Overview of Training

About the CAPF, CPT, and PTR

The terms poetry therapy, applied poetry facilitation, journal therapy, bibliotherapy, biblio/poetry therapy, and poetry/journal therapy are all intended to reflect the interactive use of literature and/or writing to promote growth and healing. When the umbrella term “poetry therapy” is used herein, it is intended to encompass all of the modalities above.

A certified poetry therapist (CPT) and registered poetry therapist (PTR) are licensed professionals who have extensive mental health training and may work independently with emotionally troubled populations. The CPT and PTR as licensed professionals are qualified to work with clients in clinics, hospitals, and similar institutions, as well as with mentally healthy populations. CPTs and PTRs also work with individuals having adjustment problems brought about by developmental or life crises or disabilities. The PTR completes an advanced level of training and fieldwork, commensurate with the highest levels of clinical practice.

Although some trainees may undertake CPT or PTR training while enrolled in a clinical graduate program and/or completing post-graduate requirements for licensure, these designations are conferred only upon those who have completed graduate work in a mental health field and have attained licensure. A credentials candidate who completes CPT or PTR requirements prior to licensure will be awarded the CAPF until they submit proof of licensure to the chair of the Credentials Committee.

A certified applied poetry facilitator (CAPF) brings to training a unique background, blending love and knowledge of literature and writing with an understanding of basic psychology and group dynamics. Although the CAPF’s training is geared to working with healthy populations, the CAPF must be able to determine when a distressed individual needs to be referred to a mental health professional.

The CAPF is trained to facilitate groups and work with individuals in developmental settings such as schools, libraries, recreational facilities, and similar growth and development-oriented organizations. The CAPF may also work in a mental health setting under the supervision of a qualified mental health professional.

If you would like to better understand the makeup of the CAPF, CPT, and PTR designations and the training involved to complete them, please download our free training guide.

Becoming a CAPF, CPT, or PTR

IFBPT is the only global independent credentialing organization for the profession of Biblio/Poetry Therapy.

Your title of certified applied poetry facilitator (CAPF), certified poetry therapist (CPT) or registered poetry therapist (PTR) announces that you have been trained in an area of specialty and have earned your place with your peers in the creative arts therapies.

The International Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy is the only organization that awards the designations of Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator (CAPF), Certified Poetry Therapist (CPT), and Registered Poetry Therapist (PTR) in acknowledgement of completion of the approved training program. These terms are trademark protected and their legal use is restricted to those who have completed the required training and maintain their status in good standing as determined by the renewal policy in place.

Training is offered via guided independent study under supervision by a Certified Mentor (CM) and is arranged between the trainee and the CM. All training must be completed under the guidance of a Certified Mentor; training cannot be done on one’s own. Both initial application for training and ultimate granting of credentials are managed by the Credentials Committee of IFBPT. The Credential Committee’s decisions are final.