Crossing Thresholds online facilitator training (autumn 2021)

Crossing Thresholds is a Lapidus Scotland on-line 12-hour training course for facilitators
of reading, writing and storytelling for wellbeing.

  • Saturday 16 October 2021 from 2 to 6pm
  • Wednesday 27 October from 2:30 to 4:30pm
  • Wednesday 10 November from 2:30 to 4:30pm
  • Saturday 20 November from 2 to 6pm

(Priority will be given applicants who can attend all four workshops.)

That’s the way writing often starts, a disaster or a catastrophe of some sort, as happened to me . . . whatever it may be that has upset me, then I can write and it relieves the feeling of distress.
William Carlos Williams

April 5th 1944. I can shake off everything if I write. My sorrows disappear. My courage is reborn.
Anne Frank

Are you interested in developing your skill as a facilitator of reading, writing, and storytelling for well-being?

This course will provide you with an opportunity to deepen your understanding of how reading, writing and storytelling can be used effectively to improve wellbeing. We will look at both the content and process of facilitation and which tools to use when. We will consider how to approach setting up and managing a words for wellbeing programme that is safe and suited to purpose, with the focus being on the use of reading, writing and storytelling for wellbeing, and also touching on how the visual arts, music and movement can be used. Here are some topics we plan to cover:

  • Openings – Safety & Inclusion, Starting a Group
  • Listening Skills
  • Group facilitation
  • Endings
  • Facilitation practising
  • Trouble-shooting including meeting challenging behaviours
  • Resources including material for prompts
  • Self-care
  • Boundaries and Triggers
  • Sharing writing
  • Group Dynamics
  • Clarity about purpose and what is allowed
  • Co-leadership and consultation with colleagues
  • Giving feedback to oneself and to co-leaders
  • Moving groups to deeper considerations
  • Balancing diverse needs of individual members
  • Developing a new group in collaboration with other staff
  • Diversity in its many variations (age, race, country of origin, spiritual, sexual  orientation etc.

The course will be a rich mixture of experiential and reflective processes. We will explore crossing thresholds from participant to facilitator and back, with demonstrations by four very experienced course leaders: Ken Cockburn, Lorna Hill, Em Strang and Ted Bowman, plus opportunities for practice, feedback, discussion and the sharing of resources. By the end of the twelve hours, you will have gained skills and confidence as a facilitator and an understanding of your individual strengths.

Who is this for?

The workshop is for people who have:

  • attended a previous Lapidus Scotland facilitation workshop/residential; or
  • have experience of leading reading and writing for wellbeing groups; or
  • have a diploma that includes attention to facilitation of groups; and
  • people who organise and support words for wellbeing or would like to do so.

Cost: £145 (reductions available for low waged, volunteers)

20 places only available. Early booking is recommended. Please apply by 10th October

Lapidus Scotland works to explore and expand knowledge and understanding of the value of writing, reading and storytelling for wellbeing, delivering workshops, readings and facilitator training. We are linked with Lapidus International, a network of individuals and organisations promoting creative words for health and wellbeing.

Course Leaders

Ken Cockburn works as a freelance writer, translator, editor and writing tutor, based in Edinburgh. His poetic practice often involves collaborators and other art forms, as in The Road North with Alec Finlay, a Scottish version of Basho’s 17th-century journey in northern Japan. He has run poetry sessions and writing workshops for children and adults in a range of indoor and outdoor settings including schools, libraries, prisons, hospices and care homes, as well as gardens, beaches and woodland. He has worked with organisations including National Trust for Scotland, Trees for Life, Scottish Care, Luminate and Artlink Edinburgh & Lothians. He has worked as Creative Projects Manager for Lapidus Scotland since August 2019.

Lorna Hill is a writer, researcher and project facilitator. She is particularly interested in creativity for health and well-being and runs a small social enterprise in East Lothian, Sharing A Story CIC, using shared reading and creative writing sessions to reduce social isolation and build confidence. She has a PhD in Creative Writing, a COSCA Certificate in Counselling Skills, Diplomas in Life Coaching and Journal Therapy and CPD training with Luminate and Artful Minds (training in dementia-focused practice), Glasgow Women’s Library, Lapidus International and Scottish Women’s Aid. Lorna is also an Instructor in First Aid for Mental Health.

Em Strang is a poet, novelist and founder of Scottish charity, Three Streams, facilitating resilience, wellbeing and creative freedom at a time of global crisis. Em’s writing preoccupations are with nature, spirituality and the relationship between the human and nonhuman.

Ted Bowman, poet, editor and grief educator will guide the sessions, with support from Lapidus Scotland trainers. Ted was a community instructor in Family Education at the University of Minnesota and an adjunct professor in Social Work at the University of St. Thomas. He is co- editor of The Wind Blows, The Ice Breaks, a volume of poems by Minnesota poets addressing themes of loss and renewal, and author of two booklets, Loss of Dreams: A Special Kind of Grief and Finding Hope When Dreams Have Shattered.


To book a place on the course, please copy the following headings into a Word document, and complete with your details:



Post Code



Please answer the following questions:

Do you have previous experience facilitating words for wellbeing?

What do you hope to gain from the course?


Payment methods: (Please put your surname with first name initial and “Thresholds” as the reference)

  • Bank Transfer: Lapidus Scotland, Sort Code  82-20-00  Account Number  90040863
  • Paypal: Our address is
  • Cheque: Please make your cheque payable to Lapidus Scotland

I plan to pay £145.00

Bank transfer / Paypal / Cheque (please delete as applicable).

Please contact us if you would like to discuss paying in instalments, or would like to request a reduction or a bursary.

Please complete and return this form by 10th October to

or (if paying by cheque) by post: to Lapidus Scotland, c/o Ken Cockburn, 12/2 Great Michael Rise, Edinburgh EH6 4JB.

If you have any queries, please email

One thought on “Crossing Thresholds online facilitator training (autumn 2021)

  1. Hi. I attended the recent walking with words event in Paisley and am interested in attending a facilitator training course … please can you let me know when you might offer this course again?

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