receive a recorded audio file with a gratitude meditation combined with expressive writing exercises that Dimitra has developed.



HEROINES: Empowerment of rural women in Europe with mental health challenges through therapeutic writing

by Claire Williamson


Five European partners have worked collaboratively on this Erasmus+ funded project. HEROINES ( is a therapeutic writing support programme for women at risk of gender violence. This presentation will be inspirational and practical as we share some of the exercises, images and stories of our New Heroines.

Bring a notepad and a pen



Pen Power: Entering the Poem’s Room

by Natalie Scott


We are often invited to respond to poems but how often do we step inside the poem’s room? In this welcoming, inclusive workshop, Natalie will invite participants to experience a poem using a method informed by poetry therapy practice, to foster empathy, the imagination, and a deeper connection with self.

Please bring a notebook, pen and an open mind





Because I’m a Londoner: Black Male Identity and the Politics of Seeing

by Poonam Madar


The visual is often able to capture more than what can be gathered from spoken words alone. This presentation invites us to think about ways of seeing and unseeing from the perspective of Black British men; and in doing so, pays particular attention to themes of identity, difference and belonging.

Please bring one photograph of the city / town in which you live, e.g. London.



Rewriting Grief & Loss: A Research Study Investigating the Effectiveness of Writing-for-Wellbeing

by Katrin Den Elzin


This paper will present and discuss a 2021 research study that uses writing-for-wellbeing to address grief and loss. It encompasses two participant categories: bereaved participants and people who grieve any type of loss. In this mixed-methods study, twenty participants attended six 2.5 hour sessions with a total of 12 writing activities.



When words are not enough. The power of metaphors in Ecotherapy

by Chiara Santin


This presentation gives participants a flavour of the therapeutic process during ecotherapy sessions with an adoptive parent as part of my family therapy work with two mothers and a 5½ year-old boy. Participants will reflect on the material and feedback in the form of Haiku.

Participants need pen and paper for writing and colours for drawing



“lost like a car on the roundabout” - the value of CWTP to someone living with Ataxia

by Kate Pawsey, Mel Perry & Louise Treharne


A discussion debating the ethical issues associated with work with Louise, a woman with life-limiting conditions, who contributes to our panel. We will focus on and tease out the ethics of our CWTP work as individual and collaborative practitioners and hear of Louise’s experience of the processes, including her writing.






Mindful Creativity

by Catherine Okoronkwo


All welcome to this workshop space to explore creativity in an intentional and deliberate way. Through creativity, this workshop offers opportunities for pause, reflection and release. The workshop facilitator will use poems from her debut collection, Blood and Water, as a springboard to a creative exercise.

Please bring writing materials.



Writing With Survivors of Domestic Abuse

by Lorna Hill


This practice-based workshop will focus on working with women affected by domestic abuse; setting up a group and simple yet effective creative writing exercise can be in terms of building self-esteem and confidence.

Maybe bring an object



Writing and Memories: Autoethnography as Writing for Wellbeing

by Kim Etherington


In this workshop I present a short autoethnographic study about my grandmother, a woman I never knew, whose stories have become known to me over the past few years. Through the process and lens of autoethnography I have been able to build upon a few fragments of her life shared by family members and research into public records that have become available in recent years.





Troubling Tolichism in Several Voices: Resisting Epistemic Violence in Creative Analytic and Critical Authoethnographic Practice.

by Alec Grant


Selectively presenting from our paper of the same title (in press for JOAE, 2022), we argue against ‘Tolichism’, or the dogmatic insistence on always securing informed consent in autoethnographic work. This functions to promote epistemic violence - authoritarian policing over what kind of interpersonal knowledge should be disseminated.



Making Time to Make: A Heuristic Investigation of an Art Therapist’s Own Images

by Nicki Power


As an art therapist Nicki works with people with a learning disability in the NHS. She wanted to understand why sometimes, outside of therapy sessions, she needed to make art in response to clients. She will share art objects, a haiku, and her heuristic research process of sense-making.



Cultivating attention and delight across borders: A photo-poetry collaboration

by Esther Muthoni Wafula & Phyllis Muthoni


Photo-poetry ‘adds depth and context to both the photo and the poem while remaining open to interpretation—even extending an invitation to imaginative engagement’[1]. Our presentation showcases a collaboration intersecting photography and poetry, which has offered creative and therapeutic possibilities.



Crossing the Distance: Can mapping dreams using reflective writing techniques facilitate the integration of the self? A heuristic inquiry.

by Rachel Godfrey


In early 2020, I organised fragments from my dreams into ten ‘felt’ maps, then engaged with the artworks through reflective creative writing. Analysis of my writing presented five themes: Orientation, Perspective, Journeys, Beasts and Body. The dream-mapping and reflective writing facilitated self-understanding and self-compassion and helped me feel more grounded.



Zoomfoolery: Creative Ideas for Online Spaces

by Fiona Hamilton


Come and explore playful approaches for creative groupwork on Zoom. Drawing on the ideas of theatre practitioner August Boal we will consider the screen as small oblong or ‘flexible stage’ and ourselves as ‘spect-actors’. This participatory session will expand facilitators’ repertoire of approaches for delivering online writing and wellbeing workshops.

Please bring your readiness to participate and improvise, a sense of fun, and access to some random objects in your immediate environment.





“She pulled pond weed from her hair” Some creative, reflective and expressive experiences in a CWTP peer supervision group

by Kate Pawsey, Asha Sahni & Jacqui Smith


We will share a Lapidus regional group’s creative and organisational evolution, including our Peer Surgery. Based loosely on the principles of Action Learning Sets, this brings an element of peer supervision. We particularly wish to engage and exchange with others whose groups are at different stages of development, including pre-conception.

Please bring pen and paper, curiosity and your own accounts and experiences of being in or setting up a Lapidus regional group / CWTP peer supervision group.



Writing the Self in Bereavement: The ethics and taboos of writing about deceased loved ones.

by Reinekke Lengelle


Sadness is readily sanctioned in bereavement; other less comfortable emotions are often considered taboo. This presentation focuses on acknowledgement of secondary losses, unfinished business with the deceased, and ongoing sexual desire following partner/spousal loss and how writing can facilitate healthy grieving.

Presenter’s book: Writing the self in bereavement: a story of love, spousal loss, and resilience (Routledge, 2021).



These Roots That Bind Us: Using Writing to Process Grief and Reconstruct the Self in Chronic Illness

by Jennifer Bertrand


Chronic illness diagnoses frequently result in an experience of alienation and fragmentation of identity. In this presentation, Jennifer will review her autoethnographic research on creative writing about Fibromyalgia (FM) and the power of writing to improve emotional and psychological health as part of a dialogical process of self-reconstruction.



Poetry Reading in a Pandemic

by Jacqueline Maloney & Thuraya Altowairqi


In this workshop, Jacqueline and Thuraya will highlight the particular challenges university students have faced during the pandemic. In response, the Pause@UoB mental health drop-in service created a space of connection and intimacy during a time of isolation and lonliness through their poetry reading group called "Let's Read Together" for international students.




Conference Sessions Day 2: Sunday, 19th September




Writing into the Unbearable Encounter with Race

by Kiz Bangerh, Robert Downes & Foluke Taylor


Foluke Taylor and Robert Downes will share some of their writing as liberatory practice related to their explorations of writing into race, racism, anti-blackness and whiteness whilst drawing from Black feminist thought and practice.

You will find out more about their collaboration on this website: OtherWise.



The How of Writing for Wellbeing

by Stephanie Dale


Four decades of research, hundreds (thousands?) of papers investigating writing for wellbeing, yet one key question remains: how? How does writing achieve positive wellbeing outcomes? A question worthy of remark yet unexplored in serious measure. An exploration and discussion with PhD researcher Stephanie Dale, from The Write Road

Bring a notebooks, pens and questions



National Regeneration II

by Ryan Farrior


Ryan shares his personal experience of learning different physical skills from his perspective as a black, gay man having survived trauma and links the exploration with navigating recovery. The author provides photographic evidence of each activity as a means of promoting and humanizing depictions of black gay men.



Bristol Diverse Creative Writing Group - For Adults who Identify as Autistic

by Sally Hare & Asha Sahni


The Diverse Creative Writing Group has been running for 5 years. With the group’s endorsement we share our journey in forming and developing a safe creative space for a diverse group, catching glimpses of the rich internal landscapes of individuals who can struggle to communicate in other ways.

Please bring your curiosity and experience.





Reflective Time and Space

Facilitated by Sheelagh Gallagher


A safe, held space in which participants will have the opportunity to reflect on conference sessions


Hidden Flowers for Sexual Healing

by Atlanta Rayner


This workshop will explore the use of Victorian meanings of flowers as powerful and transformative metaphors for sexual healing. The Tarot-style deck offers us a new creative writing perspective to heal past sexual wounds and reveal our hidden flowers to build new narratives.



Bringing Out Leaders in Dementia- The BOLD Project

by Magdalena Schamberger & Lorna Hill


Bringing Out Leaders in Dementia (BOLD) is an innovative social leadership programme developed to work with people across Scotland who are living with dementia. BOLD focuses on playfulness, creative writing and other arts-based techniques to encourage creativity, innovation, and personal development. This session will highlight ways in which creativity can help us to playfully and safely explore different perspectives to help everyone living with dementia to flourish.






Wheel of Nature Writing

by Emma Decent


An evaluation of a project created and run since Sept 2020, looking in particular at bringing nature into writing, working online - creating safety, creating a group, bringing a whole sense of oneself into one’s work as a facilitator and learning and ways forward.



Poetry Therapy in Practice: Developing and Testing the EFECT Model

by Abigail Alfrey


This presentation introduces practitioners, researchers and other stakeholders to a new model of poetry therapy: the EFECT model. The process of developing and testing the model will be outlined, and the evidence and implications explored.

Questions will be invited and additional members of the research team will be available for Q&A.



Creative life writing and research as self-therapy: A life-changing heuristic process.

by Victoria Riddiford


Based upon her MSc research exploring the use of creative life writing as self-therapy (or ‘autopsychography’), Victoria explains how intertwined the processes of research and self-therapy became, and the personal and professional development that she has gained from the experience.



Where Gender is no differentiator and love the gain: poems from ‘Yield’.

by Claire Dyer


This reading from Yield plus Q&A will chart the journey which has seen a son become a daughter, and celebrate that place at the heart of motherhood where gender is no differentiator and love the gain.

Claire has her child’s permission to use her old name, status and gender.



Reflective Time and Space

Facilitated by Barbara Bloomfield


A safe, held space in which participants will have the opportunity to reflect on conference sessions





Giving to Ourselves what we Offer to Others: Journal Therapy Techniques for Self-Supervision

by Kate Thompson


This session will look at how practitioners can use Journal Therapy techniques in the context of their own individual practices for self–supervision and self-directed support. There will be the opportunity to experience at least one writing prompt and to deepen the experience through the Feedback Loop.

Sharing if time allows



The Divine Online

by Dawn McHale


Journey into the Divine Feminine online. Follow a group identifying as female who are neuro, sensory and gender diverse, ranging in age, roles, ethnic backgrounds, woven around the overarching narrative of the Heroine’s Journey developed by Maureen Murdock (1990) exploring our experience as female in a white masculine hetero-centric world.



Creative and Credible: Top Tips for using Writing to Evaluate your Practice

by Jane Willis


Evaluation can help you demonstrate the impact of your work, improve practice and secure funding – and it doesn’t have to be dull! Creative approaches to evaluation can be more appropriate, enjoyable, and effective than questionnaires. Jane will explore ways to use writing as part of an evaluation practice which is both creative and credible.