Rewriting Your Script has been devised by mental health service users and creative writers Steve Norton and Chris Jury.

Steve Norton has recently graduated from the Writing For Performance course at Ruskin College, Oxford. Steve came to creative writing through the homelessness charity Crisis after a mental breakdown in 2014. Steve had the idea for What’s Your Story? after studying with Chris Jury in Autumn 2017.

“Emotions have meaning. We should try to understand their messages. They are usually trying to get us to do or stop doing something.”

Chris Jury is an award winning actor writer and director best known for playing Eric Catchpole in over 50 episodes of BBC antique classic, Lovejoy. He has also written and directed on television shows such as The Bill, Holby City, Casualty, Eastenders and Coronation Street. He has lectured on scriptwriting and Film & TV production at the University Of West London, Leeds Metropolitan University and Bath Spa University. Chris has suffered from severe depression and been in recovery for 23 years. He is currently writing for television and through his company ScreenWrite, he runs affordable training courses for writers of film and television drama.

Rewriting Your Script (RYS), is a humanistic, person-centred, cognitive, group therapy that attempts to induce and facilitate the subject’s self-reflection leading to self-knowledge and thus to more informed responses to thoughts, feelings and stimuli.

The process of scripting a fictional narrative, inspired by the subject’s own personal experience, is the intellectual mechanism that allows for guided and structured self-reflection leading to an in depth exploration of:

  • The subject’s storied sense of ‘self’
  • The storied context of the subject’s social relationships
  • The human need for meaning and purpose
  • The subjects unexamined core values and assumptions

This exploration can in turn lead to a deeper understanding of:

  • The need to accept the intractable aspects of our individual realities
  • The inevitability of change (and ultimately death)
  • The universality of human suffering
  • The realities of existential freedom
  • The past as the past
  • The inevitably flawed nature of ourselves and others
  • The physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the human condition

This new understanding can in turn result in:

  • Conscious knowledge of our own sense of self
  • Conscious knowledge of the values that underpin our world view
  • A deeper understanding of the social context in which we all must live
  • An increased sense of purpose (or how to acquire it)
  • A liberating acceptance of intractable realities
  • Increased levels of self esteem
  • Compassion and forgiveness for the flaws and mistakes of ourselves and others
  • An understanding of mental well-being as a life-long process achieved through action rather than a permanent mental state to be reached.

The RYS process in it’s entirety can lead to a renewed sense of self that opens up the possibility for more effective self-actualisation and even self-transcendence.

The self-disclosure of the therapist is central to the process which is also informed by the philosophy and praxis of the 12 step programme of Alcoholic Anonymous.

RYS aligns with the tradition of rational, cognitive therapy developed from the work of psychologists such as Carl Rogers, Albert Ellis, Martin Seligman, Aaron Beck and Victor Frankl.

“It is possible to change your thinking through changing your behaviour, and to change your behaviour through changing your thinking.”

Rewriting Your Script is a project of Public Domain Arts & Media CIC.