Poetry as Disruptive Pedagogy: Raising Therapists in the Faculty of Science


  • Paul Rhodes University Sydney




In this paper I invite further dialogue about the art of introspection in psychology, turning inwards, slowing down, and also contemplating how distress is situated in place and time. Poetry serves as both a form of inquiry and communication, one which can begin conversations with oneself and students beyond the technical demands of the profession of clinical psychology. It can help to position therapy, as both an interpersonal encounter and cultural artefact, rather than solely an expert-driven enterprise. My field, as a science needs interrupting by the humanities, by both phenomenology and politics. I will then demonstrate how I have used specific works of poetry as a pedagogical tool, to introduce my seminars and open the hearts of my students. Poetry offers a means by which students can be moved not only taught; to rediscover their own internal experience, to wonder about that of others, or engage in critical reflection rather than simple action. This paper is written loosely; semi-bricolage, and will include excerpts from a variety of works of poetry, including original pieces and a number of vignettes from the classroom and clinic.






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