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Certified Practitioner of Poetic Medicine

The current participants in this program are in the process of completing the final stages of their certifications. Due to advisory and supervisory hours required for this process we will not be able to offer opportunities to join this program in 2023.

About this Pathway

If you are interested in signing up for the waiting list to receive any information about possible opportunities for this program or similar offerings in the future please complete this form.

We are not currently accepting applications, but please read more below to learn about the program as it has been offered in recent years.

The Poetic Medicine Training Program is designed for a wide range of people interested in using poetic medicine for themselves, as well as bringing this healing art to others, meeting the therapeutic needs of individuals and communities. This practice of poetic medicine serves as a catalyst for spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

The training program draws from a lineage of practitioners and a practice that includes clinical and indigenous perspectives of “poetry as healer.” The Institute's Founder, John Fox, brings 40 years of experience. He has taught in a variety of graduate programs, and made ground-breaking written contributions to the field. The training program's structure and content was developed by John, with the support of IPM board members and IPM's national network of people working in the field of poetic medicine.

In 2020, John invited Cyra Dumitru, a graduate of the first Poetic Medicine cohort, to co-teach in the training. She brings decades of experience teaching creative writing in a holistic way. Sparked by her Poetic Medicine practicum work, Cyra created and sustains successful poetry therapy programs in San Antonio, Texas. Building on the original curriculum John created, Cyra is contributing significantly to the growing, breathing structure of the training.

Together, John and Cyra mentor students through this 3-phase training program and into their professional practice. Phase 1 is dedicated to personal work within the cohort, using John's book Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making as its working text. Phase 2 emphasizes best practices in poetic medicine. Phase 3 is the academic and practicum stage—taking Poetic Medicine out into the world.

A deep range of guest mentors are available to students in Phase 3 that apply to fields of medicine, education, psychology, pastoral & hospice care, social action, cancer support, grief work, earth & indigenous wisdom and contemplative practice.

This distance-learning/low-residency program includes on-line classes about every three weeks and four in-person colloquiums throughout the three phases of the training. When meeting in person the program has been able to take advantage of the spaces available at lovely retreat centers in Menlo Park, California and San Antonio, Texas.

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