I'm often asked, and rightfully so, why it's important that we invest in processing -- through creativity -- our thoughts, feelings and life events. There are many benefits to the programs offered through The Word Project (TWP) -- more than what I can include here. However, below are highlights of some of the benefits of the services provide...
For clergy/people of faith
I also encourage you to do your own research. There are many articles and studies that show the connection between healing, growth, productivity and creativity.
To engage and support persons in the process of self-discovery, expression, and healing through creativity.
Individuals and communities authentically creating and sharing in a way that will bring them to find peace and experience healing on their journey towards wholeness.
In the Journal of Poetry Therapy, S. Silvermarie (1988), states in his study that he found that oral poetry composition by frail elderly residents in a nursing home helped increase friendship formation and reduced institutional loneliness and isolation.
"Poetry can assist the elderly in transcending loss and maintaining a vital connection to the life process and can provide a significant contribution toward interpersonal and intergenerational linkages."--Nicholas Mazza, Ph.D., RPT
"Thoughts and feelings, or cognitive processing and emotions related to cancer, are key writing elements associated with health benefits." – Nancy P. Morgan, director of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Arts and Humanities Program, Washington, DC
"Poetry springs directly from our primal need and capacity for communication…[Poetry] mobilizes such a concentration of devices, such an intensification of language via rhythm, syntax, image and metaphor. Reading it—the best of it—can create another, very different kind of perpetual present, an awareness that can be as ongoing in the soul as the stop-time of trauma." – Sven Birkerts, writing professor, Mt. Holyoke College
Joshua Smyth, State University of NY at Stony Brook, Journal of the American Medical Association, presents evidence that writing that has emotional content decreases symptoms associated with asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
James Pennebaker, researcher, University of Texas at Austin, shows in his study, “Writing to Heal: A Guided Journal for Recovering from Trauma and Emotional Upheaval,” that writing with deep feeling improves immune system function, decreases stress, lowers blood pressure, and increases positive short and long term mood changes.
Campo, Rafeal. The Healing Art. W. W. Norton & Company, 2003.
Chavis, Geri Giebel & Lila Weisberger, eds., The Healing Fountain: Poetry Therapy for Life’s Journey. St. Cloud, MN: St. North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc., 2003.
Fox, John. Finding What You Didn’t Lose. New York, NY: Tarcher/Putnam, 1995.
Poetic Medicine. New York, NY: Tarcher/Putnam, 1997.
Jacob, Bob. Perspective: Hospice Poems. Antrim House, 2008
Jenkins, Jerry B. Writing for the Soul. Cincinnati, OH: Writer’s Digest Books, 2006.
Mazza, Nicholas. Poetry Therapy: Theory and Practice. New York, NY: Brunner-Routledge, 2003.
Miller, Karin. Cancer Poetry Project: Poems by Cancer Patients and Those Who Love Them. Fairview Press, 2001, www.cancerpoetryproject.com
Orr, Gregory. Poetry as Survival. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press, 2002.
Wooldridge, Susan Goldsmith. poemcrazy. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press, 1996.