Good writing is simply the recording of good thinking. So, effective writing instruction should begin with teaching how to develop one’s thoughts. I employ many of the thinking exercises created by Edward DeBono, a British creative thinking consultant who coined the term lateral thinking to describe the creative process. DeBono’s techniques can help clients of all ages improve their ability to think deeply and develop content for their writing. However, many people who struggle to write find that generating ideas is not the problem — making decisions is. Creating even a single page of text involves hundreds of small choices regarding organizing ideas, structuring sentences, phrasing, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and more. Those who have trouble making these decisions often believe that writing thoughtfully is a fundamentally different mental act than speaking thoughtfully. In reality, that’s not true, and cognitive behavioral therapy can be helpful in overcoming such mental blocks.
“Thinking tools are deliberate and can be used systematically. They are easy to use and powerful” – Edward DeBono
John Mohrbacher, LICSW
A licensed clinical social worker, tutor, and organizational coach who specializes in helping children and adults with attention and executive-function difficulties.