Reading: A Compilation of Poems on Political Trauma

Readings: A curated packet of poems will be sent to participants a month before the workshop. Click here for the full list of poems. Here are a few examples of the poems:
Power by Audre Lorde
Could Have by Wislawa Szmborska and
Try to Praise the Mutilated World by Adam Zagajewski

Clinical Title: Poetic Expression of Political Trauma: Rage, Grief, Hope, Healing

Presenters: Alyson Shore Adler, LCSW & Joan F. Pollak, LCSW

Date: Sunday, April 23, 2017
Time: 10 am to 1 pm | 3 CEs
Place: Glenside, PA


Description and Rationale for Presentation:
Judith Lewis Herman, author of the classic book Trauma and Recovery, wrote, “in the absence of strong political movements for human rights, the active process of bearing witness inevitably gives way to forgetting.”

Poems don’t allow us to forget.

This experiential workshop will integrate the three stages of trauma and recovery, outlined by Judith Lewis Herman, with the discussion of poems written during times of political upheaval. The poems selected by the presenters represent three categories of poetic expression; poems of rage (rant), poems of loss (elegy) and poems of healing (prayers and praise.)

Our goal in creating this workshop is to establish a safe forum to give voice to our experiences in our current unstable times.

The poems chosen reflect the trauma recovery stages of: establishing safety; mourning and remembrance; and reconnection as we move through expression of emotion and reground ourselves in this time of political trauma. The poets are from different religions, cultures, genders, and ethnicities. The poems will reflect politically charged times in history including the Mid-East Conflict, Vietnam, the Holocaust, the AIDS Epidemic, Native American genocide, racism, and Black/ gay/ immigrant/ female intersectional oppression.

Participants are expected to read the packet in advance. Presenters note: (please read these poems at leisure, a few at a time to allow them to be savored and feel which poems resonate). Participants will select a few of these poems that speak to them personally and that they will be willing to read aloud to help create a collective voice.

Participants are encouraged to bring a meaningful poem or two not included in the packet if they'd like to share with the group.

Clinical Goals: By reading the poems, attending and participating in the entire discussion, participants will:

  1. Learn to identify categories of poetry that express a range of emotions, including Rant, Elegy, Prayer and Praise.
  2. Identify three stages of trauma recovery and apply them to coping with times of political upheaval.
  3. Create a shared and collaborative experience in the reading and discussion of poetry that facilitates coping with today’s political climate.

About the Presenters:
Alyson Shore Adler, LCSW received her M.S.W. from Hunter College in 1980 and has worked in clinical settings since then. She has also trained as a family therapist, trauma therapist, hypnotherapist and a Somatic Experiencing practitioner. Her practice has been with Adler-Zilber & Associates in Narberth for over 18 years. She has been studying and writing poetry for the past 17 years.

Joan F. Pollak, LCSW received her M.S. from Columbia University School of Social Work. She has worked in a community mental health outpatient aftercare setting and is currently in private practice in Wynnewood, PA. Her practice specializes in treating survivors of sexual abuse as well as supervision and consultation. She is past president of PSCSW and currently serves on the PSCSW Board.

Participants who attend this program must be present for its entirety in order to get the continuing education credits. (Please print this email and keep in your file along with your CE in case you are audited.)

Cancellation Policy:
PSCSW Members: There is a $5 non refundable administrative fee for any cancellation up to 48 hours prior to this program.
No refund will be issued if less than 48 hours notice is given for this program.

This program is presented and hosted by PSCSW members. Both the presenter and host put a lot of time and preparation to make sure that attendees are receiving a wonderful program and feel welcome at the program. Just as in your professional life when someone cancels last minute, it has an impact on you. Please be cognizant of this when you register for this program.

Continuing Education Credits:
For Pennsylvania Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors: This program is approved for credits for professional workshops sponsored by the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work, a state affiliate of the Clinical Social Work Association listed in Section 47.36 of Title 49, Chapter 47 of the PA Code, State Board of Social Work Examiners. This program is also approved for credits for professional workshops for marriage & family therapists (Section 48.36) and professional counselors (Section 49.36).

For New Jersey Social Workers: This program is approved for credits. Programs or courses approved by boards that license social work practice in other states are a valid source of continuing education credit (N.J.A.C. 13:44G-6.4(c)10).

PSCSW Members: Please login to register and see discounted member pricing for this event. 

  • April 23, 2017
    10:00 am - 1:00 pm