What I notice – especially in treatment centres where participants are in trauma – is the sometimes shockingly high caliber of the writing – from the gut, raw, evocative, heart-wrenching and beautiful.
Participants cry, laugh and are in awe of what they and their peers write. It’s as if the traumatic space of recovery has broken down their walls and made them open vessels to the creative force.
The excitement in the room is palpable as participants listen to each others’ writing.
Each class is a demonstration of the capacity for writing to open us to our core pain and within that our core power – the two seem to go together.
In order to receive this magic, participants need to trust the process – they do not necessarily feel wonderful when they first sit with the blank page.
They might feel resistance, boredom, despair – all the blocks our psyches put before us when we’re about to break down long-standing barriers and problems.
So it can take courage or at least suspension of disbelief for us to write through our pain.
But the benefits far outweigh this discomfort. Self-insight comes in the form of metaphor, deeply truthful phrases “we couldn’t have thought of ourselves”, astonishing turns of phrase.
The mind jumps around in time and space and concocts our perfect medicine, in the form of poetry, prose, a line from our journal. Our writing both informs us about ourselves and supports our own recovery in its clear and beautiful reflection.
“What is unique about Marni is the level of safety she inspires. There is always this dread, at least for me, in sharing one’s work in front of a crowd. Marni holds the space in such a way that it is easy to get up and read, in fact, desirous to do so. She treats each piece of work as sacred—you feel honoured to have shared. I highly recommend Marni in helping to bring out your most creative aspects.”