What is Writing & Poetry Therapy? Intentional use of written and spoken word for healing and personal growth. Rich in imagery, emotion, and metaphor, poetry provides unique opportunities for self-discovery and is a catalyst for healing and self-integration. Therapeutic Poetry – Poetry, as therapy, is the use of written and spoken word for healing and personal growth. For more information about poetry as therapy & healing poetry, visit All Thing Healing online today!

What is Writing & Poetry Therapy?
(Asst Editor: Tomasz Czepaitis) Life Coach, writer and artist, Susan de Wardt is a specialist in the use of transformative language, story and art to unleash full creative potentia...
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Susan de Wardt, CAPF, CJF
We are currently seeking a Co-Editor and/or Assistant Editor for this section. For more information please contact Sherri Carter at sherricarter@allthingshealing.com

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by Jeannie Campbell, LMFT

Every novel is a part of you.

No, I don’t mean in some philosophical sense that they each hold a place in your heart. I mean literally. Pieces of you—quirks, pet peeves, life experiences—are in your novels...

Editor's Note from Susan Meyn: Isn't all our writing really part of us? This author speaks to the therapeutic value of writing fiction. Fits even better for those of us who keep journals...and maybe would like to try out some fiction, too!


Writing & Poetry Therapy

by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

The essay is the only literary form which confesses, in its very name, that the rash act known as writing is really a leap in the dark. When men try to write a tragedy, they do not call the tragedy a try-on...


Editor's Note from Tomasz Czepaitis: I know... proposing Americans to write an essay looks like explaining a shoemaker how to make shoes. Essays are the necessary part of academic activity, of contemporary education. You describe “in your own words” some outline, you prepare for exams, you write sketches for a newspaper. But this is what an Essay became after naturalization in USA. Primarily, from Michel de Montaigne, who was the first in this field (XVI century) it was just an attempt to say or meditate on anything (from French “essayer”  - to try)...


Writing & Poetry Therapy


Editor's Note from Sue Meyn: Rachel Naomi Remen is the author of "Kitchen Table Wisdom" and "My Grandfather's Blessings". In this short clip she speaks with inspiration about our world that is badly in need of healing and wholeness. She calls on each of us to do our part in this healing process by finding our own sense of being whole. Certainly, writing in our journals can be an important part of finding our way in a complex world. I hope you find this meaningful, and if you haven't read her books I highly recommend them.

Writing & Poetry Therapy

by Rosie Kuhn, PhD

For the past fourteen months I have been on a healing journey, one that was unwanted, unanticipated and unplanned. All I knew was that it was time to stop the work I was doing for the work I felt compelled to do; I felt I was on a specific trajectory that would take me far beyond what I could only imagine to be the deepest fulfillment of my human spirit...


Editor's Note from Barbara Lazarony: Join Dr. Rosie Kuhn as she shares her 'personal download from the universe' and what she knows to be true. All of these words and concepts came to her as she was doing the dishes, thankfully her computer was on hand to get everything down. What is the universe speaking to you? Are you ready to take notes?


Writing & Poetry Therapy

by Robert C. Jameson, MFT

You have probably noticed that it seems a little crazy out there in the world these days.  I hope you’re enjoying the chaos.  Worrying and stressing about all the issues that we are faced with during these times doesn’t seem to be helping.  So, we might as well enjoy the process...


Editor's Note: Grab a pen and starting making a list of all of those things in your like causing you to feel chaotic, anxious, and maybe even a bit fearful. Once your list is finished read each one aloud to yourself with the line, "This is fun!" after each one. Then watch your energy shift.


Writing & Poetry Therapy

by Ted Kooser

Here’s another lovely poem to honor the caregivers among us. Amy Fleury lives and teaches in Louisiana.


Because one must be naked to get clean,
my dad shrugs out of his pajama shirt,
steps from his boxers and into the tub
as I brace him, whose long illness
has made him shed modesty too...


Editor's Note from Susan de Wardt: Caregiving for aging parents is an especially difficult time for many adults.  We must witness the frailty of our parents and assist them with daily activities such as bathing and dressing.  Finding the courage to accomplish this task with dignity may be challenging. If you are a caregiver, this poem, 'Ablution",by Amy Fleury may give you comfort.


Writing & Poetry Therapy


by Ted Kooser

One of Grant Wood’s earliest paintings is of a pair of old shoes, and it hangs in the art museum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where Wood grew up. Here’s a different kind of still life, in words, from Jim Daniels, who lives in Pittsburgh. The shoes we put on our feet gradually become like the person wearing them...


Editor's Note from Susan de Wardt: Sometimes in life we face unique challenges, not the least of which are medical procedures.  In this poem MRI poet Jackie Fox describes just such an experience. Writing about medical exams in a funny way can help diminish anxiety while at the same time validating our experience.


Writing & Poetry Therapy

by Jon York

So many words looking for a home
or just a page to rest upon
or a rhyme to complete or a poem
that they can call home
as they look forward to the beauty
of the next moment or the next hour
and as they sink roots
into the present
their strength grows
as they think about

Editor's Note from Susan de Wardt: These poems on writing express how poetry helps Jon York deal with the experience of PTSD.


Writing & Poetry Therapy

by Juhani Ihanus, PhD

Already in the symposia of the Greek Antiquity, as described by Plato, poetry was central in reaching toward the Socratic aim: “know thyself!” Although this task is imbued with a paradox (actually, you will never totally know yourself), the quest for truthful, non-deceitful, and non-exploitative words and identities is connected with poiesis, “making” the self and the world...


Editor's Note from Tomasz Czepaitis: Very good article of a prominent Finnish Bibliotherapist, emphasizing a special role of metaphor in biblio/poetry therapy: "Metaphor is not only a mode of language and cognition, not only a figure of speech, like in the Aristotelian tradition, but, (...) can be described as the 'currency of the (emotional) mind,' open-ended, and with enormous potential of (self-)transformation, evoking creative fantasies."


Writing & Poetry Therapy


Editor's Note from Sue Meyn: Judy Reeves is a lovely person, very down to earth, and in this interview she talks about her latest book. You'll learn about the value of writing regularly and starting with a prompt.


Writing & Poetry Therapy

by Dr. Perie Longo

 Poetry therapy is gaining ground as a way to treat a range of mental illness, from schizophrenia to depression to substance abuse. In therapy, reading poems by other authors provides a structure for patients to evoke associations, connect with their emotions and realize they are not alone in experiencing such feelings. In their own poetry, patients find an outlet for subconscious thoughts or images and express what is difficult to articulate...



Writing & Poetry Therapy

by Ruth Folit
“Bath time!”  my mother would announce in the early evening when I was in elementary school, and I’d resist.

“Not now!”  I’d reply. I didn’t want to take my clothes off and be cold for the minute before getting into the warm water...


Editor's Note: Ruth is a very special person---who knows so much about both how we can resist what's good for us, and how we can find ways to get through those barriers to a better place.

Writing & Poetry Therapy

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The Summer Day

by Mary Oliver

This poem by Mary Oliver asks you to look more closely at the world around you. After reading this poem, notice how you pay attention to life. Do you know how to be idle?  What are the questions that tumble into your mind as you relax on a perfect summer day? Let Mary Oliver help you discover the answer...


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