‘Therapeutic Writing’, or ‘Journal Therapy’, is a bringing together of ‘expressive’ writing and therapy whereby instead of having to rely on ‘talking’ to a therapist, you can instead use writing in a guided and structured way to help you process your thoughts and feelings and understand your experiences. The therapist uses their theoretical knowledge to help you, just as they would with talking therapy.

The research base for the health benefits of expressive writing has been growing in size since the early studies in 1986 by James W Pennebaker. Some of the issues that writing has said to be helpful with include anxiety, stress and the body’s immune response, grief and loss, and adjusting to illness. Have a look at this article here written by two GP’s discussing the use of Writing therapy in primary mental health care.

Woman Sitting By the Water and Writing in a Journal


In my individual sessions I begin with an initial assessment meeting which can be either over email, video, phone or face to face. In this meeting I aim to help sort through what you might be struggling with, and use specific CBT and Writing strategies to get the issue(s) organised and ‘formulated’ for you.

After this, we would discuss the plan for how to help you get to where you would like to be. This can be purely through Writing therapy or can be a combination of Talking and Writing therapy. I will provide a structure for you to use for the specific issue you will be writing about, and also some strategies to help guide you and support you whilst you are working on the issue or problem. We will use our initial formulation to refer back to at various points. This formulation is helpful to keep us on track as well as to see what insights and understandings you have uncovered. But we can also take an open approach to see what emerges as you start the writing process.

We will agree review dates to come back together and see how things are going for you. I am happy to take things at your pace in terms of sharing what you have been writing. There is no pressure to share.


Individual sessions can be via email, video or audio call, or face to face at my office. They are a great solution for people who are thinking about therapy but for whatever reason are not comfortable speaking about what is concerning them. This is where we use writing rather than talking to explore your experiences in a specific situation or point in time, with a view to unpicking themes and drawing out links and patterns to help you to understand and gain insight into why you might feel, think and act the way that you do sometimes.


My W4W groups are ideal for between 3-10 people and can be carried out either face to face or via group video meeting. They are helpful for community groups, employees, or team members who share a particular difficulty or work issue.


As I am both a CBT Psychotherapist and Writing Therapist I am able to bring these two therapies together in order to help clients in either Primary or Secondary care, both individually and in groups.

Cognitive Behavioural Writing Therapy

This is where we use CBT techniques of formulating and applying strategies and techniques such as exposure, but through writing. This adds an extra layer of processing to the work and has been found to be effective. It also means that you can use a different language if English is not your first or preferred language.

Lyrical Therapy

This is where we use song or poetry to write out lyrically how you are feeling or thinking about an issue and we view it as producing a specific lyrical piece. We can apply as many or as little poetry or songwriting techniques afterwards to take the piece further. However the aim at first is to put into lyrical sounds and words what you are experiencing, or to use other sounds and words to help you to express this.

If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.

Lord Byron