Websites & Organizations of Interest
The National Association for Poetry Therapy, as a membership organization, provides the following list as a resource for those interested in organizations and projects related to the field of poetry/bibliotherapy and therapeutic expressive writing. This list is for informational purposes only and does not constitute any specific endorsement from NAPT.
Foundation for Art and Healing – The mission of the Foundation for Art and Healing (FAH) is to explore the relationship between health and creative expression through scientific research; empower individuals through innovative programs and tools; and engage the community through shared stories of “art and healing.” FAH has launched The UnLoneliness Project, its signature initiative designed to address the loneliness epidemic.
The Creative Righting Center – The Creative Righting Center, founded by Sherry Reiter, offers a comprehensive training program in poetry therapy; consulting, lectures and workshops for agencies and staff training; Poetry-Behind-Bars—a unique long-distance training program for maximum security prisoners; and a blog featuring nuggets of poetic wisdom, as well as additional resources.
Center for Journal Therapy – Founded by Kay Adams, the Center for Journal Therapy’s mission is to make the healing art and science of journal writing accessible to all who desire self-directed change. The site offers publications, training, conferences, workshops, journal writing tips and a poem of the month. Additionally, users have access to The Journalverse, an online learning community for journal writers and facilitators worldwide. The Therapeutic Writing Institute (TWI) was founded in 2008 and is the fully on-line professional credentials training division of the Center for Journal Therapy.
Healing Story Alliance – The Healing Story Alliance (HSA) explores and promotes the use of storytelling in healing. As a special interest group of the National Storytelling network (NSN), HSA provides resources for the use of story in the healing arts and professions. Additionally, HSA reaches beyond the storytelling community to engage individuals in other service professions interested in applying the power of story as a vehicle for healing. The website offers resources, guidance and practical applications for storytelling.
The Center for Story and Symbol – The Center for Story and Symbol offers continuing education seminars and workshops on the many uses of stories and writing in psychotherapy, including mythic stories, creativity, the psychology of fairy tales, and movies as mythic imagination. CE credit-hours are available for various helping professions.
The International Storytelling Center – The International Storytelling Center is devoted to inspiring and empowering people everywhere to capture and tell their stories, to listen to the stories of others, and to use storytelling to produce positive change. The website features storytelling live videos and contains information on the International Storytelling Center in Jonesboro, North Carolina, including updates on local storytelling festivals, as well as story-slams.
The Transformative Language Arts Network – The Transformative Language Arts (TLA) Network is designed to bring together—and lift up—individuals and organizations that promote forms of the spoken, written, and sung word as a tool for personal and communal transformation. The TLA Network organizes an annual conference while the TLA web site offers online classes and certification in TLA foundations, as well as a journal and a blog.
Transform Your Health: Write to Heal – Transform Your Health: Write to Heal is a transformative workshop designed to help participants access his/her own inner healing voice. Offered through the Duke Integrative Medicine Program, this six-week long online workshop employs different modes of writing to foster healing, including expressive writing, transactional writing, affirmative writing, legacy writing and poetic writing—which uses narrative structure and metaphor to tell one’s personal story.
Arts Medicine for Health & Healing – Founded and directed by Dr. Kaufman, Arts Medicine for Health & Healing aims to inspire and empower adults and children to recover from trauma through the power of their own creativity. The website features scientific news and a poetry baby blog, as well as information on conferences, trainings and workshops.
The Poetry of Medicine – The Poetry of Medicine project is associated with The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) at the University of Oxford, which describes itself as the world’s largest forum for Medical Humanities and a resource for public and professional engagement. Founded in 2012 by Sophie Ratcliffe and Andrew Schuman, The Poetry of Medicine project investigates the benefits of literary workshop discussion as a way of examining the difficulties of medicine, as well engaging with its pleasures.
The Documentary Group – The Documentary Group presents Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, a PBS documentary film in which veterans capture their war experiences through poetry, fiction, memoir, letters, journals, and essays. The stories recounted are sad, funny, violent, and uplifting; yet each one displays an honesty and intensity that is rarely seen in explorations of war.
Biblio . . . Books for Life – Based in London, Biblio . . . Books for Life is a website that recommends literature to users according to individual preferences by anonymously connecting them with “Curators,” a select group of people with a broad range of life experiences. From book selling to life coaching, all of the site’s “Curators” believe in the healing power of literature. After users provide basic information about themselves, the site assigns a personal “Curator” to offer recommendations, which the user is free to accept or reject. Users are invited to share with their “Curator” any insights they glean while reading if they wish to do so.
Emergency Poet – Founded by Deborah Alma and based in Mid Wales, the Emergency Poet travels in her 1970’s ambulance to literary and music festivals, libraries, schools, pubs, weddings, conferences and anywhere else poetic healing might be needed. Dressed in a white coat with a stethoscope, the Emergency Poet meets with participants inside the ambulance, offering individual private consultations before then prescribing appropriate “curative” poems, verses, or lyrics. Outside the ambulance, under an attached awning, rests a poetry pharmacy–run by Nurse Verse or a Poemedic–that features bottles of poetic extracts for various ailments.
Lit Therapy – Lit Therapy is a website and blog dedicated to promoting the power of good literature. Members of the Lit Therapy team regularly post their best bibliotherapy recommendations for all sorts of problems, feelings and situations, including anxiety, low mood, or even searching for a bit of meaning in life.
Pongo Teen Writing – The Pongo Teen Writing project was founded by Richard Gold as a resource for teens who are in jail, on the streets, or in other ways leading difficult lives. The project helps these young people express themselves through poetry and other forms of writing and publish annual anthologies of their work. The website provides teaching resources for counselors and teachers, such as writing activities, Pongo’s methods and teen poems, and information on Pongo training opportunities.
ReLit – ReLit is the Bibliotherapy Foundation, a charity organization based in London that aims to promote well-being through mindful reading of great literature.
Writing Ourselves Whole – The mission of Writing Ourselves Whole is to provide safe, confidential writing groups—that allow for transformation, risk, laughter, and artistic manifestation—to a broad cross-section of the community. Using the Amherst Writers and Artists workshop method, the site offers transformative writing workshops in the service of transforming trauma and/or struggles around sexuality into art, and creating spaces in which individuals may come to recognize the artist/writer within.
Institute of the Arts in Healing – The Institute of the Arts in Healing hosts an annual Expressive Therapies Summit in New York City every November. Emphasizing collaborative workshops by two or more specialists, the summit’s programs includes the use of art, music, drama, dance, and poetry therapies, as well as psychodrama, sandplay, journaling, expressive writing, and digital media.
PoetryReach – PoetryReach, founded by Niall Hickey, is an organization serving the Irish world of poetry therapy. PoetryReach provides training in Ireland for those who wish to acquire a qualification in the use of poetry therapeutically through the International Academy for Poetry Therapy (iaPoetry). More information on iaPoetry can be found here: http://www.technutworks.net/iapt/
Lapidus – Located in the U.K., Lapidus promotes the practice of writing for well-being and the benefits it brings. The organization supports its members—many of whom are writing for well-being practitioners working and volunteering in both private and public sectors in fields related to education, health, and community wellness—by sharing information, holding events and creating networks through its country and regional groups.
The Institute for Poetic Medicine – Founded and directed by John Fox, the Institute for Poetic Medicine is devoted to promoting the healing power of poetry by funding poetry partner programs, providing a resource center, and offering a training program. Additionally, the institute develops in-services for those in helping professions and facilitates an ever-growing interactive community by providing multiples ways for people to participate on-line.
Senior Theatre Resource Center – Featuring the largest collection of theater materials for older performers—including plays and books—the Senior Theatre Resource Center supports the growing movement of Senior Theater. The site provides information and news on the latest trends in Senior Theater, including keynote speakers and workshop instructors.
Gift From Within – Gift From Within is an international charity for survivors of trauma. Its online gallery features the original poetry, photography and artwork of trauma survivors.
The Bright Side – The Bright Side provides resources and information related to coping with depression, grief, suicide, and other mental and emotional difficulties. The website features educational materials, articles by top experts, and personal stories.
Write as Rain – Based in London, the Write as Rain website is built upon an evidence-based approach to writing as a therapeutic tool by a group of therapists that specialize in the use of expressive writing. The site provides professional development for counselors and other helping professionals as well as services to individuals using writing for their own personal development and well-being.
Literature for All of Us – Literature for All of Us, founded and directed by Karen Thompson, brings the rewards of reading and writing through book group discussions to teen mothers and other participants in under-served neighborhoods. This organization builds communities of readers, poets, and critical thinkers, and develops family literacy by providing children’s literature and child development resources to teen parents.
Changing Lives Through Literature – Based on the power of literature to transform lives through reading and group discussion, Changing Lives Through Literature is a bibliotherapy program that offers alternative probation sentences to offenders. The program was created in 1991 by Robert Waxler, an English professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and Superior Court Judge Robert Kane.
Literature for Life – Born of Founder and Executive Director Jo Altilia’s commitment to social justice for at-risk pregnant and parenting moms, Literature for Life has been helping marginalized young moms develop a practice of reading since 2000. Literature for Life’s flagship Women with Words Reading Circles is the only direct service program of its kind in Canada.
WordWell – Based in the U.K., WordWell was begun in 2008 by Christine Hollywood who was inspired by evidence linking writing to health and well-being benefits. WordWell creates spaces and opportunities for people to write together and share stories, through workshops and group projects for health, education and community organizations and groups.
The WordTherapy Centre – Co-founded in 2015 by Christine Hollywood and Diane Medhurst and inspired by a love of writing, reading and words, The WordTherapy Centre facilitates writing, poetry and bibliotherapy workshops for personal development, health and well-being in Sussex and the South East, U.K.
National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations
Founded in 1979, the National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations, Inc. is an alliance of membership associations dedicated to the advancement of the creative arts therapies professions.
American Music Therapy Association
AMTA is committed to the advancement of education, training, professional standards, credentials, and research in support of the music therapy profession.
American Art Therapy Association, Inc.
The American Art Therapy Association, Inc. serves its members and the general public by providing standards of professional competence, and developing and promoting knowledge in, and of, the field of art therapy.
American Dance Therapy Association
The American Dance Therapy Association was founded in 1966 as an organization to support the emerging profession of dance/movement therapy and is the only U.S. organization dedicated to the profession of dance/movement therapy.
North American Drama Therapy Association
Incorporated in 1979, the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA) upholds rigorous standards of professional competence for drama therapists. Promoting drama therapy through information and advocacy, the NADTA organization maintains requirements that must be met to qualify as a registered drama therapist (RDT).