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Pete Maguire - Therapeutic Writing Practitioner 

Pete Maguire.jpg

For the past 5 years I have been working as a Senior Support Worker at one of the country's leading hospitals for treating adolescents with acute mental health problems. Whilst there I set up and have been running a weekly 'Pete's Poetry Workshop' which has been the most popular therapeutic group ever run on the ward. The young people have found that the group, and further 1-1 writing work, has really helped them understand and relate to others what they are experiencing.

In 2021 I studied at Metanoia Institute in London, completing their Creative Writing for Therapeutic Practitioners course. This course helped me to recognise and develop the work I do with young people concerning writing and mental health. In my time at an in-patient unit I worked with a lot of young people experiencing extreme mental distress. It is imperative to quickly establish communication and trust and once this is achieved to move onto coping strategies, risk assessment, treatment possibilities and to help young people and their families access help. 

After teaching over two hundred workshops, I have seen the profound effect that writing can have. Many young people come with a lot of resistance which can relate to the experience of doing poetry at gcse and the difficulties that they are facing at present. Once they realise that writing is a safe place to start exploring feelings and emotions they start to gain confidence and take back control of their expression rather than be driven by it.

I have also worked with parents, social workers, external agencies and charities. I feel it is now time to move out into the community and to help young people either after, or before, they have an inpatient admission. I have a lot of experience working with young people who self harm and am experienced in helping them manage their risk.

Prior to working in an in-patient unit I have worked in schools with autistic children, taught writing to adults and home educated children, published a book, performed spoken word and short stories, worked as a portfolio analyst in investment banking and have lived in New York, Amsterdam, Dublin, London, Brighton and now Lewes. 

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