Can reading and writing poetry truly help to heal? Researchers have found that there is something about poetry that helps those suffering with both mental and physical illness to heal. When reading poetry people are able to learn that their experiences are somewhat universal. People can read how someone else has dealt with similar issues that they are dealing with themselves and figure out their own coping mechanisms. When someone writes poetry it is a way of release. They are letting their emotions flow freely and thinking through their emotions. They may even realize feelings that they didn’t know that they had. All of this can be healing. The power of poetry isn’t just speculation. A case study that tested the theory of healing with poetry found that those who spend time reading and writing poetry score lower on the Kessler-10 scale. Another study, dealing with children at risk of PTSD, found that when using tools such as poetry the students could grow to be less at risk and become better at dealing with their PTSD. I, myself, have used poetry to heal past trauma in my life. My healing process is illustrated in the poetry in my creative thesis chapbook Flowers and Weeds.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-12-2018


Julie Hensley

Mentor Professional Affiliation

English and Theatre

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Clinical Therapeutic Programs

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Communication Sciences and Disorders