Dr Natalie Scott facilitates activities within a diverse range of community groups, including libraries and residential care settings, with an aim to improve quality of life and wellbeing.
Her strong belief in the positive impact that reading and writing can have on emotional wellbeing has led her to seek accreditation from the International Federation of Biblio/Poetry Therapy to become a Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator. Although it is not a legal requirement for practitioners in the UK, this is an internationally recognised qualification in writing for therapeutic purposes, which includes over 400 hours of didactic learning, facilitation and close supervision by poetry therapist Victoria Field.
Natalie is a member of Lapidus, the UK’s largest Writing for Wellbeing organisation and is a regular speaker at the annual conference for the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE).
Pen Power is informed by the concept of poetry therapy: one of the expressive arts therapies, which include art, music, drama, psychodrama and dance therapy, and aims to promote growth and healing through language, symbol and story. It is a specific and powerful form of bibliotherapy, unique in its use of metaphor, imagery, rhythm, and other poetic devices and it is a well-established therapeutic practice in the USA.
It uses a three-way process whereby a poem is read aloud, then used as a stimulus to generate feeling responses through group discussion, and finally those responses are expressed in a piece of writing which can also be shared with the group.
The resultant writing is not judged on its technical merit. It is about process not product. Therefore, if participants are able to write something in response to the text which helps them to explore an aspect of themselves, and better still if they feel confident enough to share their writing with others, then the process has worked.
Pen Power sessions may be of benefit to people who are socially isolated or disengaged with society, have suffered trauma, loss, anxiety/depression, and also those who wish to maintain their levels of mental fitness through expressive writing.