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The affective resonance processes in creative writing-groups

Retroaffective restructuring of the self in creative writing for people suffering from schizophrenia-spectrum disorder

  • Birgit Bundesen (Autor/in)

Identifier (Artikel)


Scientific findings have shown that therapeutic writing for persons with both somatic and psychiatric diseases have health promoting outcome, but more investigations are needed to account for the positive effects as not just cognitive, but also accounting for pre-reflective unconscious factors. Here it can be fruitful to draw on current debates in phenomenology and psychiatry that acknowledge non-cartesian, embodied models of selfhood. Findings from a Danish research-programme, REWRITALIZE provides basis for further reflections on the topic. The creative writing groups are considered hybrids between an art workshop and a group-therapy intervention with focus on playful participation and artistic expression. Like in therapeutic groups a playful interaction in a holding-environment is central for positive outcome, but the writing group differs from group therapy by its attitude towards the written texts that are considered aesthetic material and narrative more than discursive content. The texts can be considered to be transitional objects opening an intermediate space between the subject and the objectively perceived facilitating symbolization-processes and improving recovery-parameters for people suffering from mental illness. The mechanisms behind the positive findings may be understood as retroaffective restructuring of the self in renewing the relationship between the minimal and narrative self.



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