Monday, September 8, 2014

OctPoWriMo - Use Your Words

How many times growing up were you told to "use your words" rather than some other less appropriate action? I know I said it to my boys when they were younger. Turns out there's a deep wisdom to using our words. On Friday, I shared my story of how writing poetry was part of my own healing process. As I began finding my voice through poetry, I wanted to help others do the same. I had heard of dance therapy, music therapy, and art therapy before, but I'd never heard of poetry or writing therapy. Who knew that it was a simple Google search away?

For those of you in the United States, check out the National Association for Poetry Therapy. There you can find information about the history of Poetry Therapy, details about their annual conference, and a wealth of links to other resources including information on how to become a credentialed poetry therapist.

There is a place

Where you will find out

That you are not alone,
That your story is not the only story
That we are all part of the same verse,
The universe of words.
This poetry that heals
And makes us whole.
We’ve been waiting for you.

-Richard Brown

I also came across the website for The Institute for Poetic Medicine. The institute was founded by John Fox, Certified Poetry Therapist, is a poet and author of Finding What You Didn't Lose:  Expressing Your Truth and Creativity through Poem-Making and Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making. He offers workshops and writing retreats in Europe (UK and Germany), Canada (British Columbia), and the United States (Portland, OR and Asheville, NC). 
The International Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy  provides information about becoming a credentialled poetry therapist or poetry facilitator, details on where to find poetry therapists/facilitators, and offers resources for setting up your own practice in the field. 
Interested in becoming a poetry therapist? Check out the International Academy for Poetry Therapy. They are a credentialling organization that offer online classes by teams of mentors that guide you to becoming recognized as a poetry therapy practitioner. 
Put your love of poetry to use in a new and growing field. Consider becoming a poetry therapist!

~Amy McGrath


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  1. I became very excited while reading your post Amy, the thought of poetry therapy, of becoming a poetry therapist, well I had to know more. Unfortunately I don't have a formal education and you have to have a Bachelors degree, at minimum, to be able to become a Poetry Therapist. I don't know if I have it in me to go back to school for four or five years to be able to do this. It is a tantalizing idea though. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Morgan, I'm 47 and I've returned to school! I already have a BA and an MEd in math, but as you know, that career wasn't feeding my soul. Now I'm taking prerequisite courses at a community college to apply for admission to a Master's program in art therapy. The prerequisites will take me about 2 years, then 2 years in the Master's program, followed by 2 more years of supervised work before I can become registered/certified. While I'm working on that, I'm planning to pick up some creative writing courses with my ultimate goal being certified as a poetry therapist, as well. You're never too old!

    2. But at least you have a BA and MEd so you aren't starting from scratch. All I have is a year at Massage school. Still, my partner has me thinking about it because she is just now finishing her BA in Human Services from a school that is geared for Adults. I'm not saying no but I have more to think about before making a choice. And Amy you know I am older than you. ;P

  2. This is interesting, thanks for introducing me to it!


Your words feed the hearts of the poets who lovingly volunteer to share their passion for poetry with you.

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