– Therapeutic Writing Prompts –
A collection of therapeutic writing prompts from well-respected therapeutic writers and healers. These creative writing prompts, pulled from our favourite therapeutic writing books and articles, focus on both healing writing and on writing creatively. Looking for more? Keep checking back as we update this article with more healing writing prompts.
Therapeutic Writing Prompt: What is your first memory?
Here’s my response to the therapeutic writing prompt “What is your first memory?” from Susan Zimmermann’s Writing to Heal the Soul:
I’m under the table in the kitchen of our farmhouse. It’s a thick wooden table, with a leg at each corner. I don’t remember the floor but I remember the table like a ceiling above me, rough wood that I can barely reach to touch even though I’m standing, my arms just higher than the top of my head. I remember the smell, food cooking – a yeasty smell of love.
My mom and dad are sitting at the table. I can see their legs, their knees and their bellies. They’re both wearing jeans. My mom has a ti-shirt on, my dad a button up work-shirt in blue I think – definitely a dark colour – the opposite of my mom’s colour. My mom’s white shirt looks worn. They’re yelling, both of them. I can see their legs straining, Mom up on tip-toes from a sitting position, Dad’s feet planted hard, almost standing in his chair. Screaming at each other, Dad bangs the table. Underneath it, I shake. I feel the vibration through my hand that is touching the underside of the table over my head.
I’m scared. But I wanted to help so I run to my mom first and I pat her knee then I run to my dad and I pat his knee. I run back and forth over and over and I pat them gently, quickly. The jean feels rough under my hand, their knees at my eye-level. I am so little. Their voices quiet, pause and then stop. Then my mom leans under the table and smiles at me. She hugs me, pulls me out and puts me on her lap. My dad looks at me too but he isn’t smiling. Dad rarely smiles in that farmhouse. But he isn’t angry at me, he’s sad. So sad. It makes me sad too.
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