I will review a few of the more traditional approaches to this subject, as well as explore ways to access the areas of your mind and heart in a more personal way beyond more structured and traditional techniques. Let’s have some fun in this exploration into the deepest part of ourselves, and see what we discover.
Traditional Poetry Therapy and Healing
As a form of expressive arts therapy, poetry therapy promotes healing through spoken and written media that includes both narratives and poems. This therapeutic use of poetry uses existing writings for treatment purposes, as well as encouraging clients to write their own pieces of art with the intention of releasing deep emotional pain and trauma.
Although used by many mental health professionals, there is a credential program for certifying poetry therapists. The International Federation of Biblio/Poetry Therapy has such a credentials program for those interested in accreditation as a poetry therapist or poetry facilitator.
The history of this type of healing can be traced back to the Egyptians around 4000 BC. Expressive forms of therapy through writing and reading have been more prevalent in recent times to address emotional and mental health challenges. From the mid-1700s to today poetry has been used in therapeutic settings to enhance the treatment procedures. All this led to the forming of the Association of Poetry Therapy (APT) in 1969, and in 1980 became the National Association of Poetry Therapy (NAPT).
Today you have counselors, librarians, social workers, educators, psychologists, and psychiatrists including poetry therapy as part of their interventions. It is used with people of all ages in a variety of settings including hospitals, private practice, correctional institutions, libraries, schools, and rehab centers.
Basically, it is used to bring up and expose feelings and pain buried in the subconscious from past hurts and trauma. Most therapists follow general guidelines as to the type of poems used, and they have a list from which they choose.
There are a few different models of treatment ranging from symbolic and expressive to reception and prescribing. The details here are rather dry, and you can find plenty of information on this online if you desire to explore this further, as well as the above links I provided to the associations.
A More Intuitive Approach to Poetic Healing
While the more traditional and certified ways of poetry therapy do provide assistance to those in need, over the years in my work in mental health rehabilitation I found that an eclectic approach works best. No two (2) people have the same challenges and personalities, so getting to know the person first helps in designing the most effective therapeutic approach.
It helps to have more than one therapeutic approach in your healing toolkit. Many people go to therapy for years without resolving the underlying challenge or problem. The main cause or issue does not get addressed, and it turns out to be a nice dance around with symptoms and effects.
Approaching poetic healing from an intuitive direction zones in on the underlying cause by drawing out the underlying issues from the client’s essential self. Poetry has a way of getting around the self-imposed protective barriers that state very clearly, “don’t go here, this territory is off-limits”.
Now, this is a very interactive approach in which the facilitator draws out information from the client in the constructing of a succinct, clear, and to the point question that contains the issue to be resolved. Then the facilitator takes that question and allows his or her intuitive self to create a poem addressing that issue. The client is welcome to write a poem as well, or just review the poem written by the facilitator.
Now the issue can be resolved immediately, or it may take some time in interpreting the poem. This is done with the client by allowing the repressed feelings and thoughts to emerge. Each situation is unique and will take on a different tone.
In a business setting, the question is posed and the poetry will reveal the best way to address the business challenge whatever it is.
As an intuitive facilitator, I work with people both on personal and business issues and incorporate poetry as needed. The results over time are quite amazing, and important data will continue to surface days, weeks, and months later.
Speaking from Our Heart
This is all about speaking from the heart and addressing real issues even when the pain is buried deep, and protective measures put in place are resistant to change. Poetry does an end-around so to speak on these types of challenges.
When the truth is allowed to surface there is no question as to the validity of the result. There is a catharsis with a release of long-held pain and emotion that was hidden out of sight but continued to have its detrimental effects.
Even in business settings, there is much self-sabotage going on that makes success a struggle. Also, once a level of accomplishment is attained, there can be a reversal effect as we self-destruct by making poor decisions so that we return to our former level of production.
Being authentic is critical, and poetry is one way to bring these hidden or not so hidden limitations to the surface. We cannot continue to lie to ourselves when our hearts are exposed to the truth.
“Allowing” the Healing to Flow
At some point, we have had enough and we allow the healing to flow. Poetry designed in an intuitive way addresses this and brings the core issues to the surface so that they can be dissipated and released. We can then replace our uncomfortable thoughts and feelings with more life-enhancing messages and beliefs that actually take us in the direction we desire to go by Being the Person we are Intended to Be.
This eliminates the struggle with making progress in different areas of our lives. We are able to get into a nice natural flow. We make ‘inspired decisions’ that benefit ourselves and others, and the distractions and noise in our heads are greatly reduced if not totally eliminated.
This cannot be forced. It is an experiential process that depends on our “willingness” to face up to our fears and old conditioning and then let all that go. It cannot be faked. When we have done this we will know as it will be plainly evident.
When used as an intuitive tool to facilitate healing or the sourcing of information within ourselves, poetry takes on a much different function than a bunch of rhymes or something that sounds good. In this way, it is used to enhance our lives by contributing to the process of self-discovery.
The more we know ourselves, the more we are able to engage with others in authentic ways. Our contacts and communication with others take on a whole new meaning, and we only are interested in what is mutually beneficial in all of our relationships.
Poetry in motion contributes to a greater understanding of ourselves and others so that we are clear on our overall purpose and why we are doing what we are doing. As a result, our personal and business lives are enhanced, and the present moment becomes our friend and trusted companion.
May you enjoy Peace and Harmony right this very moment,
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