“Melancholia: Exploring dual narrative construction and bibliotherapy in mental health”
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This 9100 word creative portfolio with an accompanying 5781 word critical reflection explores the themes of mental health and ‘writing therapy’. Melancholia is about a girl in her early twenties who suffers from anxiety attacks and depression. Accounts of a series of events in her past, coupled with the present, are told from her point of view as possible reasons for this. The story is told through a dual narrative, one of which is her cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) sessions and pieces of creative writing done for these. The other employs a stream of consciousness style to narrate her everyday life. Melancholia is intended to be the beginning of a novel and an investigation into how the topics of mental health, ethnicity, and new media could be carried forward into further research. The critical commentary, analyses the concept of ‘bibliotherapy’ in Melancholia and the texts that have informed it, in light of other methods of therapy. It reflects on the decisions made during the writing of Melancholia, and analyses the process of creative writing as practise based research. It touches upon the current problems that ethnic minority writers face, such as stereotypical expectations with regards to plot and narrative, and how Melancholia counters those. Theoretical considerations are made through Julia Kristeva, and the use of psychoanalysis in discourse is critiqued, as well as areas for further research identified.
MA Creative Writing Dissertation