POETRY can be used as a therapy.

Thus said College of Science alumnus and writer Victor Emmanuel Carmelo “Vim” Nadera, Jr. before the Psychology students during the Fr. Angel de Blas Memorial Lecture last Nov. 17 at the College of Education auditorium.

In his paper, “Tula bilang gamot: isang panimulang pagsusuri ng panulaan ng mga maykanser at may-AIDS,” Nadera recounted how poetry therapy affected the lives of some cancer and AIDS patients he met.

“Poetry therapy allowed the patients to recognize their own feelings toward the disease and to deal with these feelings by means of self-expression in the form of poems,” said Nadera, also the director of the Institute of Creative Writing of the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

“This may be one of the explanations on the improvement of the psychological state (of the patients),” he added.

The paper is the continuation of Nadera’s postgraduate thesis “Poetreat” when he finished his master’s degree in Clinical Psychology in UST in 1996. Nadera finished B.S. Psychology in UST in 1984.

Nadera is currently using poetry therapy on drug victims at the National Bureau of Investigation’s rehabilitation center in Tagaytay City.

His talk was in the fulfillment of his duty as a Fr. Angel de Blas Outstanding Alumni special award recipient in creative writing, given to Psychology graduates who excel in their fields.

Already on its second year after its revival in 2003, the award was established in honor of Fr. Angel de Blas, O.P., who founded the Department of Psychology, to inspire the students to excel in their fields after college, according to Psychology department chair Dr. Rosalito de Guzman.

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The Department also awarded Imus Institute High School Department’s guidance counselor Jocelyn Sarreal-Bautista (1980), PsychConsult, Inc.’s consultant psychologist and partner Zachele Marie Briones (1994) and Corporate Development Group eTelecare International, Inc.’s senior manager Robert James Claros (1994) as its outstanding alumni in educational, clinical, and industrial psychology, respectively.

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