Peggy Osna Heller

Peggy Osna Heller, PhD, LCSW-C, PTR, is a social worker, clinical poetry therapist and master mentor/supervisor. With an initial degree in speech pathology, Peggy taught for many years before training in poetry therapy. She has written poetry since childhood, loves to read, sing, and walk. She practices psychotherapy and poetry therapy in Potomac, Md. 

Classes Taught for the Therapeutic Writing Institute:

Word Arts Collage

  • Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, N.Y.: B.A., Speech Pathology 1958 
  • Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.: M.S.W., Social Work 1983 
  • Pacific Western University, Los Angeles, Ca.: Ph.D.. Counseling Psychology 1995 
  • Saint Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, D.C.: Certificates: Bibliotherapy, 1979 – 1981, Group Dynamics, 1981-1982 
Licensure, Certifications, etc.:
  • Therapist-American Speech and Hearing Association, 1958
  • Bibliotherapist-Saint Elizabeths Hospital, 1979 
  • Certified Poetry Therapist- National Association for Poetry Therapy, since 1984 
  • Registered Poetry Therapist-National Association for Poetry Therapy, since 1988 
  • Certified Group Psychotherapist-American Group Psychotherapy Association, since 1994 
  • Member-Academy of Certified Social Workers, since 1985
  • Diplomate in Clinical Social Work-since 1993 
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker-State of Maryland; Washington, DC, since 1985 
  • Speech Correction Teacher-New York and Florida, 1957 – 1960 
Books / Awards/ Other Meritorious Achievement: 
  • Word Arts Collage: A Poetry Therapy Memoir. Johnstown OH: Pudding House Publications. 2009 
  • Co-Editor with C. T. Cox, Portrait of the Artist as Poet. Chicago: Magnolia Street Publishers. 2006 
  • Part VI, Finding a Map to Travel By (w/Kenneth Gorelick, M.D.) in The Healing Fountain: Poetry Therapy for Life’s Journey. G. G. Chavis and L. L. Weisberger, eds. St. Cloud, MN: North Star Press. 2003 
  • Poetry Therapy Training Manual for Mental Health Professionals. Dissertation, Pacific Western University, 1995. 
  • Biblio/Poetry Therapy in the Treatment of Multiple Personality Disorder in Treating Abuse Today – The International Newsjournal of Abuse Survivorship and Therapy, 3:4, 1994 
  • Out of Our Argument With Ourselves in Annapolis Holistic Health Center Newsletter 9:4,1991 
  • Chapter 11, Adult Responsibilities, (with K.P. Gorelick, M.D.) in Life Guidance Through Literature.  A. Lerner and E. Mahlendorf, eds. Chicago: ALA. 1992 
  • The Three Pillars of Biblio/Poetry Therapy in Journal of Arts in Psychotherapy, 14:4, 1987
  • Adolescents and the Little Prince in Journal of Poetry Therapy, 1:2, 1987 
  • The Bibliotherapy Sourcebook. Psychiatric Institute of Washington, D.C., 1986. 
    Poetry (on the absurdity and joy of the human condition) 
  • Alcoholism and Sexuality. Lois Fleit, Ph.D., Washington, D.C.: H/P Publications 1979
  • Museletter, National Association for Poetry Therapy 1987 – 1989 
  • Editorial Staff, Journal of Arts in Psychotherapy, 1988 – 2006 
  • Journal of Poetry Therapy, 1986 – present 
  • Graduate Assistantship in Speech Pathology-Florida State University, 1958
  • Distinguished Service Award-National Association for Poetry Therapy, 1993 
    Morris R. Morrison Education Award-National Association for Poetry Therapy, 2004 
  • Biographee-Who’s Who in the East, 1994-1999; Who’s Who in America, 1996-present 
  • The Cosmos Club, Washington, DC: Accepted in membership 2007 
  • American Group Psychotherapy Association (Clinical Member 1988 – 2004) 
  • Bibliotherapy Round Table (Treasurer 1984 – 2008) 
  • Greater Washington Society for Clinical Social Work (Executive Committee 1994-96)
  • Mensa (accepted in membership 1995) 
  • National Association for Poetry Therapy Foundation (Founder 1993, President 1996) 
  • National Association for Poetry Therapy (President 1991 – 1993) 
  • National Association of Social Workers (since 1982) 
  • National Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy (Treasurer 1987 – 1997, President 2004-2007) 
Classes Taught Elsewhere:
  • The Catholic University of America School of Social Service, Washington, D.C.: Lecturer/co-developer of one credit graduate course, Bibliotherapy in Social Work Practice 1987, 1988,1989 
  • Additional Classes: “Bibliotherapy with the Institutionalized Elderly,” for graduate gerontology students, October, 1984; “The Adolescent: Treatment with Bibliotherapy,” for students in graduate Human Behavior course, November, 1985; “Using Expressive Therapies with the Elderly,” for graduate gerontology students, December 1985 and November 1986 
  • Florida International University, North Miami, FL.: Lecturer for Humanities Colloquium on poetry therapy, March 1991. 
  • Lesley College Graduate School Institute for Arts and Human Development, Cambridge MA.: Adjunct lecturer for poetry therapy course, “The Poem in Therapy” 1992
  • George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.: Instructor for undergraduate and graduate credit course in poetry therapy section of Expressive Arts Therapy Course, September 1997 
  • University of Maryland School of Social Work, Department of Continuing Education, annual full day class in applications of poetry therapy for social work practice 2000-2004 
  • Denver University Online – guest faculty for 4 sessions of course in Therapeutic Writing 2010