Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 2019


“The Personal is Poetic: A Case for Poetry Therapy” explores and deconstructs the history, models, and therapeutic qualities of poetry therapy through an autoethnographic lens of loss and growth. Inspired by the passing of my mother and my foray into poetry as a form of therapeutic expression, I dive into the existing literature on therapeutic usages of poetry and illustrate its connections to my writing and personal experiences. I include narrative accounts of my experiences of grief, growth, and coming of age, as well as samples of my poetry chosen to illustrate principles, model components, and poetic devices related to poetry therapy.

I conclude the thesis with a look toward the future of poetry therapy. I discuss the necessity of further professionalization within the discipline in order to gain popularity and reach more individuals in need. Furthermore, I discuss my vision of poetry as a self-guided therapeutic tool and provide samples of two potential self-help mediums: poetry therapy as a physical workbook and through a website.