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Full Circle: A Heuristic Inquiry into the Experience and Therapeutic Value of Revisiting and Exploring Personal Historic Diary Material Using Writing and Performance

Author: Emma Decent

In this study, I selected a sample of my own historic diary entries (ages 14–43) and wrote into them reflectively and creatively. This culminated in a script-in-hand performance shared with a closed audience in the landscape. My curiosity was how this process might be therapeutic to me and possibly others. I found therapeutic value in re-storying, becoming more reconciled to life events, improved self-image, confidence, and integration of parts of self. There were impacts on the audience, and findings relate to how sharing life story enables two-way connection, being heard, and seeing oneself in others. There are implications for ongoing work creatively and therapeutically engaging with diaries, especially regarding life review and end of life.

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