Poetry Therapy Training and Certification


Palabra Counseling and Training Center offers on-site and long-distance training in poetry/bibliotherapy to individuals interested in either therapeutic use of writing or use of writing as a tool to advance growth and development.  Palabra Training Center, also offers workshops for groups and organizations on the use of writing for therapeutic and developmental purposes.

What Is Poetry/Bibliotherapy?

Poetry/Bibliotherapy is the intentional use of the written word for healing and personal growth and transformation.

The main goals of this writing process are:

  • to develop clarity and a deeper understanding of how we perceive ourselves and others
  • to develop and maximize our creativity to foster a stronger self-esteem
  • to improve interpersonal and intrapersonal skills
  • to bring forward equanimity and inner peace so we can communicate better
  • to release stress

Poetry/Bibliotherapy is an interactive process with three-essential components:

  • the literary piece
  • the trained facilitator
  • the client

How does it work?

A trained facilitator (with certification granted by the National Federation for Poetry/Bibliotherapy NFPT) selects and presents a poem or any other literary genre to serve as a catalyst, to evoke feelings or reactions for discussion and writing.  The focus is on giving the person a voice to name and express emotions and thoughts in order to bring about psychological well-being and to foster a deeper understanding of what is needed to promote personal growth.

Training Options:

On-Site Training: for individuals who can attend monthly study groups in Connecticut. These monthly study groups lead to certification or registration in poetry/bibliotherapy therapy.

Long-Distance Training: for international trainees and those in the United States who cannot attend on-site training in Connecticut.  This option offers a variety of modes to fulfill certification or registration in poetry/bibliotherapy.

Consultation and booster training: Designed for individuals who might need to attend peer groups and seminars to fulfill certification requirements.  Also, one-to-one consultations for individuals who are not working towards certification or registration but want to deepen their knowledge of poetry/bibliotherapy use and implementation.


Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator (CAPF): If you are interested in certification in poetry/bibliotherapy in order to work with individuals who are pursuing their own personal growth, and you have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in education/psychology or related field, you will need to complete 440 hours of work with these individuals for the CAPF (Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator) designation.

Registered Poetry Therapist (RPT): If you are seeking training for Registration in Poetry/Bibliotherapy to work with clinical populations, you will need a minimum of a master’s degree or higher in the mental health field or an M.D., appropriate licensure, and core competencies in psychology, literature and professional practice.  A minimum of 975 hours of study is required.

Training is divided into four work modes for all trainees:

1. Didactic Study: Includes extensive reading in poetry therapy, literature, and psychology, keeping an annotated bibliography as documentation.  CAPF: 200 hours.  RPT: 250 hours.

2. Peer Groups: Includes experiential trainings in poetry therapy guided by a trained facilitator before working in the field. Each trainee will be given the opportunity to facilitate training within the peer group to gain experience before going into the field.  CAPF: 60 hours.  RPT: 60 hours.

3. Facilitating Groups: Trainees are required to facilitate poetry therapy groups in different facilities of their choice (schools, hospitals, prisons, nursing homes, etc.). CAPF: 120 hours. RPT: 300 hours.

4. Supervision: The planning and review of your facilitating groups in the field as well as review of reading assignments is done in-person, or by phone, mail, or e-mail. The cost for supervision is $75 per hour. CAPF: 60 hours. RPT: 100 hours.

Both on-site and long-distance programs are designed to meet national guidelines. Programs are tailored to fit the needs of each individual.

Certification/Registration is designed to take place over a minimum period of two years.  Trainees are encouraged to tailor certification to fit their needs, and may choose to extend their study over a longer period. Tuition can be distributed over a 2-4 year period.


Offers monthly trainings in Connecticut. The training group meets one Saturday a month in Naugatuck, CT.  This monthly group offers face-to-face contact with the mentor supervisor, with the additional support of peers who are also in training. This group offers the opportunity to network and expand the conversation around what is happening in the field.  

Each monthly meeting is a four-hour session that includes:

1. Facilitation of peer group led by the mentor/supervisor

2. Facilitation of peer group by trainees in rotation

3. Review of therapeutic material and techniques

4. Group Supervision

Eighteen hours of group supervision are built into this program over a two-year period. The trainee must complete the required number of additional hours of supervision in accordance with the guidelines. One-to-one supervision is conducted in person or by phone, mail and e-mail, according to the preferences of the individual.



Tuition Fee: $2,360 per year when distributed over 2 years  [Total $4,720.00]
$1,574 per year when distributed over 3 years  [Total $4,722.00]

CAPF ON-SITE includes 2 years of attendance at peer group (September/October-June), a 4-day seminar: LIFE IS POETRY: INTRODUCTION, OVERVIEW AND IMPLEMENTATION OF POETRY THERAPY. Includes, 42 hours of one-to-one supervision, and 18 hours of group supervision.

ON-SITE PTR Program:

Tuition Fee: $4,540 per year when distributed over 2 years    [Total $9,080.00]
$3,027 per year when distributed over 3 years    [Total $9,081.00]

On-Site PTR includes 2 years of attendance at peer group (September/October-June), a 4 day seminar: LIFE IS POETRY: INTRODUCTION, OVERVIEW AND IMPLEMENTATION OF POETRY THERAPY, a 5 day intensive with Dr. Sherry Reiter: The Cape Cod Writing Retreat, 26 hours of group supervision and 74 hours of one-to-one supervision.

LONG-DISTANCE TRAINING: This program is for you if you can:

a) attend a seminar once a year for at least two years, b) facilitate one or more poetry therapy groups each week, and c) commit to one hour of supervision twice a month via phone or Skype.

Long distance learners, both CAPF and PTR candidates, are required to attend a four-day seminar: LIFE IS POETRY: INTRODUCTION, OVERVIEW AND IMPLEMENTATION OF POETRY THERAPY or a five-day intensive with Dr. Sherry Reiter: The Cape Cod Writing Retreat. These two seminars will provide approximately 45 peer group hours. Long distance learners, both the CAPF and the PTR, will supplement their peer group hours by either attending a mentor-approved seminar of their choice and/or attending NAPT Conferences.

Long-Distance CAPF Program:

Tuition Fee: $2,500 per year when distributed over 2 years  [Total $5,000.00]
$1,667 per year when distributed over 3 years  [Total $5,001.00]

The program for the long distance CAPF includes two seminars, 8 hours of group supervision and 52 hours of one-to-one supervision.

Long Distance PTR Program:

Tuition Fee: $4,000 per year when distributed over 2 years   [Total $8,000.00]
$2,667 per year when distributed over 3 years   [Total $8,001.00]

The program for the Long Distance PTR includes two seminars, 8 hours of group supervision and 92 hours of individual supervision.

Need more information?

Please call 203-770-4338 or email me at marianelamed@aol.com. I look forward to meeting you!

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