Sunday, April 11th   See Conference Schedule 

Post-Conference Workshops

9:30 -11:00 am  Post-Conference Session INavigating the Multi-Cultural Self

Through the use of narrative, metaphor, spoken word, and performance techniques, led by Zachary Katz, MSEd, MHC-LP, participants will examine aspects of their cultural identity in order to understand how culture, background, and lifestyle has shaped who they are today. This workshop will allow free expression of one’s multicultural self in order to embrace diversity, promote unity among all individuals and spark dialogue on how reflection of identity can bring individuals toward growth and empowerment.                         (80% Experiential/20% Didactic) Social Justice                

Zachary Katz , MSEd, MHC-LP, is a Mental Health Counselor, psychotherapist, performance poet, and educator from Staten Island, NY. He has taught English at inner-city schools in New York City. He is currently a mental health clinician working in both the non-profit sector and in private practice. His poetry has been published in anthologies from NYSAI Press and Eskimo Pie. Zachary holds a BA in English Adolescent Education and an M.S. Ed. in Mental Health Counseling, both from CUNY Hunter College.

11:15 am-12:45 pm  Post-Conference Session IIThe Story You Need to Tell – Writing and Resilience 

Our lives are filled with changes and challenges, but these can foster resilience and renewal. Join Sandra Marinella. MA, MEd, for a workshop that will tap into how poetry and expressive writing can help us explore our own power to overcome the inner critic and find and reframe the stories that will help us live with increased resilience and well-being.  We will review what neuroscience teaches us about how we struggle with, find, and need to embrace poems and personal stories that lead us toward an understanding of our unique voice, our meaning, and our sage or heroic self.  Based on materials tested at Mayo Clinic, the presenter will guide participants in an exploration of storytelling and writing prompts and activities from The Story You Need to Tell. These activities are intended to enrich our personal lives as well as enrich the lives of our clients, students, and fellow professionals.                                                            (75% Experiential/25% Didactic) Clinical/Educational (1.5 peer hours)

Sandra Marinella, MA, MEd, is an award-winning writing teacher and author. She has taught writing  and story-sharing to thousands of students and professionals. When she faced cancer, she wrote The  Story You Need to Tell, an acclaimed guide to transformational storytelling. She teaches at Mayo Clinic  in Phoenix where studies have established the success of her methods. Learn more  at

1:00-2:30 pm  TRIPLE WORKSHOP: Experience a Poetry Therapy Group Third Session 

For the newcomer or dedicated trainee, experience poetry therapy in action along with Nancy Scherlong, LCSW, PTR, CJT, M/S, & Elaine Brooks, RN-BC, MA, PTR, M/S! Join us each day for this interactive and didactic workshop that spans over three days (Fri, Sat and Sun). Experience the beginning, middle and end of a real poetry peer group. Integrate your conference experience, meet new colleagues, and write new material in a supportive community. Participants will be divided into two small groups.  (4.5 peer hours) 

1:00 -2:30 pm  Post-Conference Session IIIEvolution of Consciousness: Going from Me to You, from We to All

This workshop with Marianela Medrano, PhD, LPC, CPT, and Deborah McCarsons, CAPF candidate, is guided by a desire to open a dialogue about what it means to be an “evolved” adult in a fast-changing world with its attendant chaos, violence, and seemingly irreparable divisions. We’ll discuss conflict and our ability to rise above it, using Tagore’s universalist vision as a guiding light. At the core of this workshop is the recognition that language and creativity are the cornerstones for the evolution of consciousness. We will also examine the way in which silence, meditation and other contemplative practices help in our progress towards heightened awareness. We will spend time reflecting and writing on some key questions: What is keeping me from taking creative leaps? Is my story aligned with my values and actions? Am I letting myself be defined and limited by confining labels of class, religion, gender, status and trauma?   (80% Experiential/20% Didactic) Social Justice/Spirituality (1.5 peer hours)

Marianela Medrano, PhD, LPC, CPT, is a Dominican writer and psychotherapist living in Connecticut since 1990. Medrano holds a Ph.D in psychology. She is the founder of Palabra Counseling & Training Center,  LLC, a center that offers individual, family and couples therapy as well as ongoing trainings for psychotherapists. She is the author of six books of poetry. Dr. Medrano is currently serving as the President of the National Association for Poetry Therapy.

Debbie McCarson is an English teacher and CAPF candidate. After recognizing the value of expressive writing in her classroom as a vehicle for growth and healing, she sought training in biblio/poetry therapy in order to extend the reach of therapeutic writing. She offers workshops in various community settings and currently works with couples, women in spiritual recovery, and the assisted living community.

2:45 -4:15 pm  Post-Conference Session IV: The Body as Poem, the Poem as Prayer

Engage with your body as metaphor and miracle with Joey Garcia! In this experiential workshop, we will use poems, guided meditation, and gentle movement to release tension and mental clutter. After clearing ourselves out, we will fill the space by re-membering (a ritual of putting back together) through simple but beautiful acts that honor the body. We will also practice methods of deeper listening to poems and to ourselves. The facilitator, a poet, will draw on her training as a meditation and yoga teacher, along with her studies with healers in her native Belize and elsewhere, to share ways of embracing the body as a beloved friend. Participants may find a renewed sense of appreciation for their bodies, may feel more grounded in their body and more deeply connected to their own spiritual wisdom. With poetry as our guide, together we will recover the poetry of our bodies. (75% Experiential/25% Didactic) Spirituality  

Joey Garcia has read her poetry at Shakespeare & Co in Paris, Litquake SF and The Mexican  Institute in Belize City. She is also certified in Hatha yoga and meditation. Joey writes a relationship  advice column read by 300,000 people weekly. See her in, The Cure, a documentary about  healers.


"NAPT" The National Association for Poetry Therapy

is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization 

PO Box 98259
DesMoines, WA 98198

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