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Writing Poetry as Therapy: A Path to Healing for Christian Women

Pensive Woman in Brown Bubble Jacket holding a Notebook

Poetry has long been a refuge for those seeking to express their innermost thoughts and emotions. For Christian women, poetry can serve as a powerful therapeutic tool, offering a way to articulate feelings, explore faith, and find solace. This blog post delves into the benefits of poetry as therapy. It introduces effective techniques and guidance on using poetry to navigate and alleviate intrusive thoughts.

Why I Write

Write the day away.
Drown your sorrows in the plot.
Become unattached to the outcome as words weave together to make sentences.
Write to live uninhibited by societal pressures to be politically correct.
Let them judge your characters.
Hide in the protagonist like a scared child peeking from behind her mother’s leg.
Write to tell your story.
Blend it in with the dialogue.
Say what you wish you had said.
Write to expose the mistakes from your past that threaten to suffocate you.
Mistakes that are not your own, but you own them just the same.
You are a product of your environment.
Write to heal the parts of you that haven’t been scabbed over.
Let each book, short story, and poem be the salve that soothes your soul.
Piece together what your eyes cannot see.
Push beyond your limits.
Write to grow.

bY: KASEY MARIE

Writing Poetry As A Form of Therapy

The poem you’re reading is a glimpse into my initial venture into poetry. Sparked at the onset of my healing journey, I was introduced to therapeutic writing as a form of self-expression and healing. Moreover, Though I sporadically kept journals, the revelation of various therapeutic writing methods propelled me towards poetry. This artistic outlet became my solace and strength, ultimately leading to the creation of my first poetry anthology in 2022.

Entitled Beauty for Ashes: Life Lessons in Verse, my collection is a testament to my voyage through healing—sealing away old wounds and finding peace. Poetry, in its essence, is therapy; it’s not about crafting the perfect verse but about transporting those swirling thoughts onto paper for clarity and resolution. If your mind is a whirlwind of thoughts, consider writing poetry as a therapy to bolster your healing journey.

The Therapeutic Benefits of Poetry

Emotional Expression and Catharsis

One of the primary benefits of poetry as therapy is its capacity for emotional expression. Writing poetry allows individuals to articulate feelings that might be difficult to express otherwise. Furthermore, this form of expression can lead to catharsis, where writing brings about a release of emotional tension, providing relief from heavy or suppressed emotions¹.

Enhancing Self-awareness and Personal Growth

Poetry encourages introspection and can significantly enhance self-awareness. By reflecting on their thoughts and feelings through poetry, individuals can gain deeper insights into their experiences and emotional responses. In short, this process fosters personal growth and enhances one’s relationship with God by reflecting on spiritual themes within a safe, creative space².

Community and Shared Experience

For Christian women, poetry can also serve as a bridge to connect with others who share similar life experiences or faith journeys. Reading and sharing poetry can help individuals feel less isolated, fostering a sense of community and mutual support³.

Techniques for Using Poetry as Therapy

Free Writing

Begin with free writing, which involves writing without pausing to edit or organize thoughts. This technique helps capture raw emotions and thoughts. It can be particularly useful for intrusive thoughts. Specifically, it allows for an unfiltered expression of feelings, which can then be shaped into poetry⁴.

Structured Poems

For those who find free writing too unbounded, structured poetic forms like sonnets or haikus can provide a comforting framework. These structures can help organize thoughts and provide a sense of control over the way emotions are expressed⁴.

Biblical Integration

Incorporating scripture or Christian themes into poetry can deepen one’s connection to faith while exploring personal challenges. This integration can offer comfort and guidance, reminding the writer of God’s presence and promises during difficult times⁵. My poetry collection, Beauty for Ashes, delves into biblical themes instrumental in my healing process.

Managing Intrusive Thoughts Through Poetry

Intrusive thoughts can be particularly distressing, often intruding on daily life without warning. Poetry offers a unique way to confront and manage these thoughts. By putting these thoughts into words and structuring them into poetry, individuals can gain control over them, reducing their impact⁶ ⁷.  Writing can transform these intrusive thoughts from something frightening into something manageable and contained within the verses of a poem.

Conclusion

For Christian women, poetry as therapy is not just about self-expression; it’s a spiritual practice that nurtures the soul and fosters a deeper connection with God. It provides a safe space to explore difficult emotions, enhances personal and spiritual growth, and strengthens community bonds through shared experiences. Whether through free writing or structured forms, poetry can be a powerful tool in healing and self-discovery. By embracing poetry as a therapeutic tool, Christian women can find a powerful ally in their journey toward emotional and spiritual healing.


Citations
  1. Bolton, Gillie. “‘Every Poem Breaks a Silence that Had to be Overcome’: The Therapeutic Power of Poetry Writing.” Feminist Review, 1999. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1080/014177899339225.
  2. National Association for Poetry Therapy.” Last modified April 30, 2024. https://poetrytherapy.org.fosters personal growth and
  3. Poetry Therapy: Definition, Psychology, and More.” Medical News Today. Last modified April 2, 2024. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/poetry-therapy.
  4. Sivakumar, Seethalakshmi. “Exploring the Power of Poem Therapy in Counseling.” EMOCARE, March 1, 2024. https://emocare.co.in/exploring-the-power-of-poem-therapy-in-counseling/.
  5. Kempton, Heather Mary. “Holy be the Lay: A Way to Mindfulness Through Christian Poetry.” OBM Integrative and Complementary Medicine 7, no. 1 (2022). https://www.lidsen.com/journals/icm/icm-07-01-011.
  6. Angel, Ashley. Kayla Rose Poetry on Her Second Book, Intrusive Thoughts: li Voices.” Little Infinite, April 30, 2024. https://www.littleinfinite.com/kayla-rose-poetry-on-her-second-book-intrusive-thoughts-li-voices/.
  7. Bailey, Neil. “Top Tips for Absolute Beginners Who Fancy Writing Poetry.” LinkedIn, January 25, 2024. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/top-tips-absolute-beginners-who-fancy-writing-poetry-neil-bailey.

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