Journal of Poetry Therapy

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 63–74 | Cite as

The Application of Poetry Therapy in Grief Counseling with Adolescents and Young Adults

  • Daniel O. Bowman
  • Robert J. Sauers
  • David Halfacre


This paper discusses the use of poetry therapy, utilizing poems composed by the bereaved, as a creative vehicle in grief counseling with adolescents and young adults; explores several implications of the use of poetry in grief counseling; and suggests additional strategies for those involved in the assimilation of the death of a parent. Poetry therapy used in conjunction with actualizing counseling provided avenues for mobilizing the individual’s coping resources that had been blocked, permitting the client to grow beyond the loss experience. There appears to be an evolutionary pattern toward the resolution of grief when one articulates feelings in poems, a pattern revealing changes in perceptions and feelings about the deceased and about the meanings the surviving youth assigns to the loss.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel O. Bowman
    • 1
  • Robert J. Sauers
    • 2
  • David Halfacre
    • 3
  1. 1.The Citadel Counseling CenterUSA
  2. 2.Corps of CadetsUSA
  3. 3.The CitadelUSA

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