Write Your Self have previously offered scholarships – free training for professionals who want to learn how to guide people using our writing process and methodology. Here you can read about our previous scholarship holders.
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Katie is a part of the Greater Manchester Women’s Support Alliance (GMWSA), who provide specialist, gender-responsive and holistic support to women who have been involved in the Criminal Justice System, or who are at risk of becoming involved.
Katie, who’s also a writer, says, “Ultimately, I want my work with women to be focused not on their problems, but on their stories.”
Faisal completed his MBBS from King Edward Medical University and is a researcher within the field of psychiatry. He says, “There is a lack of mental health professionals in our country. 400 psychiatrists for a population of more than 200 million. Writing can be a valuable tool in our fight against trauma, particularly in younger patients. But, unfortunately, there is little funding available and worse, there are few professionals who can provide systematic guidance. I want to learn to guide patients using this method.”
Cristina is a psychotherapist, working mainly with people who’ve experienced trauma.
She says, “Many of them have a background of developmental trauma and currently lead a life scarce in resources (mainly relational, but sometimes also financial), and I’m eager to learn new tools for working with them. I’m also looking for other ways to reach people who need psychological support but aren’t open to start therapy. In our culture, we’re still warming up to this kind of services, and many people are quite reluctant to try them. I think writing could be such an activity.”
Reesee is the founder of Reclaim Your Voice, an organisation hosting free monthly events where people who have experienced abuse share their stories.
She says, “Following the oral story sharing, we conduct group exercises which are designed to help participants express their feelings creatively. The program you are offering would be a great asset and would help me feel more confident in facilitating our exercises. Having this training would further enhance our efforts to help people break their silence. We believe that helping people find their voices can be so crucial to the healing process.”
Susanne is completing a Doctorate in Creative Arts in Queensland Australia, exploring the intergenerational transference of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) though the methodology of creative writing. She is also a grief counsellor, nurse, adult educator and grandmother.
“As a researcher and advocate for mental health and suicide prevention I promote the therapeutic value of creative writing, especially for those suffering from the impact of trauma. In my work, I have witnessed the power of healing through creative expression in women suffering from sexual abuse and domestic violence. I eagerly look forward to hosting Write Your Self conversations and workshops in my community, and to further promote the beneficial nature of writing throughout my networks in Australia.”
Maria Woglinde, Sweden, is a yoga teacher. She offers yoga as a complement to other treatments at youth detention and rehabilitation centers.
“My mission is to provide yoga classes for relaxation, self regulation, recuperation and body awareness. The youths are often victims of circumstances where their sense of agency and ability to know right from wrong is impaired. Yoga can offer an opportunity to regain a sense of control and ability. Similar to what I think writing can do.
I also teach staff and management groups at these facilities about the effects of trauma sensitive yoga, and hopefully, in the future, about the healing potential of writing.”
Amanda Murphy, Canada, works with youth who suffer trauma as a result of marginalisation or poverty.
“I’ve spent my last three summers running a literacy camp. At this camp we attempt to make reading, writing and storytelling engaging for the youth of the community – we want to give them a way to empower themselves by telling and understanding their own stories and the world around them. I would love to learn more about trauma and about how writing can help to heal. My dream is to be able to impart this knowledge on the youth that I work with, and to build resilience and promote healing.”
Philippa Wentzel works at an education centre dedicated to supporting refugee and migrant women in Germany, especially women who’ve fled violence and persecution, forced prostitution or trafficking.
“Through our work, we aim to provide the women with two things: a safe space, and empowerment to (re)find their own voice through language. Thanks to the scholarship, I’ll be able to introduce writing workshops, too. This would give students, who generally have little to no access to psychological support, opportunities to process and make sense of their feelings in a safe, nurturing environment. The more people who have access to these kinds of tools, the better. The need is there.”
Ingrid Hess is currently getting her master’s degree in Societal Security. She is also a volunteer in the Norwegian Red Cross, in a program called “Network after sentencing”, working in jails in Norway.
Ingrid says, “I want to establish a writing group for women in these prisons. Most of them have gone through trauma. As their male counterparts, they’ve been beaten and abused most of their lives. However, the women in here have also been sexually abused and raped. I strongly believe that writing will encourage them to look at themselves differently and maybe get the courage to start a new life when they get out from prison.”
Ylva Maria Pavval runs Niejda – Chicks in Sápmi, a Sami organisation for Sami girls and women, active in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. Niejda started as a mentorship program for Sami girls in Sweden in 2010 and grew from there. Regarding Write Your Self and the opportunity to use our method, Ylva writes:
“We want to offer a space for those who identifies as Sami women and non-men, where they can be themselves for a moment – not a representative of the whole Sami community.
There’s an enormous demand for activities and places to meet amongst our members and in our society as a whole – and there’s a deep need to strengthen us as a group in order to deal with outside pressure. Until now, we haven’t found a method to work with all the difficult issues that our members and wider community struggles with that is aligned with our values.
I believe Write Your Self can be the method we’ve been looking for, something that can offer our members tools, forums and methods to work through the most challenging aspects of our lives.”
Emelie Hill Dittmer is a journalist and a writing teacher specialising in therapeutic writing. She divides her time between England and Sweden. Here’s how Emilie wants to make use of our method:
”I want to continue working with adults with learning disabilities in South East England, and together with the Swedish Church in London, I plan to start writing groups where we focus on therapeutic writing. Longterm, I’d also like to start groups within hospice care in England as well as in Sweden.
My writing has carried me through life and has helped me make sense out of it. I’m a survivor myself, and feel a strong calling to use my experiences to help others – to put words to what’s difficult in order to be able to move on. To help people make sense out of painful experiences, so that they can trust themselves – and life – again.
I feel a deep sense of joy at the thought of doing this work, to get to be part of people’s personal growth, to be the mentor I myself wish I had had during my most turbulent years. Somehow it feels like every step I’ve taken on my life’s journey has lead me here.”
Brenda Lee Wright is a Canadian counselling therapist who works with survivors of sexual assault and sexual abuse and their families. She wants to bring our method to the women she counsels individually, and also to the group work she facilitates for moms of children who have been sexually abused.
”I am so honoured to do the work that I do and I feel that this program will add another level of sacredness to it” Brenda writes.
Caroline Casco, Sweden, is a therapist and educator who works for an NGO focusing on women caught in trafficking and prostitution, as well as women who use sex in a self-destructive way.
“We actively seek out vulnerable women, and we run shelters where women can be safe and get a chance to find a new direction in life. Recently, we have also started transition homes, and that’s where I think writing could do a lot of good. As an opportunity to process trauma.”