Tijdschrift voor Psychoanalyse vol:20 issue:2 pages:109-125
The authors discuss their experience with weekly poetry therapy groups, illustrating the therapeutic use of poetry from a psychodynamic point of view, first in a population of patients with personality disorders, and secondly in a population of psychotic patients. It is found that working with poetry can open up a space to think, and reduce the delirious rigidity in psychotic patients who are not acutely psychotic. Looking at the effect on mentalization in the broad sense of the word, the authors found a clear difference between the works of both groups. Poems of patients with personality disorders were more rigid and clichéd, but showed more reflection compared to the poems of patients who had suffered a psychosis. Poems of the psychotic group however were less rigid and some of them touched what can be described as a formless level of psychic functioning, a quality they seemed to share with art. These findings are put into a theoretical frame of reference.