Transformative Creative Writing Group is expanding, making room for more interested members

Come join a community of creative growth!
Come join a community of creative growth!
The "Transformative Creative Writing Group" is offered by psychotherapist-poet Matt Smith who new to the area. This group will help individuals use writing as a powerful tool to aid in personal reflection, self-cultivation, creativity and healing. Our first group will meet 3 times with formation of follow up groups if participation appears adequate.


Forest Park Location
Ongoing! We meet at Counter Coffee 12pm-2pm on Saturdays... http://www.yelp.com/biz/counter-coffee-forest-park

Evanston Location
(Time to be determined.)
1740 Ridge Ave - Spark of Creation Therapy Offices

Whether it is purely creative or personal, members gather with their individual goal in mind.  You may want a clever, high energy creative environment that's judgement-free. You may have something you wish to share or "vent." You may experience writer's block and want to shake things up a bit to "see" things fresh. You may need to "process" something inwardly or use writing to aid in visualizing the wording that feels lacking. You may need new techniques to elevate your craft. You may simply want to start anew as an inexperienced writer. EVERYONE IS WELCOME! 
Matt loves writing and psychology so much that he did this on purpose. But maybe a better reason is for all of us to harness the wonders of writing and sharing for its transpersonal elements. For those who are insatiable, Google all about "Transpersonal Psychology." Matt is heavily biased that one's experiencing the wonders of creating and reading material which resonates deeply within us is as much a transpersonal experience as anything else. It can also be transformative! 

1) Members gather with at least a good idea of what their goal may be. (It's okay not to know what your goal is, but immersing yourself in the listening and thinking is key.)
2) One by one, members state something (anything) they wish to try to write that might get them going on their journey. 
3) After a member has shared their goal and/or intuitive approach, other members briefly share favorite authors or titles that might be helpful for the member's effort. 
4) By next meeting, approximately 3 or 4 presenters share *ANYTHING THEY CAN.*
If you have writer's block, that's 100% okay... but do share:
- a list of 4 or 5 brief hunches about what you tried
- what felt like an impasse 
- what was different or similar about how you thought and felt (did you feel relatively "calm," "congruent," and "unambiguous" or "frustrated,""discombobulated," and "uncertain" with yourself in your writers block? 
5) After presenters share, other members offer their impressions with as much supportive thoughtfulness possible. Even if someone's piece was disturbing or offensive - please find at least 1 quality constructive thing to extrapolate upon BEFORE sharing whatever dissonance you might have felt. WORST CASE SCENARIO, make a strong effort to ponder how and why that someone's different style, voice, biases, or subject matter was tricky for you. Whether it is something like this or writer's block, try to notice what you notice or explore your hunches. There are great personal jewels to be found this way. 
People who routinely struggle to know their goal should eventually choose their best hunch on what feels like a good goal. (Maybe it's hiding from your awareness for interesting reasons - like a pearl in a oyster's mouth. Just dig around and see what you get!)
- Throughout the session, Matt will do his best to budget time for everyone to get what they need. Extra sessions will be created as needed. 

1) What is shared in the group stays in the group. If we slack on this, then morale and trust in the safety of our community is injured. Let's nurture the energy and do great things instead!

2) Though Matt is a psychotherapist and future groups like this WILL be psychotherapeutic - this will NOT be a psychotherapy group. People in need of extra time to "vent" or process delicate personal content need to respect the clock so everyone gets a share of time. People in need of more time to process should consider either sharing their needs with trustworthy supports or connecting with a psychotherapist. (These groups tend to "excavate" powerful raw personal content, so know that these situations are common. Were it to occur for you - you would NOT experiencing anything weird or unusual!)

3) RE: CRITIQUING and/or COMMENTING on others' perspectives and work...
- Do your best to be very specific - it eliminates misinterpretation from generalizations.
- Not everyone is here to create "high art," but some ARE!... Both types can and should embrace each other and benefit as much as possible.
- It must be respectful of their unique individuality. Anything resembling bigotry or meanness will result in being asked to leave. *This includes the less addressed areas of reverse-racism or resentment towards people who -whether they know it or not- have lived privileged socioeconomic life* We are ALL here to grow!

Matt Smith MA LPC, a licensed professional psychotherapist since 2006, works with men and women, ages 16 to 80+, facing vastly different circumstances in Oak Park, surrounding areas, and in Evanston. Prior to immersing himself in Clinical Psychology, Matt studied literature, anthropology, and myth at DePaul University, and still enjoys collaborating on theater, film, writing and spoken-word projects. Matt brings these creative elements into his therapeutic practice while utilizing a number of therapeutic modalities to meet the varying needs of clients from different demographics.

Using a “stick shift” approach to bring varied therapeutic tools to meet different individual’s situations, Matt’s down-to-earth style meets the client where they are at. His areas of expertise include: mood disorders, trauma, substance abuse, adolescents, seniors, personality disorders, men's issues, relationships, communication, spiritual concerns, sexual/intimacy problems, positive psychology, mindfulness, coping with grief/loss, coping with schizophrenia, Hero’s Journey/ Joseph Campbell, and unblocking creativity.

Matt’s personal interests include cross-training, meditation, poetry, and the Chicago Bears. Foremost is his love of spending time with his girlfriend and their cartoonish pets (“Maybe” who is a German Shepherd and the 3 cats who taunt her.) Matt recently relocated to Forest Park and sees patients in Evanston and Forest Park. 
Confidential Email:    MJSmithTherapy@Gmail.com Confidential voicemail:   (312) 804-3451 







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