Words Hold Us Together

A facilitator training day in bibliotherapy with

Valerie Gillies & Sukhema Butler, plus guest Ted Bowman

Saturday 7 September 2024, 10am – 5pm

Scottish Storytelling Centre,  43-45 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR

Lapidus Scotland offers a full day workshop for storytellers, librarians, writers and readers who already work within community and education settings and would like to develop their facilitation skills within health and social care. From listening to reading to writing to sharing together we will practice the presence of the facilitator, and the vital selection of the text, which story or poem to use.

The workshop will encourage writers and storytellers to find the tools they need to increase their powers of facilitation, and to deepen their understanding in how to use words for wellbeing. They will experience how poetry and story can refill the reservoir of health. Moreover, they will be able to observe how words can become a life-raft in stormy seas. The workshop offers an opportunity to learn how to facilitate in a way which is both therapeutic and creative.

Before coming on this course, you may find it helpful to browse the bibliotherapy toolkit for facilitators on our website.

Places are limited to 20 participants.  Cost £75. £55 concessions (Student, unwaged, low waged, retired).

To book please download, complete and return the booking form as soon as possible, and no later than 20 August.

Words Hold Us Together APPLICATION FORM


Valerie Gillies is a poet and non-fiction writer, who has been the Edinburgh Makar, poet laureate to the city, an Associate of Harvard University and a Royal Literary Fellow. Valerie received a Creative Scotland Award to make a journey to the healing wells and springs of Scotland and Ireland, to write The Spring Teller (Luath, 2009). Her book – The Cream of the Well: New and Selected Poems – appeared from Luath Press in 2015 and was short-listed for a Saltire Award. Currently, Valerie is a sessional artist at Maggie’s Cancer Centre, Edinburgh, where she co-facilitates the new ‘Green Spaces’ course in Maggie’s Garden. Her new work in collaboration with photographer Rebecca Marr appears on their website, When the Grass Dances.

Sukhema aka Larry Butler is a poet, editor, researcher, founder and facilitator with Lapidus Scotland, teaches tai-chi for health, leads expressive writing, journaling, and life stories in healthcare settings; publications include Butterfly Bones (Two Ravens), Han Shan Everywhere, Arts on Prescription (Greater Glasgow Health Board). He leads writing retreats and edits pamphlets and books for PlaySpace Publications including Living Our Dying and Autumn Voices. His latest poetry book There Are Others, will be published this year by Red Squirrel Press.

Guest Trainer: Ted Bowman will offer a bibliotherapy perspective from the USA live on zoom with time trouble-shooting Questions. Ted is a poet, editor, and grief educator. For five decades, Ted has facilitated groups addressing disruptive changes, the resulting losses and grieving, with steps toward healing, resiliency and renewed hopes. He was also an adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota and the University of Saint Thomas. His books include Loss of Dreams: A Special Kind of Grief; Ambiguous Parables: Prose and Poems about Loss and Renewal, and co-editor of The Wind Blows, the Ice Breaks, a volume of poems by Minnesota poets addressing loss and renewal.


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