What Does Psychotherapy and Writing Have to Do With You?
Updated: Jun 15
¶¶¶¶ Tell Jan Marquart what her words in today's blog have meant to you and why you would like to win one of her books. Send your comment to RosieCentralContest@gmail.com and win a chance to get a FREE copy of either Eternal or Still. CONTEST ENDS June 26, 2022 ¶¶¶¶
Welcome Jan Marquart
I'm pleased to welcome Jan Marquart to RosieCentral today. Jan is a psychotherapist, life writing coach and memoirist who writes in multiple genres. Her training as a psychotherapist enables Jan to bring a unique depth to both her work with clients as well as to her writing.
Jan and I have known each other for a number of years. I recently heard from Jan that she has published a third book of poetry and a first book of haiku. The content for Eternal, a book of poems, and Still, a book of haiku, gave birth during her isolation brought about by the Covid lock-down.
Hi Matilda, it's great to be here.
Thanks for mentioning my two new books. You're right, total isolation was stressful for me, as for most people. During the first two years of Covid, my clients were incredibly stressed out. Fortunately, we had the option of telehealth as a way to connect and help them cope with their stress.
And, as a writer, I'm used to solitude, but solitary confinement was another matter. So, day by day, little by little, in between counseling my stressed out clients, I wrote a poem here, a haiku there and one day last winter collected them for the compilation of two books -- Eternal and Still.
Jan, tell me...
If I remember correctly, you've been writing for a long time and have found that journaling helps you get through difficult times. Can you tell us a little about your history with writing?
I'm interested in how writing serves as inspiration for you and helps you cope.
Journal writing was recommended by a college friend in 1972 after I stated that I was lonely for my friends and family 3,000 miles away. Her name is Tamara and she told me that through writing I could become my own best friend.
I didn’t hesitate to buy a notebook as I had been smitten by a Girl Scout Diary my mother bought me as a young girl and I always wanted to get back to writing. This diary planted seeds that bloomed into many books years later, all from that small moment sitting on a hillside at the university with my friend Tamara.
My publisher once said, "You need AA for writers." I suppose he's right because I have written daily since 1972 and just began my 125th journal. I never started out to write any of the books, essays, travel episodes, short stories, articles, or poems that eventually got published in either books, newspapers or journals. But my writing began to take on the power of their own.
When I lost my parents, I wrote;
When I was physically paralyzed, muted by an illness and needed to tell my story, I wrote in my head;
When I was too sick to be with people, I wrote;
When I was homeless and scared and my friends turned away, I wrote;
When I was stalked and the police left without helping, I wrote;
When my possessions were repeatedly stolen, I wrote;
When I moved to a new city and knew no one to call, I wrote;
And, when the seasons changed and the birds sang and the ocean roared, I wrote.
The reasons for my writing are endless. Writing keeps me in faith, productivity, and kindness. Writing has become my most powerful healing tool. It helps me keep my conviction that I am going to make each experience work for me and not bring me down. Beauty for ashes!
As ideas come to me, I write them into my journal and keep writing until they take me deeper from where I started. They eventually form into the structure of a genre and I build and build until completion.
Writing keeps me in faith, productivity, and kindness. ~Jan Marquart
Jan, the breadth of your writing style is unusual...
It's wonderful to know that a change happened in your life through the suggestion of your friend, Tamara. She started you on the path of journaling -- wow, 127th journal. Some people journal and then write a memoir. But you write in so many different style--formats -- yes, memoir, but also fiction, essays, poetry, etc. How did all of this happen?
Thanks, Matilda for asking.
I suppose it is unusual. One day, a number of years ago, I decided to write a love poem to my nephew’s new-born son and realized that all children should feel loved. I thought it would be great if children had books that taught them they were loved and introduced them to their new world at the same time. I put these two ideas together. An idea for a simple poem turned into my children’s series – Can You Find My Love?, which is a theme-based, interactive, educational series for children age 3-7. The motto of these books is: Educating Hearts/Touching Minds. There are ten of them and I just translated them into Spanish.
I found that writing in a variety of genres offered different structures to practice the demands each one required. Poetry is a different structure from flash fiction or novel writing or self-help. I love getting out of my comfort zone and entering spaces and new horizons each structure demands.
Writing has saved my life in so many ways
My writing has formed me, developed me, and set me on a path of spiritual depth. I truly don’t know who I would have become if I hadn’t written so much.
Jan, What about your work as a psychotherapist?
Jan, my other questions have focused on how you use writing in your own life. That's quite relevant to RosieCentral as we seek to provide women with ways they can lead more inspired lives, with approaches to becoming even more amazing in their own lives by learning how other women have dealt with their experiences.
I wonder if you would say a little about your role as a therapist.
I'm an interactive therapist working to help clients resolve structural, psycho-dynamic, traumatic, and other life issues that block the ability to thrive. I've been counseling relationships, corporations, and family systems since 1979.
Consider for a minute that 87% of our self-talk is negative and that we have approximately 65,000 thoughts a day. In addition, it is estimated that 60-90% of primary care doctor visits are due to stress-related symptoms. At some point we all have unmanageable stress and will need help and guidance in matters of the complications of every day life.
My one question to potential clients is: “How can I help you?”
I've counseled families, couples, individuals, and corporations.. Over the years I learned that one’s inner power to be creative with coping skills maintains good mental health. This all links back to my writing. The books I've done have led me through challenging and traumatic times of my own.
I know that not everyone likes to write. This is probably true for some of the women reading this article. But for everyone, creativity can be one of the best healing tools.
Showing clients how writing can improve their lives has let me assist them in finding ways to change their lives and heal through the therapeutic and creative processes. Every individual, couple and family is capable of establishing good mental health skills, even through the most difficult times.
RosieCentral appreciates you talking with our readers today. Your thoughts and suggestions about the value of writing is important.
And, of course, we thank you for the book giveaway contest. Instructions are below.
CONTEST: Free copy of Jan Marquart's Eternal and Still
RosieCentral is pleased to announce that Jan has offered to give a free copy of each of her latest books -- Eternal and Still -- to one or two commenters on this article. Write a comment telling Jan why you would like to get a copy of her new books. See directions below. You just might be the lucky winner.
The first of these -- Eternal -- is a book of poetry that brings to the reader the power of, not just the written word but, the sense of the eternal essence we feel in daily ever presence. Anyone looking for a sense of peace, hope, insight, and inspiration will enjoy Eternal.
Still -- Jan's most recent book of haiku, is a beautiful journey of inspiration and hope for these trying times. One cannot help but find moments of reflection that support a respite from chaos into the calm spirituality of life.
Words are powerful. Each word has its own energy. Find the ones that fit your life and put them into your own journaling. You’ll love how it feels. ~ Jan Marquart
Directions to Leaving a Comment and Entering Book Giveaway Contest
¶¶¶¶ Tell Jan what her words have meant to you and why you would like to win one of her books. Send your comment to RosieCentralContest@gmail.com and win a chance to get a FREE copy of either Eternal or Still. CONTEST ENDS June 26, 2022 ¶¶¶¶
If you don’t win, I urge you to buy a copy of these poetry books or check out Jan's other books on Amazon. Eternal and Still will inspire you to feel deeper, look from a new point of view about life, and encourage you to ponder life in new ways.
Want to Meet Jan? Click below to watch her video
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