WriteLife Therapy / Editorial Work
Having worked as a professional editor and mentor for over twenty years, I recognized that my students and editorial clients were often seeking a healing experience through language as well as ways to bring greater creativity, pleasure and clarity into their lives.
At first I began to teach students and clients to meditate. I've been a meditator for over 30 years, since I first lived in northern Thailand as an exchange student. An intensive mindfulness practice has long been an integral part of all aspects of my work and life.
But meditation isn't enough for most of us when we're really struggling in life. During the last seven years, I've developed and refined WriteLife, a flexible therapeutic modality rooted in self-investigation (including some meditative work), empathy and deep listening.
We heal as individuals (and as societies) in the presence of compassionate witness. As a therapist, I don’t pathologize your pain and suffering. We do whatever we do in an effort to feel better. Self-destructive behaviours are usually rooted in a wish to alleviate our suffering. It's possible to investigate these behaviours and talk with the destructive parts of ourselves with compassion, curiosity, and even a sense of humour. Healthy balance is part of every natural system, including the human one.
I use established Narrative Therapy techniques, Bowen Family Systems, Internal Family Systems, and trauma-informed somatic practices. My focus, increasingly, is on working with PTSD.
I'm currently being trained in OEI, Observed Experiential Integration, a powerful neural trauma therapy developed by Audrey Cook and Dr. Rick Bradshaw of Vancouver, B.C. Similar in some ways to EMDR, OEI is a gentler, more gradual approach to healing PTSD symptoms. I am also a therapist-in-training in the Ontario Counselling and Psychotherapy Program and abide by their code of ethics.
My WriteLife Seminars and Workshops use therapeutic techniques for accessing deep emotion and transforming it into original, rich creative work.
The Editorial/The Teaching
I've been editing books privately for twenty-five years. Many of those manuscripts are now books in libraries and stores across Canada.
I work in the same three genres that I write in, literary fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Judy Rebick's beautiful new book Heroes in My Head had its first edit from me as its brilliant author went from activist to literary memoirist under my tutelage at the Humber School for Writers. I also work with clients privately. If you are looking for a tough, responsive, compassionate editor, please get in touch with me.
I teach the MFA masters seminar in Creative Nonfiction for the University of Guelph, too, though you need to be enrolled in the MFA program to take the course.
This winter I will teach several small private WriteLife Seminars. Please let me know if you are interested in joining one of them. I can also design workshops to suit the needs of any small group, involving WriteLife work or more basic creative writing tutorial.
I love teaching and working with people of all ages and stages.