Mark Twain said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is really a large matter – ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.
Decades of research on journal writing and creative writing has established these methods as best practice for those facing illness, grief, and end of life. Now, attention is being given by helping professionals to using existing poems (containing the “right word” as extolled by Twain for capturing elusive experiences) to build a bridge between facilitators and patients/clients. The National Association of Poetry Therapists has built a strong case for using poems with people facing the fears of a life-threatening illness, the anxiety of long-term caregiving, the grief of those who have been bereaved.
While you may not provide therapy, all helping professionals can learn how the right poem in the right conversation can provide language for understanding suffering in a way that few other modalities can.
Can be structured as one or two sessions.
- Discuss how, when, and why to use a poem with patients/clients in a way that is easy, natural, and serves to open up or enlarge the conversation of groups, families and individuals
- Experience a simple mindful reading method and receive sample poems that helping professionals are using in client/patient care that can be used immediately after the session