Poetry and therapy - with Graham Mummery
“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
Graham Mummery is a psychotherapist who is also a published poet and translator. He is interested in how poetry can reveal and express some of the deepest concerns of the human psyche and transform it.
In this Coffelogue, Graham will explore ways that poems and poetic processes might be used as part of a therapeutic process, drawing on published poems by other authors and ones he has written himself.
Participants will be given the opportunity to write something for themselves and share it in the friendly atmosphere of the group. It is recommended that people bring notebooks and pens for this purpose.
This workshop may lead to the creation of a poetry group in which participants can bring their own work for constructive feedback – be it for publication or therapeutic reasons.
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 may 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.
Graham Mummery trained as at CCPE in integrative and transpersonal psychotherapy. He also holds a practitioner certificate in the creative imagination technique Imagework.
His poems have appeared in various UK magazines and anthologies. Some of them have been translated into Romanian and German. He read and facilitated students at the W-orte Festival at Ludwig-Maximillian University, Munich in 2010. In 2017 he was part of a delegation of British poets reading and teaching students at Bucharest University. He has also facilitated poetry and creative writing workshops for MIND.
Graham has also translated poems from French and German and collaborated in translating from Romanian Deepening the Mystery (EdituraSemene) by Christiana Maria Purdescu. His first full collection Meeting My Inners (Pindrop Press) appeared in 2015. Most recently he has appeared in the anthology Call of the Clerihew (2019 Smokestack Books), a collection of very short lighter poems.
About the Coffeelogue
For those new to this event, the Coffeelogue is a space where we get together to learn and socialise, meet some new colleagues and find out what others are up to, as well as digest new ideas over coffee and croissant.
The term ‘Coffeelogue’ was coined by Doron and Darren, to depict both causal and deep space that can occur in short and informal settings.
We hope to learn together and from each other in the form of a casual learning community in a friendly atmosphere with the added fun of late morning coffee/tea and pastry. And of course for all you health freaks like us there will be alternatives surprises...
The added bonus is that we structure it as a CPD event so you’ll be able to count it as CPD hours (a CPD certificate will be provided as well).
- 10am–10.30am: Coffee/croissant/meet etc
- 10.30am–11.15am: Presentation
- 11.15am–12.30pm: Writing, sharing and discussion.
Places are free for Relational Spaces members; £15 for non-members.
Non-members - places cost £15 - to confirm your booking please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reply with details of how to pay.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Darren, Dianne, Doron and Cressy
07848 013 328
About Darren Cheek
This event is hosted by Relational Spaces with Graham Mummery. Relational Spaces is a supportive and vibrant therapeutic community, working across our 12 beautiful Central London rooms: https://rooms.relationalspaces.co.uk / https://www.gjmpsychotherapy.com
tel 07848 013328