Poetry Therapy

Poetry Therapy for Addiction RecoveryWith Jim Hornsby, LMFT

When asked about the power of the poetry with his clients he said the following:

“Poetry & writing is a transformational art. Watch as the writers, young or adult, acquire confidence, acquire voice, acquire vocabulary, acquire skill. Watch their personalities grow confident, grow strong, grow independent…the transformation is remarkable.

My job is to make it safe to write, to encourage and to remind students they are writing to increase self-esteem and self-awareness that will help them heal. Each human being, especially alcoholics and drug addicts, have a story to tell and a story to change.  Poetry helps them do this.

Poetry helps them discover strengths hidden by addiction.  Poetry brings these intuitive strengths to the surface and enhances intrinsic awareness in the first days of recovery with two main ingredients. 1) writing from the heart. 2) writing as a storyteller. We don’t worry about spelling or grammar, we simply focus on the individual’s story.

In the Preface of his book Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making (Penguin-Putnam, 1997), my mentor John Fox wrote,

Poetry is simply speaking truth. Each of us has a truth as unique as our own fingerprint. Without knowing that truth, without speaking it aloud, we cannot know who we are and that we are already whole…One of the best kept secrets in this technically oriented culture is that simply speaking truth heals.’

“I create a container of safety that allows human beings to touch their own humanity by writing and speaking their truth.”

Program: IOP-Morning, PHP