Introduction to Therapeutic and Reflective Writing

Discover the therapeutic value of creative writing – learn how to use writing for wellbeing with others

Are you interested in writing for self exploration? Would you like to enhance your own personal or professional development through creative writing? Perhaps you would like to use it in your work?

Writing has proven to have direct benefits on physical and mental health. This 8-week online course – the first of its kind – will provide you with understanding of therapeutic and reflective writing and the tools for using it personally or with groups, while offering an opportunity to examine your own life through creative writing.

The Professional Writing Academy offers a CPD certificate for those who successfully complete the course. Please check with your own professional organisation as to its suitability. Some employers have funded individuals to do this course as relevant CPD.

Participants who are working, or planning to work, in this field might also be interested in our follow up course Running Writing Workshops.


Start date: 19 September 2022
Duration: 8 weeks
Skill level: All
Session length: Weekly
Sessions: 8

Special early bird price
(Ends 18 August 2022)
Price: £475 £403 (inc. VAT where applicable)

Course Director
Course Director
We’ve designed this course for anyone looking to develop their understanding and skills in therapeutic and reflective writing for personal development and/or for use in their professional practice.

This is a professional development course and so you may be able to get funding from your employer to do it. All participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate of completion evidencing their learning (20 hours didactic learning, 20 hours peer learning).

It’s suitable if you:

  • Want to explore therapeutic and reflective writing for your own well-being and personal development
  • Are a counsellor or therapist and would like to use writing with your clients
  • Are interested in how fiction, life-writing and memoir can benefit well-being
  • Would like to include techniques such as journaling, biblio-poetry therapy and metaphor in your toolbox for self-care or use with clients and facilitating groups
  • Are looking for a CPD (Continuing Professional Development) course
  • Want to join a friendly and supportive group of learners
  • Can dedicate 5-7 hours per week for the duration of the course
This course will teach you skills and techniques, together with valuable resources for both personal exploration and use with clients and groups.

You’ll be introduced to:

  • Journal writing
  • Biblio-poetry therapy
  • Reflective writing and practice for educational/professional development
  • Fiction, life-writing and memoir for personal development
  • Coaching through writing and metaphor
  • Writing in groups and facilitation skills
Session 1: Introduction
You’ll meet your tutors and fellow learners and we’ll introduce you to the concept of therapeutic writing and how it works.
Session 2: Journal writing
We’ll look at journaling and expressive writing – and how to use it effectively.
Session 3: Biblio-poetry therapy
We’ll explore the theory and practice of biblio-poetry therapy and how it has developed into a distinct practice.
Session 4: Writing your self
We’ll look at how our personal experience can be transformed into memoir, fiction, poetry or drama.
Session 5: Reflective writing and practice
We’ll consider what we mean by reflective writing and its relationship with reflective practice and other forms of therapeutic writing for educational or professional development.
Session 6: Writing, metaphor and coaching
We’ll look at the value of metaphor in writing for personal development and look at how we can use coaching techniques.
Session 7: Writing in groups
We’ll focus on how and why therapeutic writing in groups offers such a rich and nuanced opportunity for personal growth. We’ll also look at facilitation skills as well as the process of being in writing groups.
Session 8: Creating your future
We’ll look at the many ways you can take your learning and reflective-writing experience forward.

We teach this course in our online classroom, which is open 24/7 so you can fit learning around your work, family and friends. There is no set time that you have to be online, so you can work at a time to suit you. We don’t have live Zoom or pre-recorded classes – all the course materials are provided in our online classroom, with interaction via the online forums.

You’ll work in a small group of learners so you can discuss ideas, ask questions and share your writing as you progress through the weekly sessions. We suggest you put in at least 5-7 hours each week to make the most out of the course.

In each session, you’ll be asked to complete reading and writing assignments to share with the group in return for feedback. You will also learn how to reflect and give feedback on others’ reflections. The assignments on this course focus on writing-as-process and the ways in which such writing can have therapeutic benefits and promote insight into our own lives.

You’ll learn from:

  • Podcast and video lectures
  • Written guidance from Anne and Victoria
  • Reading and viewing lists from Anne and Victoria
  • Practical writing exercises, designed to help you think about, practise, and reflect on the topics covered in each session
  • Online discussions with writers and practitioners in your group
  • The opportunity to share your practice, and reflect on the group’s contributions and process
  • Optional one-to-one tutorial with a tutor at the end of the course

You’ll need:

  • 5-7 hours per week to work through the course
  • A notebook and pen or pencil, if you like to make notes by hand
  • A laptop or computer* with:
    • A reliable broadband internet connection
    • Speakers or headphones
    • The latest version of Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, or Safari
    • Microsoft Word. If you don’t have this you can download Open Office free
    • Adobe Reader, latest version. Download free
    • QuickTime Player, latest version. Download free

*You can access the course from a tablet or smartphone, but we recommend using a laptop or computer, as this makes it easier to share your work files with your writing group.

Join our alumni

After your course, you can join our online alumni where you’ll meet our growing network of past students. The alumni is a friendly group of writers who support each other as they continue to explore and develop their writing.

Within our online alumni area you can:

  • Rejoin your classmates on a private forum and access an archived version of your course materials and forum posts
  • Meet alumni from other courses and groups and share your work for feedback on our alumni critiquing forum
  • Join in on discussions about reading, writing, editing and ideas on our general discussion forum. This is also where we share news and useful info
  • Retain access to our resources area, which has interesting and informative links
  • Chat with other people online using the alumni area live chatroom. We also host live chats with guests here

Taking things further

If you’d like to continue on to another Professional Writing Academy course, we’ll give you a discount. Please get in touch for more details.

What our students say...

This course has given me new ways of working with my clients and added to my own ongoing self-enquiry. I have felt really held and inspired by the tutors and our online community, this was a concern at the beginning, but very quickly I felt safe and embraced. I take great store from my feedback from all the participants. I have also been inspired by some of the writing that’s been posted over the course.

Ann Marie

What our students say...

Taking part in this course has been a wonderful, profound experience and a powerful stage in a journey. I have got so much more from the course than I initially expected, due to its depth and breadth and how carefully it has been put together by Anne and Victoria. I have also been so enriched by the interaction and connection with all the other participants. I feel privileged to have got a peek into people’s lives through their writing, and without exception I have been enlightened, challenged, inspired and affected by the parallel journeys of all the members of this very special group. There is something about the online environment which has been very liberating. Removing the possibility of face-to-face embarrassment or reticence has freed me to be more open and take more risks with what I share.


What our students say...

The course more than fully met my expectations. For an introductory course it is extremely rich and there is so much potential. The community was what really buoyed me up – more than I could have imagined. I’m also much more convinced about the therapeutic effect of reflective writing. I’ve moved on issues and I’ve been moved through sharing with the group. I found the on-line environment very safe and it was good for pacing myself. I have to say, though, that 4-5 hours a week would not have done justice to the course and I chose to do much more. I’ve learnt so much about myself and about connecting to others.


What our students say...

The course has been remarkably good value for money. It has provided loads of resources and many new book suggestions. I have loved the assignments, every single one, and loved the brain-buzz I’ve felt at the end. It has been a sweet learning curve discovering new lives, new careers and new ways of writing.


What our students say...

The first online course I’ve ever done turns out to be the best writing course I’ve ever done (and I’ve done lots of brilliant ones). Created and taught by Anne Taylor and Victoria Field, the Introduction to Reflective and Therapeutic Writing is a rich and varied adventure into personal archaeology and cartography. You will dig deep. You will travel far. You will find your pen knows its way. You will uncover your questions. You will uncover the questions behind your questions. You may well find some answers – to private and professional conundrums, and to creative ones. You will cover journal writing, biblio-poetry therapy, writing the self, reflective writing, metaphor, coaching, writing in groups – and you will create a new future. You will enjoy the detailed, insightful and empathetic feedback of your tutors and your peers. Be prepared to be stimulated, surprised, self-sabotaged, side-blinded – and supported. Highly recommended!

Jon Sayers, Chair, Magma Poetry Magazine; Vice Chair, The Poetry Society Board of Trustees

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