100811: Guidelines for Responding to Clients Spontaneously Presenting Their Poetry in Therapy

About the Course:

Poetry therapy has become a valuable adjunctive tool in social work practice, as well as an important discipline in its own right. What has not been previously presented in the literature are intervention strategies designed for when clients spontaneously present their poems in treatment without prompting from the clinician. This article provides just such practice guidelines for clinicians, especially clinicians who do not normally use poetry in therapy. First, the article explores the uses of poetry in social work practice. Second, it presents general guidelines for how to handle the introduction of poetry by clients through the lens of essential social work values and principles. Third, a case study is presented to amplify these guidelines.

Publication Date:

2005 /Vol. 86, No. 4


Rich Furman; Kathryn Collins

About the Authors:

Rich Furman, PhD Associate Professor University of North Carolina-Charlotte Department of Social Work

Kathryn Collins, PhD Assistant Professor University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other human services and behavioral health professionals who seek knowledge about poetry therapy. It is appropriate for participants with all levels of knowledge about the topic.

I. Introduction
II. Guidelines
III. Case Study
IV. Conclusions

Course Objectives:

  1. identify potential uses of poetry in social work practice.

  2. identify guidelines for addressing the introduction of poetry by clients through the lens of social work values and principles.

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