ERIC Number: ED337775
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Writing as Therapy, Writing Teachers as Therapists, WPAs as ?--Underexplored Analogies for Composition.
Comparisons of writing instruction to therapy often focus on the teacher and student interaction, yet the analogy is necessarily more extended and complicated. Compositionists should be paying attention to issues of affect and providing teachers and program administrators with a course of study that includes introductions to personality theory, psychoanalytic concepts, and basic counseling, even if such a course of study mainly confirms that there are large differences between a teacher/administrator's and a therapist's roles. Personal experience, tantalizing hints from creative writers, and remarks from students all testify to the personal, therapeutic aspects of writing--while the need to valorize and and define "art writing" (as distinct from what might be called "just writing") seems to make some of its practitioners negate the essential power of creative writing. Writing teachers affect students in a variety of complicated ways, and response pedagogies inevitably elicit powerful responses from students. How do writing teachers respond to journal or essay discussions of suicide, incest, anorexia, and depression? The writing program administrator (WPA) explores and participates in forms of the "talking cure" on multiple levels and from multiple perspectives. It is time to enlarge WPA training by providing new teachers and administrators with an introduction to psychoanalytic theory and the basics of counseling to support them in their necessary work. (Two notes are included; 23 references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Writing Therapy
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Writing Program Administrators Conference (Saratoga Springs, NY, June 1991).