Poetry Therapy?

Sunday, October 4th, 2009 by Rachel

This morning, as I browsed through Twitters, I saw an interesting post by JayTee of The MFA Chronicles and I Submit (see links page). She asked, “did you know poetry therapists exist?” and included the following link: Welcome to the National Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy.


I’ve never heard of poetry therapy in the real business-like sense, though a woman Jackie at NAU was getting her MA in poetry and her PhD in psychology so she could become a spiritual guru in Jerome, AZ. As we live in a world where people in increasing numbers run to therapy and drugs as a solution for their problems, poetry therapy/spiritual guidance achieved through writing does seem to be a different angle. Especially in “hippie” towns like Jerome or Asheville (where Derrick and I hope to end up at some point), there must be a market for this sort of work.


Why do any of us start writing? Because we’re angsty and adolescent and frustrated with ideas that we need to get out. I even admitted in class the other week that I’ve become so indoctrinated into the world of workshop. I worry so much more about line breaks and rhythm and words that sometimes I forget how much I learn about myself when I write. Sometimes I write about people who should be long forgotten, and I can’t help but reflect on what my life means—to me, to them, to anyone. This catharsis is so important, inseparable from most of our writing processes, I think. Because I believe in this inseparability, I think I might look into this poetry therapist certification thing. Why not? :)

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