Healing Through Words: How Poetry Helps Process Trauma

poetry helps process trauma through its beautified and insightful verses

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Poetry can be therapeutic. Beyond providing a channel of expression to authors, reading poetry helps process trauma, grief, and other burdensome emotions.

There are many ways people process and grow from heavy experiences that block the rays of happiness from seeping into their lives. Writing is one of them.

Translating one’s encounters and feelings to paper offers some sense of relief that unburdens the body of the mental anguish that may torment it. It physically allows the mind to communicate what it wishes to in an environment bare of judgment, a space that’s safe and secure. Writing about trauma lets people slowly unravel what may be knotted and tangled. It gives them enough time to process and cope, embracing and expressing every emotion that comes with the experience without pressure.

However, trauma can be complicated. It fosters in a space brimming with thorns pricking anyone approaching it as a potential bar of any tenderness. Trauma is a darkness so pressing it requires a light to lessen its weight, a beauty that heals it gently.

This is precisely why, among all the materials available, poetry helps process trauma.

Is Poetry a Good Coping Mechanism?

Countless poets have written thought-provoking poems about life that provide comfort and solace to the wounded. They have woven their gentle souls into words with the intention of inspiring and heartening people to find happiness beyond their defeated and bleak experiences.

Poets understand how poetry helps process trauma and heal pained hearts. These verses have a way of dancing into people’s hearts, uplifting and piecing them back together. Though these are sentiments coming from another, poems have a universal impact. They are written with messages that most can relate to, forming a means of communication that almost everyone comprehends.

Whenever death comes a calling, and it will,

Feel as you will, but you are required to feel.

The pain of being human and feeling loss,

For us, it is only a part of living and learning.

– Learning To Live Beyond Loss, Brion K. Hanks

Above is a verse from Learning To Live Beyond Loss, a poem by Brion K. Hanks. This verse and others from this specific poem by Mr. Hanks are a testament to the power of process and how poetry helps process trauma. Simply by reading through the author’s words, people are reminded that what they’re feeling is temporary. Although emotions as heavy as grief demand to be felt, it is suggested that people not forget how there is so much more to life than it.

How Poetry Helps Process Trauma and Heal the Wounded

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As one worthy survivor, please remember,

Expectations, even great expectations today,

Lead us along a path of onward and upward.

– Learning To Live Beyond Loss, Brion K. Hanks

Poets such as Brion K. Hanks can act as confidants through their words. They offer a shoulder to cry on for people who think they have nobody to turn to, with their words offering ease to cluttered minds. Poems such as the ones by Mr. Hanks can mask people’s pain and hold it gently until things have healed.

Poetry helps process trauma because they are written by hands who have also gone through grave situations. They’re formed by minds who genuinely want to help because they wish people to avoid what they’ve been through. There’s a common sentiment that unites poets and their readers: hope as internal strength to carry on with life.

Hope is a massive thing that might be too vast to discuss. Yet, it’s an image easily captured through poetry’s beautified prose and verses. Whether it’s about a specific experience they are trying to move past or simply the abstract ideology of looking forward to better days, poems capture the essence of hope. This is why poetry is one of the most effective vehicles for coping and healing through trauma.

It Speaks for Those Unspoken

Poetry can help process trauma by allowing those who may have suffered to speak for those who cannot. For individuals who have gathered the courage to be vulnerable before others, poetry acts as a channel for expressing what they may have suppressed.

Although their step may not influence others to step forward, it will remind them that they aren’t alone in whatever burden they’re carrying. Poetry helps process trauma by symbolizing how these experiences are (unfortunately) common, and if others can move past these, so can they. Putting words to the pain helps those struggling to better understand what they’re going through. This is a crucial first step in processing trauma and moving forward.

It Creates a Safe Space

As what’s mentioned, poetry displays people’s vulnerability. In a society that rewards bravery and assertion, poetry symbolizes that vulnerability and emotions don’t make people weak. It shows that taking a step toward expressing what burdens one is a courageous step, and healing is a decision showcasing people’s strength. Always worthy for self-healing.

Poetry helps process trauma by being a safe space where people can be raw in expressing their feelings. It gives people the freedom to be honest in conveying their emotions no matter what. This is especially beneficial to women, who are often told they’re too sensitive about their feelings. Reading or writing poetry allows them to confront their experiences without judgment, a space where words can help to heal that which may be troubling.

Much of Brion K. Hanks’ poetry can be therapeutic, and helpful to ease people’s worries. Both Tales of a Traveler in Poetry and Prose and When The Rose Fades will provide many examples for helping with regard to living life and all that goes with it.