The Poetry Therapy Process

About writing, E M Forster has said, “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” For Ted Hughes, writing was about “trying to take fuller possession of the reality of … life.”

As human beings we share universal experiences: of joy, sorrow, loss, love, fear, uncertainty, indeed of every emotion that it is possible for a person to feel. When we turn to the page, whether to read or to write, it is often with a desire to make meaning of our thoughts and feelings, and to find a commonality – to realise that someone else has thought or felt the same way.

Poetry Therapy/Bibliotherapy is a process that provides the opportunity to access and process thoughts and feelings in a supportive and creative environment. As a trained Poetry Therapy Practitioner you will use your skills and resources with those you work with to:

  • help develop creativity, self-expression and greater self-esteem
  • help develop accuracy and understanding in perceiving self and others
  • help strengthen interpersonal skills and communication skills
  • help find meaning through new ideas, insights and information
  • help promote positive change and increase coping skills and adaptive functions

 

The Six Steps of Poetry Therapy (Hynes and Weisberger)


  1. Reading – a poem or prose and identifying with its issues, themes, sentiment
  2. Exploring – ones own feelings
  3. Creating – in response to the above through writing and/or other creative processes
  4. Juxtaposing – the responses and views of others and perhaps rethinking ones own
  5. Reframing – in the light of new ideas, thoughts, insights, realisations
  6. Taking Action – by making positive change
poetry therapy process

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