Coffelogue: poetry and therapy
“I am suggesting both a poetic basis of mind and a psychology that starts in neither the physiology of the brain, the structure of language, the organisation of society, nor the analysis of behaviour, but in the process of imagination” - James Hillman
Even before Graham became a psychotherapist, he was writing poetry. Eventually, some were published in magazines and then in a book. He has also facilitated poetry and creative writing workshops.
Graham sees the worlds of poetry and therapy being interconnected in important ways. He has used poems in his therapeutic practice as well as in his own personal process. The act of writing a poem engages with the creative imagination and can open the ways to a deeper healing.
Many therapists have shown an interest in poetry. Virginia Satir used poems in her therapeutic work, and even ones she wrote herself. RD Laing and Neville Symington have produced books of poems. Poems from the likes of Rumi, Mary Oliver and Robert Bly are used in self-development workshops. There is now something called poetry therapy which allows clients to write poems to work on in their own processes.
Drawing on poetic and therapeutic sources, including some poems of his own, this coffeelogue will explore themes including:
- What is a poem?
- What does a poem do?
- The power of words and images
- The creative imagination
- How poems may reveal various levels of consciousness
- Finding the right word
- Ways of reading and reciting poems
- How this might be done in a therapeutic context
- Poetry and process
- How a poem might be read.
Participants of this coffelogue will emerge with a better understanding of the creative writing process and its relationship with the imagination, and with strategies of how to engage with it for themselves and their clients. Some will also feel inspired to write for themselves. If there is sufficient demand, it will also lead to the creation of a writing group where people can share their work.
CPD is available for those who need this.
About Graham Mummery
Graham Mummery is an integrative and transpersonal psychotherapist. His poems have appeared in various UK magazines and anthologies. He has also facilitated poetry and creative writing workshops for MIND and at poetry festivals. His first full collection of poems "Meeting My Inners" (Pindrop Press) appeared in 2015.