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Poetic Expression: Lyrical Therapy

We all know that words are powerful. You have all heard or even sang the phrase as children “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. Well that phrase is a flat out lie. Negative words can be extremely harmful – spoken to yourself or to others. So it stands to reason that words can also be great healers and effective motivators.

The healing effect of words has long been recognized. Throughout time, words have been used to help uplift the mental and emotional health of patients. We have talked about journaling to capture your thoughts and bringing clarity to swirling imageries in your head. But what about making those words expressive and lyrically charged to allow you to feel and have others feel with you.  This is why music is so powerful, as it is a form of poetry with the backdrop of music and melody.

Let’s consider the healing power of poetry. Around the 1800s, Dr. Benjamin Rush introduced poetry as a form of therapy to those being treated. Poetry was used as a positive supplement to treatments for patients experiencing mental or emotional distress. Today, poetry is actually considered an effective tool in therapy. Poetry therapy is a form of expressive arts therapy that involves the healing use of poems, narratives, and other spoken or written words to promote well-being and healing. Therapists may use existing literature as part of treatment or encourage clients to write their own poetry to express deep-seated emotions. In either case, poetry therapy offers a safe, non-judgmental atmosphere in which people in therapy are able to explore their written expressions and associated emotional responses.

As part of therapy, some people may wish to explore feelings and memories buried in the subconscious and identify how they may relate to current life circumstances. Poetry can:

*Be a way to express emotions that might otherwise be difficult to express

*Promote self-reflection and exploration increasing personal awareness

*Find common ground with others by helping you realize many of your experiences are shared by others

*Help the therapeutic process for those in counseling

*Simply make you feel good and make others feel good too

Thriving Ink Connection is focused on using the written word to help you connect with yourself and to connect with others. This month, let’s focus on the written word in poetry form to insight expression and feeling, as well as, a little bit of therapy.

Be on the lookout for upcoming Thriving Ink Connection poetry competitions to serve only as an incentive for you to share your expressive and powerful words – let’s all tap into our inner poets. Follow me on Facebook (Thriving Ink Connection), so you can get all the details. Remember, there is no good poetry or bad poetry – only healing and motivating poetry.

Also, please post your favorite poems in the comments to this article. Let’s start to share expression immediately.