Thursday, May 24, 2012

Poetry psychotherapy in SF bay area

"In a therapeutic environment, the trained facilitator addresses the healing elements of poetry: form and shape, metaphor, metamessage, the words chosen, and the sounds of the words together (alliteration and assonance). These elements, in association with each other, carry the weight of many feelings and messages at once, creating a link from the secret internal world to external reality, from the unconscious to the conscious.
Because a poem has a border, a frame, or structure, as opposed to prose, the form itself is a safety net. Strong emotions will not run off the page. A poetry therapist might ask his/her clients to draw a box in the center of the paper and write the words inside. Metamessage implies the ability to carry several messages in one line that “strike at deeper levels of awareness than overt messages” (Murphy, 69). Through the capacity to convey multi-messages, clients are able to experience merging as well as individuation/separation."

"Gregory Orr talks about “The Two Survivals”-survival of the poet, in that the poet struggles to engage with the disorder to write a poem, and in the act of writing, “bring order to disorder.” The other survival is that of the reader, who connects with poems that “enter deeply into” him or her, leading to “sympathetic identification of reader with writer.” (Orr, 83-84)

" In poetry therapy with groups or individuals, poems are never edited. Editing belongs in a poetry-for-craft setting."