Tuesday 19 January 2010

What is Lapidus?

There have been studies to show that it can boost the immune system. It has helped soldiers in war zones. It has eased the mental pain for refugees and abused partners. It has helped sufferers to cope with the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. There are no side-effects and it’s cheap and widely available. All you need is a pencil and paper. I’m talking about therapeutic writing.

Lapidus is an association that promotes the therapeutic benefits of both writing and reading. It provides valuable support not only to practitioners but also to writers, librarians, social workers, in fact any interested person.

I asked some Lapidus members what the association meant to them and thank them all for the following quotes:

“Lapidus for me is like Indra's net - the members are like jewels connected by the threads of language and every jewel reflects every other one.” Victoria Field

“...A community of people who believe in the transformational use of writing for a better self and world, creating inspirational spaces and ways in which to do that.” Jane Reece

“...A supportive group of people in sincere and joyous enquiry into an exciting fast developing field.” Gillie Bolton

“...The place where I find other people who believe in the therapeutic power of writing, where I meet my peer group of practitioners.” Kate Thompson

Lapidus has not only increased my enjoyment of writing and changed the direction of my career, it has also provided me with a lot of good friends. In fact, friendship is the common theme in all the quotes above, a warm community, a supportive group, jewels connected by a thread of language.

Lapidus runs a series of Networking Days as well as an Annual Conference and it was at one of these Conferences that I heard about a three-day course being run by Victoria Field in Truro in 2007. It was a long way to go. I’m not much of a traveller but I’m so glad I went. I wrote about the course on my website in an article called 'Wearing Two Hats' so I won’t enthuse about that here. Suffice it to say that those three days gave me the confidence to approach Writing School Leicester and launch the successful Leicester Jewish Voices project. I’m so very grateful to Lapidus and Victoria Field for that. I blogged about the Leicester Jewish Voices project last month.

By far the most precious thing that Lapidus has given to me is the skill to open my heart to my notebook. It’s a simple skill but it took a series of workshops to enable me to get the full benefit of this sort of writing. I can now write what I truly feel and I regularly surprise myself with what appears on the page. Who needs Valium?

This Saturday 23rd January 2010 there is a Networking Day in Nottingham. It’s called ‘Getting it Together’ and there may still be a few tickets left. If you’re interested and would like to go, please click on the Lapidus website for more information. If you’re interested and can’t go then I’ll be writing about the day on my blog next week so please visit me again.