According to Google:
“Expressive writing is personal and emotional writing without regard to form or other writing conventions like spelling, punctuation and verb agreement.”
I guess I should explain. A coursemate and I are currently on placement at an acute mental health unit. We conduct MT sessions with the patients, as well as attend some of the sessions the other allied health staff conduct. This session, with expressive writing, was conducted by an occupational therapist. It’s supposed to be a really effective technique to improve thought awareness and alertness, and for emotional release.
“Just let your writing flow”, the OT said. “Don’t worry about punctuation, sentence structure or anything like that. If you run out of things to write, just repeat what you have written. The most important thing is to not stop writing. Take a few deep breadths, and begin.”
With the pen and paper in front of me, I had no idea what to expect from myself. But the moment we were told to begin, I felt the metaphorical switch in my mind strangely click, and my hand started to move.
In the woods walking down a little pathway the road is muddy the trees are tall and they cast shadows on me. I can see the sun coming through the leaves it looks so far away I wonder how we feel the warmth when its so far away. The forest is meant to be green but why does it feel black it must be because of all the shadows. I walk and walk and hear a stream I go closer and closer until I can see it the water flows over the rocks which are wet and slippery. I stand on them careful not to fall. I worry that I may slip but I want to be near the water the water makes me calm and at peace. The sound of the stream is like the hope from the shadows. the footpath is slippery but I continue to navigate I explore the stream see where it leads. Somewhere it becomes a waterfall somewhere it begins.
After some sentences into the writing, I realised my mind was going back to the experience I had just a few days before this session took place – I was expanding on a previous experience.
The woods we were in was nothing like what I had described in the writing, of course. But somehow m mind twisted that, setting the context for when we discovered the stream and I had my first experience walking among rocks like these. And indeed, further up ahead, there was a waterfall.
But those are stories for another time. For now, placement continues, and the stories continue..