Therapeutic Storywriting Book Reviews


Times Educational Supplement

22/04/05

“Therapeutic Storywriting by by Trisha Waters deals very sensibly with the hot topic of ’emotional literacy’ in primary schools. She shows how making up stories can be a highly effective way of exploring who we are, and how the combination within a narrative of playfulness and control allows us to visit areas of the self that might otherwise be inaccessible. Our personalities and ‘subpersonalities’ – for example, rescuer and victim, baby and hero – can all take fictional form, while their adventures say something eloquent about what we are and would like to be.

Waters develops these principles with substantial underpinning but with the minimum of jargon. Part of the book is devoted to case studies which convincingly demonstrate how disturbed children can come to recognise their troubles more clearly by writing scenes in which they take symbolic or metaphorical form.
Trisha Waters emphasises that it is not for adults to force interpretations on to children. Rather, she offers level-headed suggestions for training sessions in which teachers and therapists can themselves learn to participate in writing groups, developing characters and taking on roles in settings where reality and fantasy can meet.

This book is not about lifting key stage 2 averages, but about reminding us of our common humanity.”

Tom Deveson