Board and Committees
2011-2013 NAPT Executive Board (biographies included below)
President: Catherine Conway
VP for Conferences: Rob Merritt
VP for Membership: Position Open
Treasurer: Eric Kreuter
Secretary: Susan Wirth Fusco
Education and Institutional Outreach Chair: Joy Sawyer
By-Laws/Governance Chair: Position Open
Diversity Chair: James Brandenburg
Public Relations Chair: Position Open
Publications Committee Chair: Karen vanMeenen
Journal of Poetry Therapy Editor: Nick Mazza
2011-2013 BOARD MEMBER BIOS
Barbara Bethea, MA, PTR, LCAT. Past President. Barbara has served on the NAPT Board as Diversity Chairperson since 2003. She graduated from Vermont College with a Master of Art in Psychology, Poetry Therapy and Counseling in 2004. She received her certification as a Registered Poetry Therapist in 2005 and her licensure as a Creative Art Therapist in NYS in 2006. She is currently employed at Woodhull Medical & Mental Health Center/Cumberland Diagnostic Treatment Center in the Department of Psychiatry. She is currently the only Certified and Licensed Poetry Therapist working as a clinician in a hospital. She is also a certified rape counselor advocate for the Mount Sinai Sexual Assault & Violence Intervention (SAVI) program. Barbara is the founder of Poetryworks Entertainment and is also known as "The Afrikana Madonna," a spoken word artist with a CD release entitled Like Manna for the Soul. She is also a co-author of Writing Away the Demons, edited by Dr. Sherry Reiter.
James Brandenburg, LPC, LMFT, CPT. Diversity Chair. James applied for the position of Diversity Chairperson for NAPT because he feels he should be doing more in helping our organization. He says, “My entire life has revolved around diversity, both my personal life and my educational and work history. I see a need for our organization to reach out to a more diverse population—both in our recruitment of candidates for poetry facilitators and poetry therapists, and in our outreach programs in our local communities. As Diversity Chair, I encourage NAPT members to increase their awareness in this area and to focus on a more diverse population in their work as poetry facilitators and poetry therapists.”
Catherine Conway, LCPC, CPT, CADC, President.
Master’s in Clinical Psychology, Benedictine University, Lisle, Illinois; Certified AODA Counselor, CADC, Springfield, IL; Certified Poetry Therapist credentialed by The Federation for Biblio/PoetryTherapy after completing training with Ken Gorelick and Peggy Heller at the Wordsworth Center, Washington D.C.
Catherine says, "I have been a member of NAPT for nearly 16 years. I have presented poetry therapy workshops at the Midwest Festival of Expressive Arts Therapies, sponsored by University of Wisconsin, Madison; to community mental health organizations for staff enrichment and for women experiencing mid-life transitions. I have integrated poetry therapy into every professional position I have held, working with survivors of sexual abuse, addicts and alcoholics.
I have developed poetry therapy groups in my community outreach work at a residential drug court rehabilitation center and work release program.
Currently, I am a Clinical Therapist at a private practice in Naperville, Illinois and am working with individuals using both journaling and Poetry Therapy.
I have promoted poetry therapy in the Addictions Counseling program at College of DuPage, local bookstores and park district programs for active seniors."
Susan Wirth Fusco, PhD, LMHC, CPT, CADAC. Susan enthusiastically supports NAPT and has joined NAPT's Board with the sincere hope to promote educational outreach and to cultivate diversity at all levels, both ethnic and linguistic. After a thirty-year college teaching career as Professor of French and French Literature at Queensborough, CUNY, NYC, Susan decided to pursue another long-abiding passion: learning about how and why creativity and the imagination— manifest in all forms of literature, art, music, and dance— heal. Because Susan's interest in poetry was omnipresent since her studies at Oberlin College (BA in French Literature and Music) and Columbia University (MA and PhD in French Poetry and Stylistics), it naturally ensued that her subsequent studies and work in mental health counseling and expressive arts therapy gravitated towards Poetry Therapy. After completing her M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology and Mental Health Counseling at Cambridge College, Susan began doctoral work at nearby Lesley University, where her Senior Advisor, Shaun McNiff, urged Susan to join NAPT in 2003. While focusing on Poetry and Healing, Creativity and the Imagination, and the Expressive Arts Therapies in all her course work, clinical work, and dissertation research (2003-the present), she has attended NAPT Conferences on an annual basis; Susan earned the CAPF and CPT with Sherry Reiter, her much cherished NAPT Mentor/Supervisor.
Dottie Joslyn, CAPF, CJF. Member at Large. Dottie says, “I am a CAPF, CJF, Journal to the Self® instructor and a poet and writer who has been involved with NAPT for nine years. I led a poetry therapy group and a journaling group of stable mentally ill people for six years as well as several Journal to the Self groups. I was engaged in the profession of bookkeeping and human resources for thirty years and am now offering my skills as the bookkeeper for NAPT. I have had poems published in various journals and have self-published a poetry chapbook. I bring enthusiasm for the poetry therapy profession and a desire to see it grow, I believe that it takes dedicated people to create and maintain an organization and that there are roles for everyone.”
Dahlia Lorenz, PhD, International Liaison. Dahlia lives in Haifa, Israel. Dahlia says, “I received my PhD from Haifa University. My involvement with Poetry Therapy began many years ago through a model I developed for CIPT (Creative Interactive Poetry Therapy), as well as my work in TA, moderating groups, counseling, and creative writing. During my employment at the Ministry of Culture and Education of Israel, I was the director of all counseling services in the northern region of Israel (supervising some 350 people). Some of my special projects focused on leadership teaching and supervision, marketing and expanding of counseling awareness and budgets and promoting drug prevention, life skills and crisis management with children and teenagers. I authored two books and many articles. For me, Poetry Therapy is universal in its qualities supporting beauty and health and touching us deep inside. Poetry Therapy can benefit many countries and people in its quest for humanity, well-being, reducing stress, and perhaps even promoting peace. Furthering the reach of The National Association for Poetry Therapy, its promise, potential, and ideas, is a mission that I will be proud to be part of, committing my knowledge and overall vision.”
Nicholas Mazza, PhD, PTR. Nicholas Mazza is the Dean and Patricia V. Vance Professor of Social Work at Florida State University. He is the founding (1987) and current editor of the Journal of Poetry Therapy and author of Poetry Therapy: Theory and Practice. Dr. Mazza's experience with poetry therapy in practice, research, and education spans over 40 years. He is past vice president and has served on the NAPT board since 1985. In 1997, he received the Pioneer Award from NAPT. Dr. Mazza holds Florida licenses in clinical social work, marriage and family therapy, and psychology.
Rob Merritt, PhD, Vice-President for Conferences. Rob is Professor of English at Bluefield College in Virginia and a poet who offers workshops about creativity and the healing powers of writing. He is interested in educating people, specifically those in higher education, about the resources available through NAPT. He is currently writing about how major authors, such as W.B. Yeats for example, fit within the context of poetry therapy and cultural healing. His poetry deals with the transformative power of landscape and language.
Joy Roulier Sawyer, MA, LPC, PTR-M/S attended her first NAPT Conference in 1996. She served on the the National Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy board from 2003-05, and the National Association for Poetry Therapy Foundation board from 2005-07, and currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Poetry Therapy. Joy’s poetry appears in such diverse publications as Books & Culture, Christianity & Literature, LIGHT Quarterly, New York Quarterly, Ruminate, St. Petersburg Review, and Theology Today.
Says Joy, “I am passionate about seeing the great, good news of poetry therapy reach as many university counseling and psychology programs as possible. After spending nearly a decade teaching at the University of Denver, I believe poetry therapy is a unique and deeply human asset to the future of expressive arts therapies education.”
Since 2003, Joy has co-taught masters level writing and healing coursework (along with her beloved mentor/supervisor, Kathleen Adams) at the University of Denver. Most recently, she helped update and revise the new third edition of Biblio/Poetry Therapy—The Interactive Process: A Handbook by Arleen McCarty Hynes and Mary Hynes-Berry (North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc., 2012). Her chapter on using the Hynes-and Hynes-Berry biblio/poetry therapy model in educational settings is forthcoming in Expressive Writing: Foundations of Practice (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013).
Karen vanMeenen, MA, CAPF is NAPT Publications Chair and Museletter Editor. She is a full-time Lecturer at Rochester Institute of Technology, where she teaches classes in Writing, Literature (including her favorite class: The Graphic Novel) and Contemporary Art. She is the longtime Editor of the media arts journal Afterimage as well as the Director of Special Projects at the literary center Writers & Books, where she organizes large community reading programs such as "If All of Rochester Read the Same Book...." Write to Karen through this site's contact page (choose "Publications" in the send-to field).
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