Transformative Words: Writing Otherness and Identities

Juhani Ihanus, Ph.D.
Open University and Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Finland

Series: Expressive Arts Therapies, Cultural Studies in the Third Millennium
BISAC: SOC026000



Volume 10

Issue 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick

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This book is about the transformative functions of words, literature, writing, and biblio/poetry therapy, approaching the subject through narrative and cultural psychology, storytelling, and shareable meaning making. The dialogic mind is described as trembling in a textual web of memories, metaphors, fantasies, transferences and poetic language, and even revising the different versions of the unconscious. The backgrounds, aims, methods, and processes of biblio/poetry therapy are elaborated by presenting how storying the self and the writing of otherness and identities enhance personal development, attune emotionally, autobiographically, and socially meaningful experiences, bridging knowledge and emotion and supporting growth and transformation.

Juhani Ihanus, PhD, is an Adjunct Professor of Cultural Psychology (University of Helsinki), and Art Education and Art Psychology (Aalto University). He is a pioneer of European biblio/poetry therapy, and a prolific author for over 450 publications in the fields of psychology, culture, literature, and visual arts.
(Imprint: Nova)


Part One: Letters and Writing

Chapter 1. From Graphemes to Bits

Chapter 2. On Otherness

Chapter 3. The Book and the Other

Part Two: Biblio/Poetry Therapy

Chapter 4. Experiential Flows of Poems

Chapter 5. Caring Words: Biblio/Poetry Therapy

Chapter 6. Research on Expressive/Therapeutic Writing and Narratives

Chapter 7. Poetry Therapy as a Performance Scene

Part Three: Narratives

Chapter 8. Stories of the Unconscious

Chapter 9. Self-Narratives: Between the Self and the Other

Chapter 10. Interpretations and Cross-Interpretations: Psychoanalysis and Literature/Art Reflecting on Each Other

Chapter 11. Narratives, Therapies and Cultural Networks




"Dr. Juhani Ihanus has done a remarkable job in examining the interface of the theoretical, philosophical, and interdisciplinary foundations of bibliotherapy, poetry therapy, and transformative writing. Beautifully written, Ihanus writes with passion, taking into account the critical importance of language and creative expression in a social and cultural context. This book, appropriate for professional and general audiences, has the potential to contribute to the well-being and growth of individual, groups, and communities." - Nicholas Mazza, Ph.D., Dean and Professor Emeritus at the College of Social Work, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA, editor of Journal of Poetry Therapy, author of Poetry Therapy: Theory and Practice, and editor of a 4 volume series, Expressive Therapies

“'Welcome to the space of writing,' Juhani Ihanus says, bringing wisdom as well as deep knowledge and practice of biblio/poetry therapy. These are powerful processes, benefiting from his explanation and explication. Be bold! Use your own pen or pencil as you go along, allow this text to help you develop your own story-making. Take the journey towards insight and inspiration through writing, with Juhani." - Dr. Gillie Bolton, author of The Writer’s Key: Introducing Creative Solutions for Life

"The author’s knowledge of psychology and literature as well as his deep scholarship give a convincing basis for his views on the transformative resources of words and narratives." READ FULL REVIEW IN The Journal of Poetry Therapy - Paavo Manninen, Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Keywords: Therapeutic writing; creative writing; expressive writing; writing research; narrative; storytelling; otherness; identity; psychology of literature

Audience: Academics, professionals and students in the fields of health care, medical humanities, psychology, social work, special education, school teaching, counselling, library work, creative and therapeutic writing, expressive arts therapies, cultural studies, and pastoral work, as well as anyone interested in the subject area, will find valuable information and inspiration in this book.

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