Susan’s approach to the Writer’s Guild “Writing as Healing Workshop” is informed by a program she has developed and is titled: Journalling with Soul (JWS). It has evolved over the last 16 years through her research, writing and practice as a counselling therapist and educator.
The JWS program process begins with a breath meditation to calm the mind and prepare the participant to go deeper into their internal process. It enables participants to access a higher place within and get them out of their heads and into their body where feelings are more readily accessible. This is immediately followed by a guided meditation that has a particular emphasis or focus. Reflective prompts follow each guided meditation where participants are encouraged to journal. The journalling extends the meaning making derived from the meditation experience as the participant continues to absorb, process, reflect, make connections and expand. Susan encourages writers to write from a position of confidence. To want whatever comes, to come. To desire it.
The guided meditations in the JWS program are authored by Susan and are written in prose form utilizing metaphors. This enables the participant to enter the meditation experience from their own frame of reference and interpret meaning from their perspective, in this time and place. Poetry both in content and form is known to be an effective therapeutic tool and method.
Susan emphasizes it is important to note that meditation alone is not enough in the healing process. Journalling is where you think deeply and where you make your ideas or insights more tangible. You then begin to move toward action steps. Journalling helps solidify and clarify your insights. It is a form of affirmation that you can make these insights and ideas real. Without journalling, these ideas and insights remain in your head and are essentially forgotten.
Throughout this “Writing as Healing Workshop” there will be introspective lessons, breath meditation, guided meditations and reflective prompts, at multiple intervals.
General workshop outline:
- How to meditate: A beginner’s introduction on how to meditate, specifically breath meditation. Environmental considerations while meditating are highlighted.
- The Stranger: The Stranger is a caring, compassionate presence and deeper wiser self that helps us attend to what needs attending to inside. The Stranger also helps us find insights and gain wisdom from the program’s guided meditations. Participants are encouraged to personalize who the Stranger is for them.
- Roles We Play: This meditation introduces three roles that we all play from time to time. We suffer as we continue to re-enact these roles throughout our lives. The ego drives this role dynamic. When this occurs, it can be very unhealthy and our souls are disturbed. We are disturbed.
- Dealing With Difficult Emotions: With the help of the Stranger, this guided meditation brings a caring, non-judgemental presence to an issue that gives rise to difficult emotions. Waiting patiently, we listen for whatever unfolding of the story surrounding this issue that may come. We complete this process by promising to return to it at some point and close with a expression of reverence and gratitude for any insight and healing that may have occurred.
- Who Am I Without… : Using the transformation of blue beach glass as both a metaphor and meditation, bring the focus back to our awareness that we are so much more than just depression, anxiety, addiction, abuse, etc. In this meditation, we explore the unfolding story of who we really are, our identity as we understand ourselves today, our potential that is yet to be discovered, that is beyond the suffering and pain. This is the reintegration and identity piece of our story.
- Free Write: With the balance of time remaining, participants will free write and ultimately craft a story or a poem from the meaning making and journalling derived from the workshop.
This workshop will contain a meditation component. Please wear comfortable clothing that doesn't restrict movement.
We have also been experiencing a number of issues with PayPal following their policy changes. We are in a complicated process of re-certification, and are unable to access their services at this time. Once you register and receive an invoice, your spot in the workshop is held (our system simply marks the invoice as 'unpaid'). In the meantime, we ask that participants pay by e-transfer to this address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Susan’s approach to the Writer’s Guild “Writing as Healing Workshop” is informed by a program she has developed and is titled: Journalling with Soul (JWS). It has evolved over the last 16 years through research, writing and practice as a counselling therapist and educator.
Susan has authored several self-help books on personal and vocational development themes and they include:
Journalling with Soul
Finding Blue Beach Glass: A Personal Development Workbook
Finding Blue Beach Glass: Uncovering the Extraordinary in the Ordinary
She has a background as an educator both in the adult and secondary education sectors.
Subsequent to the publication of her latest book, Journalling with Soul, Susan developed an online course by the same title. The course website is: http://JournallingwithSoul.com. The course informs her process for the PEI Writer’s Guild workshop series. The course is available in both MP3 and PDF formats and is accessible from any device.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Education in Adult Education and a MEd in Counselling. She is a Certified Canadian Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She is a counsellor, author and educator in private practice and as a school counsellor. She has a background as a trauma therapist in the sexual assault field. She resides in Rice Point, PEI.