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Writing the Creative Self in Grief

Writing the Creative Self in Grief

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Earn 1 Credit for Technique Module toward
Certification in Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction
or Certification in Art-Assisted Grief Therapy
Offered by the Portland Institute.

Presented by

Reinekke Lengelle, PhD

Assistant Professor

Interdisciplinary Studies with the 

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Athabasca University

USD$99 for 3-hour module

Based on her own two-year journey of writing the self after the death of her spouse, researcher and writing-the-self professor Reinekke Lengelle invites participants to develop a stronger ‘internal dialogue’ as a part of their resilience.  This course demonstrates that losing a loved one (or going through a non-death loss) is not only a matter of re-storying and integrating what has happened, but can also become a learning experience for the self.  Participants will receive clear instruction on a number of useful writing exercises, including an accessible poetic creation that asks the question, What has happened to who I am, now that I have suffered this loss?  Those taking the course will be introduced to Hermans’ Dialogical Self Theory, which defines identity as a “dynamic multiplicity of voices in the landscape of the mind”, and will learn how this conception of self can be used to creatively recruit various inner resources (or selves) when facing challenging transitions.  We will clarify when writing is healthy to do in the face of loss and when caution is required.  The aim of the course is to show a variety of ways in which creative writing techniques can be used to strengthen resilience.  The model of transformation through writing will be explained in order to understand how the process of writing-the-self in grief might unfold and where a particular person may be blocked. 


  • Facilitate clients’ use of Proprioceptive Writing in the face of loss in order to teach them how to begin to listen in and combine expressive and reflective modes of being;

  • Learn the model of Transformation through Writing in order to understand the stages that are involved when one uses creative writing practices to move from victim/struggle stories to more life-giving narratives of self in the face of loss; and

  • Facilitate clients’ use of Who am I now poetry to identify key dialogical positions on which they can draw as creative resources.

Note:  Completion of this program (total 3-hour activity, including approximately 2-hour recorded webinar and 1-hour reflection) and return of the Responsive Journal satisfies 1 Technique Module required for Certification in Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction or Certification in Art-Assisted Grief Therapy.


This program contains the following video segments:

  1. An Introduction: Why Write? (23 mins)
  2. Technique Practice: Proprioceptive Writing (25 mins)

  3. Transformation through Writing: A Dialogical Method (23 mins)

  4. Technique Practice: Who Am I Poetry (24 mins)



Reinekke Lengelle, PhD is Assistant Professor Interdisciplinary Studies with the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Athabasca University in Canada. She is a researcher in the area of narrative career development, writing for personal development, and writing the self in bereavement. She designs and teaches both online and face to face. She has been teaching and developing this type of writing for 24 years and is also a researcher with The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands. Lengelle began her career as a playwright, poet, author of non-fiction, and ran a small publishing house called Black Tulip Press. She is currently symposium co-editor with the British Journal of Guidance and Counselling and is part of an international group of scholars in the area of narrative and dialogical career guidance. Her recent book published by Routledge is entitled Writing the Self in Bereavement: A Story of Love, Spousal Loss, and Resilience, an authoethnography of her experience as a widow reconstructing her life and her relationship to her husband, Frans, following his death. In it she sharpens and deepens the relevance of life writing, for not only giving voice to the emotional and relational nuances of grief, but also for learning the affirmative lessons of loss as our lives continue to evolve.

Reinekke Lengelle, PhD

Photo - Reinekke Lengelle 1.png

USD$99 for 3-hour module

For other enquiries, simply email Carolyn.

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