Poetry Therapy FAQ’s

What is “poetry therapy”?
Poetry therapy is the interactive use of poetry and other forms of literature for healing and personal growth. Research over the last 30 years has found links between writing, health and wellbeing.

What can I expect if I attend a poetry therapy workshop, course or group?
The workshop, course or group you attend will be experiential and practical. You can expect to, experience various creative and expressive writing exercises, and we will use individual words, poems and postcards as the basis for discussion and further exploration.The aim is not to focus on literary merit; the emphasis is on process rather than product.The exercises might include: individual tasks, pair work, small and large group work and some guided imagery.

Here are some testimonials from previous participants.

I am not very good at writing can I still attend?
Yes certainly, you do not need any special writing ability to attend, there is no wrong or right way to write. Our main focus is the process of writing.

My grammar and spelling are awful can I still attend?
Absolutely, you will be the only person who sees your work. We do not focus on grammar or spelling.

Do I have to read out my pieces of writing?
No, whilst reading your work out and having it received by others can be a helpful and healing experience, you decide what you wish to share with others in the group.

What sorts of issues can poetry therapy address?
Poetry therapy is an excellent tool for helping you to cope with a wide variety of issues you may encounter on life’s journey. These include dealing with grief and loss, coping with life-threatening or chronic illness; increasing your communication skills; increasing self- awareness, building confidence and resilience, developing healthier self-esteem; getting a better perspective on life, and clarifying life goals.

Is there any research about expressive and therapeutic writing?

Yes there is. A radio 4 programme named Mind Changers, recently interviewed Professor James Pennebaker a person who has done most to establish the evidence for the benefits of expressive writing in improving health. It’s definitely worth a listen.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rrc11

What if I do not have any major issues?
That’s fine, you do not need to have experienced trauma or major life issues, poetry therapy is a great tool for learning about you and the world around you, and for increasing your personal development and enhancing your creativity.

What training has the facilitator received?
I am a Certified Poetry Therapist, having completed over 400 hours of training with the International Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy in U.S.A under the mentor ship and supervision of Victoria Field. I am the only person in the U.K. to have qualified as a Certified Poetry Therapist (CPT) with The International Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy in U.S.A. with a non – U.S.A. based mentor.

What Code of Ethics does the facilitator follow?
I am a member of the words for wellbeing association Lapidus International and adhere to their ethical code.