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Holistic human medicine is the goal of the EUKMK; we are convinced that a healthy life and good treatment requires creativity and the competence to go new ways. That is why we would like to introduce you to one of our creative therapies, which we already use with cancer patients in addition to art therapy: Creative Writing for Emotional and Mental Health
I have the honor of presenting our at Charité Gynecologcial Cancer Center developed Health-Promoting Creative Writing in a workshop at the ESGO Congress. „GKS – Health-Promoting Creative Writing“ becomes „Creative Writing for Emotional and Mental Health“. I think that’s the best way to name it. In Germany, writing therapy has hardly found its way into specialist congresses of this kind. But it is immensely important that -what our European Art Guild for Medicine and Culture aims for- a holistic medicine is installed. When doctors, therapists and Patient Advocates meet, creativity should enable us to combine our knowledge to what is best for the patient.
Not only operations and pharmaceutical input but an holistic approach
I am happy to hold this workshop together with Dr. Adak Pirmorady, who will present our European Artists Guild for Medicine and Culture.
What is Creative Writing for Emotional and Mental Health (GKS)?
Creative Writing for Emotional and Mental Health (Gesundheitsförderndes Kreatives Schreiben, GKS) is a modular system in six steps performed in two hours of writing, using a specific mixture of methods and topics.
We have been developing the program at the initiative of Professor Dr. Jalid Sehouli for survivors of ovarian cancer at Charité Gynecologcial Cancer Center. Also, we have introduced it to a dozen of university clinics www.kreativtour.info and continue to train competent moderators for this special type of writing group. For six years it proves to be a valuable tool for patients.
The participants, mostly 8-12 persons, follow the writing prompts and write about self-confidence and self-worth, fears, scars, farewells, but also magical moments. They use metaphors, fairy tales, idioms, image impulses to deal constructively and creatively with the new situation and share their texts and feelings. We focus on resources.
Train the trainer
We also want to encourage even more people to do further training in this field and to support women (or men!)with cancer or other diseases to use this type of self-help. Patients have the chance to not only relieve, but also to strengthen themselves through that form of Writing Therapy and deal more easily and in a constructive manner with the illness.
„It pays to have a pen – start writing and find the room of your own!“
How can you visualize this form of mental health happening? At Charité Berlin, 8-12 women enter the room, mostly the library in the women’s clinic with terrible gynecological equipment on the walls. Most days the women are tired and exhausted. They sit down, take a pen and write following my writing impulses for two hours. Sharing their texts in-between the writing time. With laughter and joy. Sometimes tears. After that, they go home with a smile and seemingly refreshed. Magic? No, it is the power of creativity that is at work.
Why does this form of writing work so well?
Writing prompts aimed at producing emotional and mental health and resilience are using the power of the unconscious. Bringing up what might not be conscious and transform -what was underneath- into clarifying words. The stories you write reacting quickly to an impulse which leaves you no time to reflect, tell you a lot when you look at it afterwards from an eagle perspective. That’s why the women keep saying they’re surprised by their texts. Writing is a step into creativity. With creativity you can solve problems.
After the convention I will show you the six steps in which we normally proceed and what it is that makes this program so valuable for patients.
M.A. Biographical & Creative Writing, Author & Speaker