BiblioPoetry Therapy: The Interactive Process

The 3rd edition of Biblio-Poetry Therapy:The Interactive Process is now available.

NORTH STAR PRESS  ISBN: 978-0-87839-410-4

Since first being published by Westview Press in 1984, this handbook has been considered the “Bible” of Biblio-poetry Therapy: the use of literature in all its forms to promote mental health.  The Hynes and Hynes-Berry 4 stage model is used by therapists, clinicians, educators, poets and spiritual directors all over the world.

The handbook grew out of Arleen McCarty Hynes’s pioneering work at St. Elizabeth’s Mental Hospital in Washington, D.C., where she was the patient’s librarian.  With Dr. Kenneth Gorelick, she established a training program for this creative arts modality.   When Fred Praeger of Westview Press commissioned her to do a training manual, she called on her daughter, Mary Hynes-Berry for assistance. In addition to her background in literature and extensive writing experience, Mary has always shared Arleen’s profound belief in the power of literature and found working on this book triggered many insights that transferred to her work with young children.

During her third career as a member of the Benedictine Monastery of St. Benedicts, in Minnesota, Arleen continued to work with many others to establish bibliotherapy as a professional practice, with two strong organizations, The National Association of Poetry Therapy  and  its sister affiliate The National Association of Poetry Therapy.  She also played a key role in establishing the  National Federation for
Biblio/Poetry Therapy (– Working closely with Sherry Reiter, she helped establish the standards certified poetry tht therapists must meet.     Publications dedicated to this field include The Museletter and The Journal of Poetry Therapy.

We all owe a deep debt of gratitude to Joy Roulier Sawyer who approached Mary Hynes-Berry after Sister Arleen’s death in 2006 and offered to update the original book.  In the end, while much of the content of the main book remains the same, Joy made many needed edits.  Just as important, Joy has made a significant contribution by compiling an updated bibliography of professional literature and resources.

Joy also helped co-ordinate a series of tributes to Arleen and her work from the poetry therapy community.   My siblings and I  were the first beneficiaries of the profound gift of wonder and caring that our mother brought to everything she did; we deeply appreciate the way Joy is keeping her work and wonder alive.