Writing poetry helped me to make sense of my own development and the many different facets of psychotherapy.
The poems in this book show some of my challenges and learning.
The poems symbolise difficult times, as well as growth, in the search for who I am, supported by the therapeutic relationship, that research shows is crucial to effective psychotherapy and this has been key to me making contact with myself and with others.
I hope the poems will speak to anyone taking their own journey; those in training and to practicing therapists.
Many people have encouraged me to publish my poetry, including dear friends, colleagues, tutors , other therapists and my son John who has urged me for years to publish- so here are a selection at last!
Sincere thanks go to Richard Erskine for writing the Foreword to Shades of Self and to the therapists and tutors who have endorsed the back page –
Sandra Watson; Eileen Foster; Catherine Davies; Catherine Austin and Peter Fantini.
My deepest thanks go to my therapist Wendy Clements because without the years of work we have done together my creative side would not have emerged.
This book is dedicated to you Wendy – for not giving up on me; believing in me; carrying the hope when I lost my way and for the hardest part of my therapy -showing me how to face the pain of saying goodbye.
In the words of one of my songs your love has set me free and I will carry you with me always.
I have already received positive feedback from therapists and trainers who have used my book and CD with clients and trainees. I will share their feedback and my own comments on the Feedback section. Here are the endorsements from dear colleagues and tutors I respect deeply.
‘Chris’s poems are an open-hearted reflection of the challenges and enlightenment of her therapeutic journey. Her poetic journal offers a window to would-be clients and to would-be therapists, as well as current clients and therapists – to explore how prose, poetry or verse can be harnessed and used to enhance a therapeutic process’
– Sandra Watson, UKCP Registered Psychotherapist, IIPA Trainer, Supervisor and Therapist
‘It is my great pleasure to endorse Chris’s selection of poems. In my view they provide a unique gift of insight for both therapists and clients alike. The richness of this collection of work entices the reader’s curiosity, encouraging them to read on…
Chris’s poems have a lyrical beauty which for me binds the outer and inner landscape. Her poetry is a rare amalgam of her personal and professional experience which I believe actually shows the writings of deep consciousness. Each poem is skilfully and sensitively crafted which captivated me as they drew me into her unique vision and experience – beautifully illuminating and condensing her thoughts and feelings into an art form I feel she has deftly created throughout the book!
Some of the poems I found profoundly moving. They awakened in me elements of my own unique experience and process and provided me with companionship on my own therapy journey. Chris’s poems bring a sincere understanding of the basic nature of therapy and she writes with awareness that inspires the reader to consider their own experience more fully’
– Eileen Foster, Psychotherapist & Supervisor MA/MSc/RGN
‘Shades of Self’ is an unpretentious anthology of poetry. Chris Redfern’s words, like crystal chords, have an unadulterated simplicity that have the potential to resonate in our hearts and minds long after they are read. Their apparent simplicity, paradoxically, result from her vocational commitment to self- inquiry. They capture her humanity and inevitably, ours also.
– Catherine Davies, BACP Accredited, Certified IIAP Psychotherapist.
Chris Redfern is a poet – a person with heart. Put these qualities together and there arises profound depth of insight and capacity to speak from the source of the soul. Her poetry is rich and resourceful and I recommend that you read her work and feel the resonance of her writing.
– Peter Orlandi-Fantini, Accredited Trainer, Supervisor and Gestalt Psychotherapist – UKCP Accredited, MA.
In this moving book Chris creatively and courageously shares personal experiences of psychotherapy. Her evocative poems and illustrations capture the essence of a reparative journey and offer a unique insight into the challenges and rewards of a healing process.
– Catherine Austin, Trainer, Supervisor and Psychotherapist, UKCP Accredited Psychotherapist, MA.