Poetry Therapy

Dana Michie
What is it you plan to do
with your one wild
and precious life?

Mary Oliver

What is Poetry Therapy?

Poetry therapy is a practice that applies poems, myth, fairy tales, fables, stories, and other genre of literature for healing and personal growth. Poetry therapy emphasizes the evocative value of literature, and the potential healing benefits for clients who write responses to poems written by others or by writing original material, drawing from their own experiences and emotions.

Poetry in healing is nothing new. According to the NAPT (National Association of Poetry Therapy) website, poetry as a healing modality can be traced back to early humans who used religious rites in the form of chanting for the well-being of the tribe or individual. It is documented that as far back as the fourth millennium B.C.E. in Egypt, healing words were written on papyrus and ingested to relieve suffering.

The first poetry therapist on record was a 1st century Roman physician named Soranus who prescribed tragedy for mania and comedy for depression. In the Greek pantheon Apollo is the god of poetry and medicine, as they believed in the strong link between the two disciplines.

In more modern times poetry for healing has been acknowledged by giants in the mental health and medical fields. Did you know that it was Sigmund Freud who said “It is the poet, not I, that discovered the unconscious.” Another well known doctor of the mind, Carl Jung, also confirmed that the poets were the first to chart paths that science later followed.

To read my article on Poetry Therapy titled “Portrait of a Poet As a Recovering Anorexic” click here.

So please call me at 203.544.8122, text 203.648.0066, or email me at dana@creativecounselingtherapies.com to set up a free 15-minute consultation to learn about the healing benefits of poetry therapy.

Thank you,