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Poetry as a Tool For Wellness – Facilitator Training
Poetry as a Tool for Wellness (PATFW) is a culmination of nearly 20 years of ground-breaking practice utilizing poetry as a catalyst to enhance skills, affirm strengths, and nurture creativity in order to promote overall wellbeing. Piloted in settings focused on mental health, it has been found equally transformative and roundly received in a much broader context.
PATFW is an ideal program for counselors, peer specialists, teachers, chaplains, healthcare/wellness coaches, community activists, support group facilitators, and anyone else interested in fostering a creative and therapeutic approach to wellness for integrating Poetic Medicine into mental health and wellness programs
The program is structured as eight themed, skills-based sessions outlined in a comprehensive manual. Emphasis is placed throughout on the interactive nature of each session that includes quotes, poems, discussion questions, writing activities/guided sharing and an Appendix of Facilitator Tools.
It is strongly recommended that those interested in the facilitator training also purchase the manual as it serves as a vital adjunct to the training series. Additional sessions are regularly being developed (and are available as insertable pages to those who have purchased the manual prior to their completion). The volume naturally fosters individual voice and empowerment, shared leadership, as well as a sense of community/belonging.
The Poetry as a Tool for Wellness: A Peer Facilitator's Manual includes:
Seven Gifts: Poetry as a Pathway to Renewal
John will lead us on a journey that names “seven gifts” of renewal given to us by poetry and poem-making. The intention is to serve as encouragement and catalyst for your vocation and personal journey.
These gifts and this renewal are accessible in the midst of living this life—with its sorrow and joy, travail and adventure, the daily experience of being human and a deeper spiritual current that speaks to a greater mystery—poetry provides a perspective and felt-experience that can be recognized and received as gift.
The retreat will include gentle, evocative and poignant writing prompts that will reveal to us these gifts. No prior experience with poem-making is necessary—and “beginner’s mind” is welcomed among all participants.
Poems of Witness: Climate Action
In these times, we are called to speak up and speak out, and by doing this, strengthen a community of conscience and caring.
Yet, within our country and living on this fragile planet, it is a challenge in the midst of heartbreaking social and political realities to express and give shape to YOUR unique voice; your poetic voice that is:
The purpose of these workshops is to encourage poem-making that speaks truth, treasures beauty and empowers us to recognize common ground in our concern for the natural world. The goal is to inspire our commitment of action.
Beginning and experienced poets/writers are welcome. It will be valuable and safe for anyone with a desire to express their truth and creativity.
Poetic Medicine and Social Justice
In these complicated times, when the news is always blasting us with some new horror and our socials are an echo chamber of like-minded outrage, the practice of reading and writing poetry can open a quiet space within for reflection. Poetic Medicine offers a unique and sensitive approach to writing and responding to poetry, allowing us to hear directly from the heart.
Participants will come away with more compassion and deeper understanding of themselves, as well as the varied experiences of others, offered in a safe space for exploring difficult subjects. This program will introduce participants to the practice of writing poetry as a method of self-care, investigation, and personal expression, which they can carry with them into their lives beyond the classroom.
Six weekly topics examined: America, Religious Tolerance, Racial Injustice, LBGTQ awareness, Immigration, Women’s issues
This program is for anyone wanting to explore, through poetry, the many different issues at the forefront of our society. No prior experience with poetry or social justice is required.
Opening the Mystic Heart Through Poetry
In this series, we will engage poetic medicine as a means of inviting our mystic heart to open more fully in our daily lives. In approaching our mystic heart through poetry, we engage the language of the heart through image, metaphor, spaciousness, and mystery. Poetry moves us below the discursive mind and invites our innate ways of knowing to reveal themselves through our imagination, intuition, and an embodied mode of participation.
Each of us is invited to open our mystic heart in our own way. In this poetic circle, we will explore how our mystic heart engages and responds to poetry written by mystics and non-mystics alike. We will also engage poetry that invites us to consider our mystic heart in relationship to the human and the more than human world, our dreams, and our creative energies.
When we cultivate our mystic heart, we enter a mystery that can enrichen our lived experience. As our hearts open, our capacity to experience compassion, gratitude and trust in community grows. Our ability to walk with what life offers us increases as we learn to honor the mystery of the seasons of our life. Throughout the ages, many who have cultivated their mystic hearts have grown in depth and wisdom, which is a gift to their communities and the world at large.
In this safe and compassionate poetic medicine circle, we will kindle the fires of our poetic voice, and deepen our practices of presence, deep listening and response, compassionate witness, self-reflection, and expression.
The sessions will include an introduction of a weekly theme and offer several poems that support the theme. Short video or images will be offered occasionally. Each week participants will be invited to engage poetry through reading, listening, mirroring, reflection, and poetry prompts. Sharing is optional. The poetic prompts are designed to invite greater awareness of our mystic heart through poetry, and the collective mystic heart within our poetry circle. There may be one or two guest speakers in the latter weeks.
Please join us for a poetically heart opening experience. All are welcome, no experience necessary.
Experience the impact of the poem-making process in the journey toward wholeness.
The sessions chosen demonstrate innovative approaches used to invite others into poem-making and are ideal for those who learn best through experience. These skills-based sessions offer participants a safe and creative circle in which to explore themes vital to wellbeing.
2 Core Webinars, plus a bonus webinar, appendix, and additional resources.