There are other types of grief. Our pain isn’t always about something we’ve lost. Sometimes it’s about something we never had, or something others can’t see or understand.

Writing Down The Dark is a 30 day process of gently releasing all that has been pushed down and gone unacknowledged. Our feelings will find their way out eventually, no matter how hard we try to stuff them down, often through illness or relationship breakdown. Rather than having them emerge indirectly in ways that harm us, this process allows you to find acceptance, healing, validation and release in a safe and gentle way.

When Our Feelings Aren’t Allowed

disenfranchise (verb)

  • past tense: disenfranchised
  • to deprive (someone) of their rights or privilege.

Feelings become disenfranchised when society says we shouldn’t feel them. So we feel like we can’t talk about what happened to us. We can’t find support. We feel alone. We believe our feelings are wrong.  We start to wonder if there’s something wrong with us.

Pain Needs Acknowledgment

Many of us have experienced well-meaning platitudes that end up further dismissing our feelings. You might have heard:

  • There’s no use dwelling on the past.
  • Well no-one’s perfect, I’m sure they didn’t mean it.
  • What good does it do to keep thinking about it?
  • You’re being negative, stop focusing on it
  • It’s for the best
  • This will make you stronger
  • At least you….
  • Don’t worry, you’ll meet someone else / have another baby / find a new career
  • I know exactly how you feel
  • You’re overreacting / too sensitive / making too much of it.

Pain and loss need to be expressed in order to be complete. This is especially effective when accompanied by what Alice Miller called ‘an enlightened witness‘, somebody who can witness your pain without judging it or trying to diminish your experience.

Whatever your loss, there is wisdom giving it a voice. There is relief in speaking about our pain in the company of those who can make space for it. That’s what Writing Down The Dark is all about.

This group is just wonderful, so much healing, acceptance, validation, being heard and being seen here. What we”ve all never really had. Sharing the worst, with people who really know. It was just what I needed and so much more. This experience has been priceless and irreplaceable.” – Judy, Manchester

What a beautiful, heartfelt time we had together in this incredibly special group. Recognition, support, understanding and so much sharing- all held by Leanne’s wisdom and limitless compassion. I look forward to the next round of Writing Down the Dark and the new insights and self acceptance this amazing online course brings. Thank you Leanne Chapman and all the courageous, wonderful members of our group.” – J.W., Melbourne

I desperately needed “Writing Down the Dark”. Every person in the forum reached their hands out to me. The safety, love and support in this group may very well have saved me from a serious nervous breakdown. What is going on in my life, right now, is more than most of my friends can bare.” – Rikki, New Mexico

These prompts have just helped so much. I cannot say thank you enough for this. I always knew writing would heal me, but I guess I didn’t have the prompts I need to really dig and ‘write down the dark’. I’ve since uncovered more stuff but that’s what I love about this process.” – Cyndi, London

I’ve loved every bit of writing you’ve presented. It’s a great course, well set up, well thought out….and I LOVE your contributions, which make it very safe.” – Wendy, Sunshine Coast

Thanks for the opportunity to dig deeper into life’s stuff. Doing all of this has helped me to cement my place in life where I am at now. There will be no turning back. Everyone’s support has given me the encouragement that I needed. The writing was the very first time that I had the opportunity to get those feelings down on paper and out into the open. This group has been very helpful! Still putting one foot in front of the other. I have won this battle, and I’m moving forward. – Carol, San Diego

Just a little note to say thank you for this wonderful latest offering Writing Down The Dark. I found it very cleansing and healing to write those dark memories down. I so enjoy taking a fresh look at deep buried memories and, as all the new research suggests, “refiring and rewiring” my brain!”   – Cheryle, Melbourne

I came to Writing Down the Dark to clear the log jam that seemed to be impacting my ability to finish the writing projects I started. The universe was sending me plenty of “let go of things that are holding you back” signs, which I artfully ignored. I had a vision late last week of the potential for newness. That, when the time was right, all those details I worried about would work themselves out or be non-issues. I have to think that the work I’ve been doing here had something to do with that unloosening. So thank you for allowing me a place to put down the words. This has been a very informative and formative process. – Amy, Baltimore

I have to say that this process has helped me greatly and I am truly appreciative for your work and these prompts. It has been quite the journey. – Sarah, Adelaide


The Wisdom of the Wild

Wild animals are almost never traumatised, because they let themselves complete the recovery process naturally. They don’t have a society around them that disapproves of their natural responses and tries to distract them.

Grief works the same way. If we were unable to fully express our feelings about what we have lost – because we were too busy looking after others, because others were upset by our grief and urging us to move on, because our loss was not recognised as legitimate – then it stays within us.

And as Alice Miller once said, the body will eventually present its bill.


Creativity for Healing

Writing and art are gentle ways to allow the natural grieving process to occur. They are particularly effective when accompanied by others who can witness your feelings and support you in them.

We often fear that acknowledging the pain will prolong our suffering but usually the opposite happens. As we listen to what we need and make space for it, we are released.

So I wanted to create a space for your unacknowledged feelings, feelings that have gone underground because the world said no you can’t have that here, pain that is looking for an outlet so it can let go of its grip on your soul.

We’ll cover:

Prompt 1:   Hearts

Prompt 2:   Spaces

Prompt 3:   Masks

Prompt 4:   They said

Prompt 5:   Shadows

Prompt 6:   Earth

Prompt 7:   Wild

Prompt 8:   Fall

Prompt 9:   Memory

Prompt 10:  Exit

Prompt 11:  Self

Prompt 12:  Time

Prompt 13:  Home

Prompt 14:  Loss

Prompt 15:  Life

30 days of support and connection

30 days of gentle self-expression

30 days of healing your heart

You’ll receive a prompt to explore every second day. Most will be journalling prompts but some days there will be art activities (no experience required). You’ll also receive live Q & A support each week along with a private FB page to share inspiration and support if you choose to. Join us:

  • to acknowledge denied feelings and unrecognised loss
  • to embody new ways of living your story
  • to open doors to new meanings
  • to find your true north.

“Writing with deep feeling improves immune system function, decreases stress, lowers blood pressure, and increases positive short and long term mood changes” – James Pennebaker, author of Writing to Heal.

We start February 11.

Cost: AU$97 [approx US$71 / GBP£55]

Registration is now closed.