Board and committees.

2024-2026 NAPT Board Member Roles 

President: Laura Santer
Vice President: Cynthia Holloway Kelvin                                                                                                            Treasurer & Finance Committee Chair: Eric Kreuter
Secretary: Jazmin Hamilton
Conference Chair: Catherine Tanguis
Inclusion, Equity and Social Justice Committee ChairJenna Robinson 
Public Relations and Social Media Chair: Tim Kelly

Membership Chair: Beth Couture

Education Chair: Sherry Reiter

Board Member(s) at Large: Akeera Peterkin

Publications Chair: Karen vanMeenen
Journal of Poetry Therapy Editor: Nicholas Mazza

NAPT Liaison to IFBPT: Laura Santer and Beth Couture

Awards Committee (Standing Chair):  Karen vanMeenen 
IFBPT Liaison to NAPT: Nancy Scherlong

NOTES: The Publications Committee Chair and the Journal of Poetry Therapy are “permanent positions” held by the editor of the Museletter and the editor of the Journal of Poetry Therapy.

Committee members can be drawn from membership and do not need to be Board Members. We encourage your participation!



Laura Santner, LCSW, PTR-CM, CCATP is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional, a Certified Poetry Therapist, a Registered Poetry Therapist, and a Certified Mentor in Poetry Therapy. Laura Santner has been a clinical therapist and supervisor for New York State since 2006 and opened up a private practice in 2019. She has presented on poetry therapy at her work place to staff, psychology externs, social work interns, and undergraduate volunteers in addition to Poetry Therapy conferences, retreats, and local colleges. Ms. Santner has been involved with NAPT on various committees and board roles since 2006. Ms. Santner has a published chapbook of poetry, The Earth and I, Nature Healing Poetry, and is co-author to a chapter on Group Poetry and Writing Therapy with Adolescents in Creative Arts-Based Group Therapy with Adolescents Theory and Practice 1st edition. Ms. Santner is also co-author to a research study “Linguistic Dimensions of Psychopathology: A Quantitative Analysis” in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. She is a New York Regional Representative, and works closely with the National Coalition of Creative Art Therapies Associations Inc.


Cynthia Holloway Kelvin, Psy.D.RDT/BCT, CPT, is a clinical psychologist, registered drama therapist, certified poetry therapist, and creative workshop facilitator in private practice in California. Cynthia's dedication to the realm of creative therapy led her to serve on the board of the National Association of Poetry Therapy, a leading organization that promotes the use of poetry, symbol, and story for healing and self-discovery. As a board member, she hopes to contribute to developing best practices and awareness campaigns to support the ongoing advancement of the field of poetry therapy. You can read more about Cynthia here:


Eric Kreuter serves as Treasurer on the Board of the National Association for Poetry Therapy. He has contributed articles to the Journal of Poetry Therapy and has presented at NAPT’s Annual Conferences. Dr. Kreuter is a partner with the accounting and advisory firm of Marks Paneth LLP, providing forensic and litigation support services to a broad range of clientele. He has a doctorate in clinical psychology and has published books and articles on a variety of topics.


Jazmin Hamilton, MA, MFT, currently serves as Secretary on the NAPT Board. She is a Marriage & Family Therapy Registered Intern in the state of Oregon. She is the recipient of the Al Stiefel award from George Fox University. Jazmin is a member of the AAMFT and NAPT and is the NAPT regional representative for Oregon. She focuses on working with couples, families, and adult individuals using Emotionally Focused Therapy integrated with aspects of Internal Family Systems Theory. Interpersonal Neurobiology research and Attachment Theory serve as the foundation of her work with clients. Jazmin has her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and infuses poetry into her work with clients wherever possible.

Conference Committee Chair

Catherine Tanguis, MA, NBCT, CAPF, worked for over 30 years in the Greater New Orleans area, as both a high school English teacher and community college adjunct instructor. She graduated with a master’s degree in English from the University of New Orleans, with concentrations in Rhetoric and Composition and American Literature and has been a National Board-Certified Teacher since 2005. Along the way, her passion for encouraging creative writing with both adults and young people, led to her to serve as Co-Director of the Greater New Orleans Writing Project, founding and serving as Co-Director of the Southeast Regional Affiliate of the Scholastic Writing & Arts Awards, as well as working in various capacities for the National Council of Teachers of English Writing Recognition Programs. She also is a Fulbright Program Alumni. Her love for encouraging creative writing with young people led her to found and sponsor the award winning student art & literary magazine Prism for a decade. Since completing her CAPF, Catherine has facilitated poetry therapy groups in the Greater New Orleans area. She has served as NAPT conference chair in 2021 and 2023 as well as currently and is a reviewer for the Journal of Poetry Therapy.

Inclusion, Equity, and Social Justice Committee Chair

 Jenna Robinson, MA, LMFT is the NAPT Regional Representative for San Francisco/ Northern California. She is currently in her RPT training under the supervision/mentorship of Dr. Sherry Reiter.

Jenna is a spoken word poet, professor, and expressive arts therapist in clinical practice, specializing in serving people who have experienced trauma and abuse. She conducts groups as an expressive arts therapist for at-risk populations of all ages and genders across the Bay Area.  She is core faculty in CIIS’s Expressive Arts Therapy program and the Wright Institute’s Counseling Psychology program. Jenna currently serves as Inclusion, Equity, and Social Justice Chair and hosts our virtual Open Mics.

Education Chair

Sherry Reiter, PhD, LCSW is a Registered Poetry and Drama Therapist and Founder of The Creative “Righting” Center, a distance poetry therapy training program leading to certification. She is also the creator of Poets-Behind Bars. Her book Writing away the Demons: Stories of Creative Coping through Transformative Writing is co-authored by clients and colleagues. Sherry is past President of The National Association for Poetry Therapy and The International Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy. She currently serves as Education Chair.

Public Relations and Social Media Committee Chair

Tim Kelly, LCSW, BC-TMH is a clinical social worker currently under supervision for his PTR. He graduated Rutgers University in 2018 with his MSW and has been working in Private Practice, IOP, and Hospital based clinical work. Tim works to merge poetry and journaling with Internal Family Systems Theory, DBT Skills, and nature based work for creative and wholesome healing.

Publications Committee Chair

Karen (Ren) vanMeenen, MA, MA, CAPF is NAPT Publications Chair, Museletter Editor, and Book Review Editor for the Journal of Poetry Therapy. She is a Senior Lecturer at Rochester Institute of Technology, where she teaches classes in Writing, Creative Writing, Literature, and Contemporary Art. She is the longtime Editor of the media arts journal Afterimage as well as the Director of Special Projects at the literary center Writers & Books, where she organizes large community reading programs such as Rochester Reads.

Membership Chair

Beth Couture (she/they), PhD, LSW was the Director of the Counseling Center at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, until the University's closure in June 2024. Her clinical interests include grief and loss, LGBTQIA+ concerns, neurodivergence, existential issues, transitions, and creative concerns. Before working at UArts, she worked in community mental health and with adults with autism. Beth is also a fiction writer. Her novella Women Born with Fur was published by Jaded Ibis Press in 2014, and she has stories in Gargoyle, Drunken Boat, The Yalobusha Review, and other print and online journals. She is currently in training for her PTR under the supervision/mentorship of Nancy Scherlong.

Board Members-at-Large

Akeera Peterkin (she/they), LCSW,CASAC,CPT specializes in trauma, identity, and intersectionality. The communities she supports include but are not limited to: BIPOC (Black, indigenous, and people of color), LGBTQAI+, TGNC, creative spirits, introverts, highly sensitive people, empaths, students, and trauma survivors. She has several years of experience in mental health and substance use disorders.

As an inclusive and affirming clinician, Akeera is committed to helping clients cope with the challenges that often come with humanity, identity, and emotional/mental health. She employs eclectic evidence-based practices and a culturally sensitive approach and tailors interventions to meet clients’ individual needs and goals. Akeera previously served on the NAPT Inclusion, Equity and Social Justice (formerly Diversity) Committee.

Journal of Poetry Therapy Editor

Nicholas Mazza, PhD, PTR is Professor and Dean Emeritus at the Florida State University, College of Social Work. Dr. Mazza holds Florida licenses in psychology, clinical social work, and marriage and family therapy. He is the founding (1987) and current editor of the Journal of Poetry Therapy and author of Poetry Therapy: Theory and Practice, 3rd Edition (2022). He has served continuously on the NAPT Board since 1985. In 2017, he received the “Lifetime Achievement” award from NAPT.

Standing committees.

Education Committee makes recommendations to the Board about the development and implementation of the educational outreach of the Association and its membership. 

Conference Committee plans and implements the annual NAPT conference, and engages in long-range conference planning.

Inclusion, Equity and Social Justice Committee expands both the diversity of membership, as well as that of conference attendees. This committee is dedicated to promoting the involvement, within the Association membership, of practitioners and/or professionals of diverse ethnic, gender identity, sexual orientation, linguistic, socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds.

Finance Committee oversees and reviews the funds of the Association and presents a proposed budget for approval at the annual meeting of the Board.

Membership Committee makes recommendations regarding membership procedures and focuses on recruitment, retention, marketing, and member services — in support of NAPT’s vision of cultivating poetry therapy throughout the world.

Public Relations Committee develops communications as deemed desirable for the general public, which explain the role, purpose, and objectives of the  Association.  The Committee’s responsibility is to increase public awareness and acceptance of poetry therapy and related forms of expressive writing.

Regional Representative Chair helps to connect regional reps with each other and with their communities and encourages and assists in the implementation of local events in order to promote the healing effects of poetry therapy. 

Social Media Committee posts and monitors materials and responds to or fields inquires emerging from various social media sites and platforms relevant to poetry/bibliotherapy/expressive writing.

Publications Committee oversees the publication of the NAPT e-newsletter, The Museletter, and coordinates any other publications that the Board initiates.

Current Ad Hoc Committees include Nominating Committee, By-Laws Committee, Awards Committee and Website Revision Committee.

"NAPT" The National Association for Poetry Therapy

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