Jennifer L. Graham-Jackson Literary Arts, Interdisciplinary, Visual Arts


LaShaunda Craddock

Jennifer L. Graham-Jackson
Virginia Beach, VA


Jennifer L. Graham-Jackson, Virginia Beach native, holds a BA in Psychology, a MFA in Creative Writing, and a Graduate Certificate in Literature. Her poems have appeared in Perspectives, in RED OCHRE LiT, and in Noctua Review. She has taught English Composition at various Hampton Roads universities. She is a Certified Journal to the Self® Instructor through journal therapy pioneer Kay Adams's program and is a Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator, facilitating poetry therapy. She has instructed and facilitated both children and adults, in schools and in communities. Poetry therapy, also called bibliotherapy, uses language, symbol, and story to promote learning, growing, and/or healing, and to do so in safe and inclusive ways. Jennifer enjoys combining poetry therapy with other expressive-arts techniques, to help engage all types of interests and learning styles. In her work, she often uses the power of metaphor via fairy tales, myths, and symbols, to bring about positive transformation, often taking a Jungian approach. She has also branched off into other areas of interest, such as doing poetry therapy facilitations for dream work. Jennifer acts as a regional representative through the National Association for Poetry Therapy, of which she is also a member, in order to promote poetry therapy and its uses.

Educational Background/Training

B.A. Psychology -- Virginia Wesleyan College
M.F.A. Creative Writing (poetry emphasis) -- Old Dominion University
Graduate Certificate in Literature -- Old Dominion University
Certification in Instructing Journal to the Self® -- The Center for Journal Therapy
Certification in Facilitating Poetry Therapy -- The International Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy
Continuing Education/Professional Development: biblio/poetry therapy, play therapy, and expressive arts therapy


$78 per hour
$475 per day
Journal to the Self® Workshop -- a 12-hour workshop for teens or adults -- $225 per person
Fees shown do not include travel or lodging
Fees are negotiable


Generally age 7 and up, including adults, but has worked with children as young as 4 years old

Educational Programs

Poetry Therapy Workshops
A typical workshop takes participants through a theme that grows in depth by the end, to the point where they can further explore it in their daily lives. A series of workshops explores many sides of a theme, and it is recommended that groups do a series of at least three sessions. Biblio/poetry therapy utilizes language, symbol, and story to promote learning, growing, and healing, often through metaphorical means. Sessions generally include an active warm up, a reading of or a viewing of some type of literature, a perspective-increasing discussion, an exploratory writing and/or creating segment, an opportunity for participants to share their writings and/or creations, and an ending that prompts a new beginning. Sessions often include other expressive arts as a complementary or as a supplementary component. Session and series themes can be customized and should be discussed in advance. Prior themes have included: “Where the Sidewalk Ends…,” “Summer of Wonder,” “Leaping into Spring,” “Sharing Stories through the Seasons,” “Winter Magic,” “Winter Wind Down,” “Find Yourself in Fairy Tales,” “Encouraging Courage through Scaredy Squirrel,” “Bloom through Music,” “Finding Yourself at the Intersection of Dreams and Poetry,” “Movies and Manifesting,”and “Thanksgiving Traditions & Transformations.”

Professional Development Workshops
These workshops promote the use of poetry therapy in educational and in community settings by bringing a workshop(s) to the professionals in the given field, that blends together didactic and experiential poetry therapy learning.

Journal to the Self® (JTTS) Workshops
These workshops are geared more for the teen and adult population, and, if requested, they can be customized to suit a particular theme. This 12-hour workshop is usually broken down into 2-hour sessions for six weeks or for 1 1/2-hour sessions for eight weeks, but it is possible to make it into a two or three-day program. Participants learn and practice the journal techniques that are presented in, journal therapy pioneer, Kathleen Adams’s book Journal to the Self. Workbooks are provided to the participants. As a branch of poetry therapy, journal therapy is also meant to evoke personal growth and to nurture creative expression as well as to enhance awareness. The journal techniques are meant to be used towards self-directed growth after the workshop is complete. Sample themes include “Turning Over a New Leaf: An Autumn Journal to the Self® Workshop,” “New Year, Fresh Start,” and “Journal to the Self® for Wellness.” Shorter JTTS workshops include “Stressbusting: Writing Through Troubled Times”© (1 1/2 hours) and “Holiday Gifts from Your Journal” (3 hours).