What is Poetry Therapy?

“The terms poetry therapy, applied poetry facilitation, journal therapy, bibliotherapy, biblio/poetry therapy, and poetry/journal therapy are all intended to reflect the interactive use of literature and/or writing to promote growth and healing. When the umbrella term “poetry therapy” is used herein, it is intended to encompass all of the modalities above. These terms are trademark protected and their legal use is restricted to those who have completed the required training and maintain their status in good standing as determined by the renewal policy in place.” (IFBPT)

What is a Poetry Therapist?

“A certified poetry therapist (CPT) and registered poetry therapist (PTR) are licensed professionals who have extensive mental health training and may work independently with emotionally troubled populations. CPTs and PTRs also work with individuals having adjustment problems brought about by developmental or life crises or disabilities. These designations are conferred only upon those who have completed graduate work in a mental health field or as an MD and have attained licensure. A credentials candidate who completes CPT or PTR requirements prior to licensure will be awarded the CAPF until s/he submits proof of licensure to the chair of the Credentials Committee.” (IFBPT)

“A certified applied poetry facilitator (CAPF) has a bachelor’s degree and brings to training a unique background, blending love and knowledge of literature and writing with an understanding of basic psychology and group dynamics. Although the CAPF’s training is geared to working with healthy populations, the CAPF must be able to recognize the difference between “normalcy” and pathology, and must be able to determine when a distressed individual needs to be referred to a mental health professional.” (IFBPT)

Are there any professional organizations?

National Association for Poetry Therapy

Who credentials poetry therapists?

International Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy

Are there any academic journals associated with this field?

Journal of Poetry Therapy

VA Creative Arts Festival


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