The Use of Poetry in Identifying and Coping with the Emotional Tasks of Moving

Moving has been identified as a major stressor and quantified in terms of life exchange units (LEU's) in several widely used stress surveys (Coddington, 1972; Holmes & Rahe, 1967; Sarason, Johnson, & Siegel, 1978.) I am now preparing for the stress of my fourteenth move in twenty-five years of marriage, moves which have included living in eight states, buying and selling eleven houses, negotiating rental agreements, moving and packing tons of household goods, relocating children in their teen-age years, and finally, always having to create new community.

Through the early years of dislocation I was not employed outside of the home, and I could use all my energy and resources toward the moving process. However, in the last ten years I have been working as a social worker and therapist. It has meant less time and energy for the moves, as well as dealing with my own feelings regarding the loss of my practice and coworker camaraderie.

Read the rest of the article (reprinted from the Journal of Poetry Therapy) by downloading the PDF below.

Copyright © 1995-2013 Cynthia Blomquist Gustavson. All rights reserved.

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