Journal of Poetry Therapy

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 55–68 | Cite as

“If I Had My Life to Live Over”—Stephanie’s Story: A Case Study in Poetry Therapy

  • Perie J. Longo


This article demonstrates the effectiveness of poetry therapy in the last months of a young woman who suffered bilateral brain damage as a child resulting from encephalitis. Her poems not only capture the struggle, grief and loss she experienced resulting from her illness, but also how her expression through poetry lessened her isolation and helped to resolve anger and conflict. At the time of her sudden death, from a massive seizure, her poems reflect joy hope, and positive self-regard while making plans for her future. Her work is a legacy for those with similar struggles.


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  1. Gallagher, T. (1986). The poem as a reservoir for grief. In A Concert of tenses: Essays on poetry (p. 104). Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  2. Remembering What Happened. (1991). San Francisco: California Poets in the Schools Statewide Anthology.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Perie J. Longo
    • 1
  1. 1.Santa BarbaraUSA

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