Dr. Bahareh Amidi Introduces Menlo to Poetic Expression

Dr. Bahareh Amidi Introduces Menlo to Poetic Expression

Dr. Bahareh Amidi ‘88 is an American-Iranian poetry therapist who believes that words and voice can be instrumental in the healing process. Amidi recently presented Invitation to Expression, a poetry workshop for the Menlo College community. “Visiting Menlo is like coming home for me,” Amidi confided.

Amidi explained that, as a Menlo student, she received many gifts, including lifelong mentor Dr. Diane Harvey, retired professor and Provost of the Professional Studies Program at Menlo College.

Amidi’s discussions with Harvey about the soul prompted her to earn her advanced degrees. “I wanted to study psychology to figure out who I am,” she recalled. Amidi has a master’s degree in Family, Marriage and Child Counseling Psychology from College of Notre Dame, and a PhD from Catholic University in Educational Psychology.

She described that poetry came to her five years ago at a concert where she penned a few words on a tablet. When she shared what she had written with her sister, she realized that she wanted to study poetry. Her love for her newly-discovered media of expression led her to attend The Institute for Poetic Medicine.

As a poetry therapist, she presents workshops to a variety of audiences at schools, organizations, and businesses. To each group she offers the same instruction: “We are here to receive each other’s words with love and respect. A blank piece of paper is an invitation to your heart and soul. All you need to do is open your heart and let it pour on the paper. Write about images and feelings in this moment. Don’t block yourself.”

She encouraged the Menlo audience to spontaneously create their own poems to share with the group. Two poetic phrases ‘beauty is in all moments’ and ‘but only if you’re the right one,’ and other lyrical expressions flowed, leaving the audience amazed. As one participant wrote, “Who would have thought?”

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