Therapeutic Dimensions of Autobiography in Creative Writing

Therapeutic Dimensions of Autobiography in Creative Writing

4 (4 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 10 business days
When will my order arrive?


It was the author's own experience of fictional autobiography that led Celia Hunt serendipiditously to appreciate that such writing could be therapeutic. She noticed, for example, and this was subsequently echoed in many of her students' experiences, a beneficial psychological change - and increased inner freedom, greater psychic flexability (perhaps the key to creativity and psychological health), a stronger sense of personal identity. This book tells us about the hows and whys of such therapeutic change.'


'A critical examination of the therapeutic possibilities of autobiographical fiction that draws on perspectives from both psychoanalytic and literary studies.'

- The Journal Of Critical Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy

Therapeutic Dimensions of Autobiography in Creative Writing brings together theory and practice from psychoanalysis, literary and cultural studies and the growing field of creative writing studies. It highlights the importance of autobiographical writing not only as an opening into fiction writing, but also as a powerful therapeutic tool.

Celia Hunt discusses how autobiographical fiction can be used in therapeutic work by art therapists, psychotherapists and creative writing tutors, as well as in personal development by writers of any kind. She draws up guidelines for a successful course on autobiography and creative writing, and presents case studies and practical ideas for writing about the self.

She shows how writing autobiographical fiction can help people to explore significant events and relationships in their lives. Finding a writing voice in this way clarifies and strengthens the writer's sense of identity, leading to a fuller realisation of his or her potential in life.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 157 x 231 x 12mm | 344g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1853027472
  • 9781853027475
  • 1,013,855

Table of contents

Part I: Finding a Writing Voice. 1. The notion of `writing voice'. 2. My creative writing course - `Autobiography and the imagination'. 3. Therapeutic dimensions of finding a writing voice. 4. The dual role of the creative writing course. Part II: Fictionalising Ourselves 5. Writing and self-exposure. 6. Using oneself as a first person narrator - Sarah's story. 7. Karen Horney's theory of inner conflicts. 8. Sarah's story from the Horneyan point of view. 9. Using oneself as a fictional character - Jane's story. 10. Problems of shelving the critical faculty: A Horneyan understanding. 11. Therapeutic dimensions of fictionalising ourselves. Part III: Fictionalising Significant People in Our Lives. 12. The voices of others in our personal narratives. 13. Finding a voice for our parents and siblings. - Jennifer's story. 14. Therapeutic dimensions of the `dual voice'. 15. Finding a form for a fragmented identity - Jessica's story. 16. Becoming authors of our personal narratives. 17. Fictional autobiography and narrative therapy. Part IV: Fictional Autobiography in Self-therapy and Psychotherapy. 18. Fictions of the self in autobiography and psychotherapy. 19. The possibilities of a psychoanalytic autobiography. 20. The question of transference: Writers as readers of their own texts. 21. Writing versus speaking in therapy. 22. Fictional autobiography in self-therapy and psychotherapy. Conclusions: Tensions between `Writing as Art' and `Writing as Therapy'? Appendix: Reflections on the Research. References. Index.
show more

About Celia Hunt

Celia Hunt is Lecturer in Continuing Education at the University of Sussex Centre for Continuing Education, with special responsibility for creative writing. She has established the certificate in creative writing and the postgraduate diploma in creative writing and personal development at the Centre. She is also associate fellow at the university's Institute of Education where she teaches the creative writing component of the MA in Creative Writing, the Arts and Education. She is a founder member and chair of LAPIDUS, the Association for the Literary Arts in Personal Development. Her main research interests are in the relationship between fiction writing, autobiography and the self, on which she has published a number of articles. She is co-editor (with Fiona Sampson) of The Self on the Page, also published by Jessica Kingsley.
show more

Rating details

4 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 25% (1)
4 50% (2)
3 25% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X