- Poetry Therapy
Workshops for groups/individuals,and
- Writing Coaching.
poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom.-Robert Frost.
- Laurie McMillan
- Writer, Poetry
space and support Laurie provides has allowed me to
become more comfortable with my inner voice. By exploring my
writing without judgment and tapping into the present
moment, I have become more confident in both my writing
and my self. Through writing therapy I have been able to
nurture a deeper connection between my voice and the
physical world.." --Erin D., Individual participant.
- Upcoming Group Writing Classes
- *Risking Together: Writing in Community. Wilkins School Community Center.
Saturdays 10am 12pm October 10th November 14th
(6 sessions) $100 Begins Sat Oct 10th w/ Sheila Kelly. Register
at: (412) 244-8458
as a Spiritual Journey Osher
University of Pittsburgh Lifelong Learning: Begins Thursday
Writing Through Poetry: Begins Wed. Oct. 14th at Wilkinsburg
Library FREE. Register at the library
- * Daylong Ekphrasitc experience (Writing
to Art) at Contemporary Craft Nov 8th w/ Sheila Kelly during
- "Poetry gives
you permission to feel."--James Autry.
just wanted to thank you all for an absolutely stupendous workshop
yesterday. I found it to be so helpful and instructive and inspiring.
Just what the doctor ordered! In fact, forget the doctor! I will
just come to the workshop, thank you very much!" --J.B.
- Upcoming Memior Workshop
Memior Project -
Begins Tues Oct.20th 10am -12 w/ Jane McCafferty at Carnegie
East Liberty Library FREE
part of the city wide neighborhood memoir project sponsored by
the Sprout Fund and a CMU proseed grant!!
a reader's love of memoir is less an intrusive lust for confession
than a hankering for the intimacy of the first person voice,
the deeply satisfying sense of being spoken to privately. More
than a story, we want a voice speaking softly, urgently in our
ear." --Patricia Hampl.
only through writing about events after they happen--as we craft
our memoirs--that we come to understand what they mean."--William
exude such positive energy you are such gifted teachers.
Your teaching process nurtures the mind and soul. Just wanted
to let you know how much I appreciate your taking the time to
share your writing process with us. The love of the craft shines
can't thank you (Laurie & Jane) enough for the gift you have
given me--not only the courage to start writing but the courage
to become part of a group. This is quite a giant step forward
for this isolationist."--N.S.
- Individual Poetry Therapy
- Individual sessions are $30/hr PT helps
people of all ages explore creativity, courage, hope and healing
through the writing process!
- I use journaling, poetry therapy,
creative excercises & feedback to cultivate a useful session
personally designed for your needs.
- "Our poetry
allows us to remember that our integrity is not in our body,
that despite our physical limitations, our suffering and our
fears, there is something in us that is not touched, something
shining. Our poetry is its voice. To hear that voice
is to know the power to heal. "--Catherine Haynes LMFT
- "We too have
to find particular ways of holding a space for the imagination
of rendering it safe enough for creativity...where our work can
be nurtured and held...to find the motivation and courage to
create, and learning to work with and trust the unconscious is
a central part of the process." --Celia Hunt and Fiona Sampson.
voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used to utter
powerlessness and silence goes together.~ Margaret
- You don't
need to be a 'writer' or a 'poet' to participate!
are process-oriented and confidential. We aim to let the self-critic
take time off and allow personal voice to emerge unfettered.
- Coming October 10th!!!
and Layering Workshop**
Creative Writing Exchange
S. Graham St.
- Do you want to
lead a workshop?
- What would you love
- The Creative Writing
Exchange is about people
teaching each other aspects of
writing! We are all
experts with much to share.
- Call Laurie to set
up a workshop!
- Examples of previous
workshops: Humor in Writing
- Spoken Word Workshop
- Submission Workshop
- Mary Oliver in the
Green World Workshop
is Poetry Therapy?
It is one of the expressive arts first
developed as bibliotherapy by librarians. Now it is used by many
practioners world-wide in a variety of settings. Poetry Therapy offers poems and literature as tools for
healing. Written expression has been a source of strength through
the ages, and poetry in particular uses images and evokes feelings
that tells of the human condition. As a person responds to a
poem through writing it gives them a way of entering into the
therapeutic process. Writing allows you to take the chaos out
of the mind and organize it on the page and, 'expand the narrative,'
of your life, as this group member reports.Writing allowed
me to expand my own story Im not just somebody living
--Anonymous member, Mount Sinai Hospital
Narrative Competence Psychotherapy Group.
- It has been shown through
numerous studies that therapeutic writing helps a variety of
people with such things as:
- Emotional expression and integration,
stress reduction, self- esteem, increased sense of control, increased
immune strength, decreased isolation and improved connection
to others, fewer physician visits, less test anxiety, quicker
healing of surgical incisions, enhanced personal relationships,
and clarity of thought.
- A PT is trained by the National
Assication of Poetry Therapy. See: www.poetrytherapy.org
- What is
a Poetry Therapy Workshop? A Poetry Therapist chooses poems and stories that aim
specifically at a theme that empathizes with the group or individual.
Sessions give a sense of hope and courage for a client to foster
new possibilities. After reading a poem and discussing it, members
of a Poetry Therapy group write personal reflections in their
journals, and often share them, promoting deep understanding
and a sense of shared discovery and community.The group gains
solidarity by sharing the creative gifts that arises from safety
- "When we translate an
experience into language we make the situation graspable."--
Dr. James Pennebaker, researcher of benefits the of expressive
writing and the author of Opening Up.Pennebaker believes
theres something about the act of writing itself that helps
us change how we feel about our lives. And hes discovered
that certain forms of writing may be better than others for the
healing process. As with talk therapy, it appears that imposing
some structure on writing and building a new narrativeas
opposed to rehashing the same old stories and feelings over and
over againprovides a perspective on and distance from life
- The Lightest Touch
- Good poetry begins with
the lightest touch,
a breeze arriving from nowhere,
a whispered healing arrival,
a word in your ear,
a settling into things,
then like a hand in the dark
it arrests the whole body,
steeling you for revelation.
- In the silence that follows
a great line
you can feel Lazarus
even the laziest, most deathly afraid
part of you,
lift up his hands and walk toward the light.
- -- David Whyte
from Everything is Waiting for You
- What is
Expressive Writing? A facilitator helps you get in touch
with the themes you want to write about and gives you opportunities
to practice saying what you need to say without judgement. We
are not worried or constricted as to punctuation, grammer or
convention. This process may, or may not, lead to further writing
work and even publishing if so desired. The heart of it is to
express authentically and safely. We honor newborn writing
as we would an newborn and give the space and nurturance it needs.
The facilitator aims to help you become fluent in this process
of getting down what you feel, want, know. This strengthens the
muscle of our creativity which is the heart of all other
- What is
A writing coach provides
motivation, excercises and a specifically designed program with
goals in mind to accomplish what the writer wants to manifest.
Included are writing tools, skills, examples and wisdom from
writers around the world. A coach asks the writer about the project,
what the writer hopes to accomplish with it, and whats
holding the writer back. A writing coach creates an environment
of positive encouragement to help the writer gain clarity, organization
and maintain comnsistent voice with an intended audience (or
for the self) and produce a coherent, captivating narrative,
whether fiction or nonfiction. As a published writer, I help
with all aspects of the submission process.
I wanted to let you know that we have continued on because you
lit something inside all of us that was long-neglected.
Yes, there's that metaphor about showing the door vs. walking
through it but without your guidance, we'd all still be walking
- What is Poerty Therapy con't-
- Past Workshops
- Your Write Path Blog
- By the time you've
run your mind through it a hundred times, relentlessly worked
out every tic of your terror, it's lost it's power over you...soon
it's a story on a page, or more precisely, everybody's story
on a page.~ John Gardner, writer.
Site Under Construction
- Contact Information:
- Laurie McMillan
Thank you for visiting!
A new Caregiver Writing Support
Group is starting soon, contact Laurie if you are interested
in joinging a group dedicated to the concerns of caregivers.
Laurie is founder of the Squirrel
Hill Writers' Studio in 2006 which continues today under the
leadership of Sheila Kelly at Squirrel Hill Library every Sunday
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