Sunday, 22 March 2015

Medicine and Creative Writing

It was a grey old day in Sydney yesterday and under gloomy skies twelve of us had a wonderful time at the Creative Doctors Writing Workshop. 

Led by Dr Hilton Koppe the workshop was called "Beyond the Medical Record" and, although several of us have been to one of these workshops before, it was no less rich an experience the second time around. Part of the reason for that was that each time we have done the workshop it has been with a different crowd. Each participant brings his or her own particular talent and their own particular view of the world to the workshop, and we all learn something from each other.

That's not to diminish Hilton's part in it all. Hilton is a gentle man with a wonderful gift for teaching. He has a wealth of human experience as an observant and empathetic country GP and he brings all that to his workshops. He designs the workshops so that not only do his participants learn something about writing they also learn something about themselves and each other. 

What did we do all day?

We played some games, looked at pictures, wrote poems and stories - and even a couple of short dramatic scenarios that we then performed for each other. We practiced writing in other voices (eg the patient's voice) and delved into our own life experience to re-examine some of the past.

James W. Pennebaker
And, just in case you were wondering, we talked quite a lot about medicine. We briefly touched on the neuroscience of the emotions and creativity, we discussed James Pennebaker's research findings on the health benefits of writing (click here  to listen to a great BBC program about Pennebaker and his work and here  for a list of his books and publications) and we did the world's fastest Balint group to help develop our scripts. 

We all had a great time and found ourselves capable of many things that we didn't know were possible.
If you are interested in attending a similar workshop in the future please contact Creative Doctors via this blog

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