Wednesday, April 7th   See Conference Schedule 

Pre-Conference Workshops

9:45 am-12:15 pm  Pre-Conference Session I: Poetry Therapy: A Doorway to Understanding and Alleviating Loneliness   

After discussing the prevalent phenomenon of loneliness in today's world, participants of this workshop with Geri Chavis, LP, PhD, CPT, will explore various ways in which the poetry therapy field is uniquely suited to addressing loneliness. We will experience how facilitated discussion of selected poems and stories along with the sharing of expressive writing can foster empathy for those suffering from loneliness, can help build a much-needed sense of community, and alleviate loneliness caused by a variety of external and internal factors. Our “warm-up” writing activity will provide an illustration of how a sense of community can be generated, and participants will be introduced to a selection of poems, each of which addresses various life situations or experiences that often cause or deepen feelings of loneliness. (75% Experiential/25% Didactic) Clinical/Health Care Setting (2.5 peer hours).

As past president and board member of NAPT, licensed psychologist, certified poetry therapist, mentor-supervisor, and humanities professor, Geri Chavis, LP, PhD, CPT, has been fostering growth and healing through literature and writing since 1979. She has presented a wide range of workshops in the U.S., U.K. and Ireland and written numerous books and articles. She is the author of Poetry and Story Therapy: The Healing Power of Creative Expression and co-editor of The Healing Fountain: Poetry  Therapy for Life’s Journey, both of which are required reading for CAPF, CPT and PTR  trainees.  She also compiled  an anthology entitled Family: Stories From the Interior.

1:00-3:00 pm   Pre-Conference Session II: It’s All About Giving Our Heart To The Writing

We dig down, expose ourselves, explore with our senses the heart’s magical light, the spirit’s long dark night, we renew our vows to be honest with ourselves, travel to places in the imagination and stay there creatively, learn to love again…that’s my workshop framework, within that space we will know ourselves again….  (75% Experiential/25% Didactic) Spiritual                                                    

Jimmy is requesting that participants read When I Walk Through The That Door, I Am.  Purchase from Beacon Press here.                                                    

While in prison at a young age, Jimmy Santiago Baca taught himself to read and write and began composing poetry and publishing his work. He then went on to become a prolific and successful published writer. Immigrants in Our Own Land, Baca’s first major collection, was highly praised, and his semi-autobiographical novel in verse, Martin and Meditations on the South Valley,  received the American Book Award for poetry in 1987, bringing Baca international acclaim. In the subsequent years, Baca has published in a variety of genres including poetry, story, memoir, and screenplay. A self-styled “poet of the people,” Baca conducts writing workshops with children, and adults at countless elementary, junior high and high schools, colleges, universities, reservations, barrio community centers, white ghettos, housing projects, correctional facilities, and prisons  from coast to coast. His most recent publications include Laughing In The Light, from Museum   Of New Mexico Press, When I Walk Through The That Door, I Am, from Beacon Press, and the latest, American Orphan,  published by Arte Publico Press, University of Houston.

3:30-6:00 pm Pre-Conference Session III: The Nuts and Bolts of Poetry Therapy Theory: The Poetry Therapy Equation and How It Adds Up to Healing

Now, more than ever, our clients need poetic prescriptions: stories, poems, and journaling for emotional regulation and stress reduction. Evidence-based research has proven that bibliotherapy techniques strengthen immunity and fosters healing. Metaphor and imagery provide clinicians and educators with powerful access codes to the psyche. Let’s move past panic and loneliness toward resilience with the beauty and kindness of words. (75% Experiential/25% Didactic) Clinical/Health Care Setting (2.5 peer hours)

Sherry Reiter, Phd, LCSW, is a poet, clinical social worker, and creative arts therapist. She is Director of The Creative Righting Center, mentoring poetry therapists nationally and internationally. Dr. Reiter is an Associate Professor of Speech and Psychology at Touro College and teaches Poetry and Drama Therapy at Hofstra University. In 2010, she was voted Teacher of the Year for Touro College & University. She is the creator of Poets-Behind-Bars. Dr. Reiter is editor and co-author of Writing Away the Demons: Stories of Creative Coping Through Transformative Writing and Twice Chai: A Jewish Road to Recovery. She is recipient of numerous awards for her pioneering work in the field of poetry therapy. Dr. Reiter is past President of The National Association for Poetry Therapy and The International Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy and is currently a NAPT Board Member.

7:30-8:15 pm  Welcome & Introduction – Catherine Tanguis, MA, NBCT, CAPF; Presidential Welcome & Introduction to the Board – Marianela Medrano, PhD, LPC, CPT                                                                                                                                          

All are invited to meet President Marianela Medrano  and Conference Chair Catherine Tanguis as well as the rest of the NAPT Board for the "official" opening of our 2021 Conference.


"NAPT" The National Association for Poetry Therapy

is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization 

PO Box 98259
DesMoines, WA 98198

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