Two of our Creative Practices Centre teams recently shared research findings with women who have experienced breast cancer and health professionals.
Our Creative Writing project was one of the studies we shared. Women participated in writing workshops, wrote independently, and created collages as part of our program. At our presentation, we discussed three key themes that emerged from our data which consisted of audiorecordings/transcripts of the workshops, photocopies of journal entries, and workshop evaluations, as well as collages which were photographed. The background of the slides appearing here are snapshots of the some of the collages that the participants created. The three themes are summarized in the following slides, but more information can be found in the full presentation (link appears below).
The first theme is connected to ideas about safe spaces. These spaces extended beyond the workshops and into the process of writing. Such spaces provided participants with the opportunity to express emotions that they were not able to share with other people.
Some of the women felt they needed to give themselves permission to take the time to write and to adjust priorities, given the demands of work and caregiving, as the second theme illustrates.
All of the participants expressed some anxiety about the future and fears of recurrence. Writing provided opportunities for the women to develop a sense of strength, as well as acceptance about the uncertainties associated with breast cancer.
For more information and the complete presentation: