Poetry and Trauma

As Steadfast House continues to search for new and innovative ways to serve our women, a different kind of class opportunity came our way: Healing through Poetry.


Taught by Mary Ellen Lough, Healing through Poetry allows students to work through trauma with creative writing. According to Mary Ellen, “Poetry allows you your own voice. It allows you to connect the dots between what you think, feel, experience, question, wonder, love, and hate. A poem is a space in which everything belongs. It transforms because it can create beauty from pain. It can help shoulder the weight of what you carry, and allow you to share your story with others, so you don’t have to carry it alone.”

Healing through Poetry is a ten-week course that meets once per week for an hour and a half.  It covers the basics of poetry and teaches mindfulness techniques. In class, students are tasked with writing exercises with varying themes that they are then invited to share.

Darla, a current Steadfast House resident, said that she never had any talent as a writer, but was up for any challenge that leads her to learn about and express herself.  Darla shared, “These writings have allowed me to work through some of these emotions and find some peace within myself. It has given me the realization that I am exactly where I need to be. I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn a new tool to cope and a new avenue for my creativity to flow.”

Healing from trauma can take a multidimensional approach. We are thankful the women of Steadfast House are able to experience such a unique class.