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What is Poetry Therapy?

Poetry therapy is the intentional use of the written and spoken word for healing and personal growth.  Poetry, literature, journals and song lyrics help individuals see themselves fully, and in time they come to experience the hidden facets of themselves.

The term “poetry therapy” is used inclusively to refer not only to the use of published and original poems but also to the interactive use of literature (bibliotherapy) and therapeutic writing (journal therapy).

Guided by a trained facilitator, poetry therapy participants respond emotionally to the literature’s evocation.  The interactive process is integral to the educational, therapeutic and personal well-being of the individuals.  The process of writing their own poems or journal entries in response to the selected literature is a significant catalyst for healing and self-integration.

When poetry therapy participants tell their own stories through poems, songs and journals, it provides vital material for the therapeutic process.  Finding their own voices is a self-affirming step that is often followed by cathartic release, greater self-awareness, new insights and fresh hope.

Who is the National Association for Poetry Therapy?

The National Association for Poetry Therapy brings together professionals from the fields of health, literature, writing and education to promote growth, healing and transformation worldwide through the interdisciplinary study and application of language, symbol and story with individuals, groups and communities.