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Explorative and expressive writing for personal and professional development

How can writing exploratively and expressively help people critically assess their life? In what way can a writing process, akin to that used by creative writers to generate first drafts, be a form of critical reflection and reflexivity for personal and professional development? The publications and introductory essay presented in this PhD by Publication thesis examines reflective practice writing for professional development and therapeutic writing for personal development. Both forms use expressive and explorative writing in association with facilitated critical discussion. The publications cover a twenty-five year period of practice and practitioner research enquiry, using narrative, poetry, fictional and autoethnographic-type writing methods. Reflective and therapeutic writing are claimed to form an element within the internationally growing related fields of medical humanities and literature and medicine. The nature of the self which professionals and individuals enquire into through their writing is examined in this thesis, drawing upon an eclectic range of psychological, literary, educational, philosophical and anthropological theories. Narrative and metaphor (natural human forms for self-understanding, learning, and communication) are central to reflective and therapeutic writing. A wide range of professionals have been involved in this research into practice (for example medical, healthcare, education, clinical psychology and healthcare), and different client groups (for example palliative care, and primary care anxious and depressed patients). Explorative and expressive writing for personal and professional development, embryonic areas of study twenty-five years ago, now has high impact potential in social, cultural and professional areas. Although gaining in interest, credibility and presence, they need significant further research to achieve their potential status and value.
Date January 2010
CreatorsBolton, Gillie
PublisherUniversity of East Anglia
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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