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Fe-Vers: Feeling Verses for Teens

“Poetry is consistently used by children and teens to express deeply held feelings that are not allowed to come out any other way. The writing of poetry, so often relegated to the MUSE within us, is actually our unconscious understandings, coming out in the rhythm and music of words, especially in metaphor.” — From the Introduction to Fe-Vers.

Fe-Vers: Feeling Verses for Teens, and its counterpart, Fe-Vers: Feeling Verses for Children, are two new workbooks from the pen of Cynthia Blomquist Gustavson, award-winning author of In-Versing Your Life. She has created a new world of poetry and exercises that can draw children and teens into a sphere of understanding. Gustavson, with her Fevers workbooks, has created a new method for working with children through poetry. Her own poetry inspires the children of abuse, neglect, depression, and angst to express themselves freely and clearly. Her own development, from barefooted country girl to successful businessperson, mother, poet and author, is the best example of her method’s success. Perfect for therapists, parents, teachers and more!

This is a guidebook to working with children that will throw new light on the entire practice of teaching and counseling! “If you could be anyone you wanted to be, would you live like a king, or fade into the background? Would you concentrate on being happy, or concentrate on knowing the truth? If you knew someone was being hurt, what would you do about it? Would you stay in the life you know or choose something totally different? If you flew away, where would you go?”

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Fe-Vers: Feeling Verses for Children

“Poetry is consistently used by children and teens to express deeply held feelings that are not allowed to come out any other way. The writing of poetry, so often relegated to the MUSE within us, is actually our unconscious understandings, coming out in the rhythm and music of words, especially in metaphor.” — From the Introduction to Fe-Vers.

Fe-Vers: Feeling Verses for Children, and its counterpart, Fe-Vers: Feeling Verses for Teens, are two new workbooks from the pen of Cynthia Blomquist Gustavson, award-winning author of In-Versing Your Life. She has created a new world of poetry and exercises that can draw children and teens into a sphere of understanding. Gustavson, with her Fevers workbooks, has created a new method for working with children through poetry. Her own poetry inspires the children of abuse, neglect, depression, and angst to express themselves freely and clearly. Her own development, from barefooted country girl to successful businessperson, mother, poet and author, is the best example of her method’s success. Perfect for therapists, parents, teachers and more! This is a guidebook to working with children that will throw new light on the entire practice of teaching and counseling.

“If you could be anyone you wanted to be, would you live like a king, or fade into the background? Would you concentrate on being happy, or concentrate on knowing the truth? If you knew someone was being hurt, what would you do about it? Would you stay in the life you know or choose something totally different? If you flew away, where would you go?”

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Con-Versing With God: Poetry for Pastoral Counseling

“God will have compassion according to the abundance of steadfast love; for God does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone.” Lamentations 3:32.

“I find that people who are walking a spiritual path relate well to poetry and metaphor. A particular poem can be used as a starter for individual or group discussions. It can also be used to gently jump start an individual to write his/her own poetry, which can be very self-revelatory.” — From the Introduction to Con-Versing With God.

Con-Versing with God is the latest book in Cynthia Blomquist Gustavson’s series of “In-Versing Your Life” workbooks, helpful for both therapists and self-help. This book deals with essentially every issue that arises in spiritual therapy, and gives the therapist/patient countless tools for dealing with life issues, faith issues, relationships, death, depression, and much more! This is a must-have for every spiritual counselor, pastor, pastoral counselor, or other therapist of faith.

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Re-Versing Your Pain: A Poetry Workbook for Chronic Pain

“We can carry a poem in our pocket, and take it out to give us motivation or courage, or to help us remember where we’ve been or where we want to go…” — From the Introduction to Re-Versing Your Pain.

Cynthia Blomquist Gustavson, award-winning author of In-Versing Your Life, has written another book in her poetry therapy workbook series, called Re-Versing Your Pain. The workbook reaches out to all people who live with pain, whether emotional or physical. In her 22 years as a social worker, Gustavson has worked with thousands of individuals and groups, and worked extensively with caregivers of the chronically ill and developmentally disabled, as well as with those afflicted with physical and mental ailments, including depression and anxiety. This method explores the approach of holistic healing — and will lead to healthy expression of pain, and a new understanding of the self. This is a must have for all therapists — this will motivate both you and your client to express pain and confusion as words and ink.

“Finally! A human services professional who knows enough about the art of poetry to write a powerful and useful book. this book will advance the field by elevating the poetic sensitivities of its users. An absolutely necessary book. Cynthia Blomquist Gustavson has created the transitional material for our libraries that I’ve been waiting for. In-Versing Your Life will be a permanent bookshelf companion. It’s a pleasure to give my support to such an important work.” — Jennifer Bosveld, Editor of Pudding Magazine: The International Journal of Applied Poetry and author of Topics for Getting in Touch: A Poetry Therapy Sourcebook.

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Re-Versing the Numbers: A Poetry Workbook for Eating Disorders

Re-Versing the Numbers: A Poetry Workbook for Eating Disorders. Soft-Cover Workbook Edition. Eating disorders are real, complex, and devastating conditions that can have serious consequences for health, productivity, and relationships… They are serious, potentially life-threatening conditions that affect a person’s emotional and physical health… The earlier a person with an eating disorder seeks treatment, the greater the likelihood of physical and emotional recovery.” — The National Eating Disorders Association

“As a psychotherapist, I often see clients with eating disorders who have been through non-helpful behavioral programs. Behaviorism is only part of the answer. Even cognitive change is affected by feelings, and if those feelings remain hidden, then little can be changed. “Therapists are constantly asking me for user-friendly materials which use the arts. The topics covered in this book are cognitive/behavioral in theory, but are approached from the holistic, artistic side. This book is designed to be used on only be individual readers, but also by mental health professionals.” — From the Introduction to Re-Versing the Numbers

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In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Book for Self-Discovery and Healing

In-Versing Your Life: A Poetry Workbook for Self-Healing and Discovery. The legendary Poetry Therapy Workbook in its second edition.

“When I first began to practice individual and family therapy, I noticed many of my clients wrote poems at times when they didn’t know what else to do with their feelings. Writing enabled them to recognize what was going on in their lives, to help them understand their feelings, and finally to encourage positive action.” From the Introduction to In-Versing Your Life.

“Finally! A human services professional who knows enough about the art of poetry to write a powerful and useful book. this book will advance the field by elevating the poetic sensitivities of its users. An absolutely necessary book. Cynthia Blomquist Gustavson has created the transitional material for our libraries that I’ve been waiting for. In-Versing Your Life will be a permanent bookshelf companion. It’s a pleasure to give my support to such an important work.”

–Jennifer Bosveld, Editor of Pudding Magazine: The International Journal of Applied Poetry and author of Topics for Getting in Touch: A Poetry Therapy Sourcebook.

“The therapeutic potential of poetry is addressed through the author’s use of her own work and a series of stimulating writing exercises. This work affirms the poetic in humankind and serves as a reminder that all poetry is unfinished. It is completed each time we respond to it. Cynthia Blomquist Gustavson, integrating her artistic abilities and professional skills as a social worker, invites us to create, connect, and make difference in our own lives and those we touch.”

–Nicholas Mazza, Editor of Journal of Poetry Therapy.

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Ballad of the Rag Man

Ballad of the Rag Man, written entirely in verse, is a story about a little girl who watches the Rag Man who collects cast off items including her old cast-off teddy bear. Much to her surprise the Rag Man repairs her teddy bear and brings it back to her. This book teaches children a valuable lesson about pre-judging others.

“Ballad of the Ragman by Cynthia Gustavson, illustrated by Kristina Tosic in brilliant colors, is a story in rhyme and rhythm about one of the outcasts of society. The ragman goes through the garbage and collects odds and ends. A girl decides to follow him to see what he does to these odds and ends in his own little workshop. Her discarded teddy bear is among the refuse he has collected. The ending is a surprise. But what is important is that she learns to appreciate someone previously feared. This is a marvelous vehicle for teaching children about diversity and difference. Not all people look, sound, or act the same. It is important to ask ourselves why we are afraid of difference. Is there evidence of wrongdoing, or hurting others? This story, in the form of verse, can launch a wonderful discussion with children.”

— Sherry Reiter, PhD, LCSW, Board Member of The National Association for Poetry Therapy

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Bully! The Big Book About Bullies and the Bullied

From Cynthia Gustavson’s Preface to Bully!, “Bullying is a hot topic in America today, and with good reason. Every school, group of friends, and family has someone who has been a victim of bullying, and most have someone who has acted like a bully.”

Psychotherapist and author Cynthia Gustavson has come together with her husband, developmental pediatrician Dr. Edward E. Gustavson MD, and her son Dr. Kent Gustavson PhD to write the first book on bullying that can be used for both the bully and the bullied.

With whimsical drawings throughout and writing prompts on nearly every page, this is an easy-to-use book that is a must-have for every classroom from elementary school on through high school, and for discussion groups everywhere. Great for parents, teachers, mentors, and most importantly, great for children and teenagers.

President Barack Obama, in his speech “It Gets Better” on October 21, 2010, said about bullying, “We’ve got to dispel the myth that bullying is just a normal rite of passage – that it’s some inevitable part of growing up. It’s not.” Bully! is a book that will help victimized and bullied children and teens as well as their tormentors.

A few of the included topics are: Bullies Come in Different Shapes and Sizes; Building Self-Understanding; Expressing Feelings; Bully or Bullied?; How Do You React?; Passive Behavior; Aggressive Behavior; Assertive Behavior; Responding to Authority; Siblings as Bullies; Hard to Love; Self-Reflection; Acting with Compassion; Command and Control; Forgiving Others and Self; Developing Inner Strength; Now and the Future; So What If I’m Different?; Learning to Communicate; Conversation Bullies; Making Yourself Heard; Social Media Bullies; What Do You Do With a Bully?; I Am Now, But I Will Be; What Will You Be Like 20 Years From Now?

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Please Use This for Children, Not for War and Guns

Please Use This For Children, Not For War and Guns is a masterful collection of Midwestern poetry. These are poems that viscerally and spiritually eviscerate Gustavson, with tenderness of a mother and a wife, and the anger of a partner, an advocate for children, and a citizen.

From “Please Use These Words for Children,” an activist poem about a simple letter to the government along with her family’s taxes saying, “Please use this for children, and not for war and guns…” to a poem about a conversation between a mid-western mother and her daughter about long kept secrets over an empty ice cream bucket filled with lily-of-the-valley slips, to “The Poem That Needs to Be Written” about the red-haired child growing up to be gay, this book confronts issues seldom tackled in mainstream poetry.

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Between Tahlequah and Tulsa

Published by Blooming Twig (New York/Tulsa)

Click here for information about the Audio Book

Click here to order from Amazon.com

From the publisher: The prose in “Between Tahlequah and Tulsa” combines Gustavson’s time-honored flair for evoking pastoral scenery with a newfound muscular emotionality and a brave declarative voice.

Unapologetically, she addresses Native American rights, spirituality, blunt political discourse, and the new frontier dream of 1960s. Cynthia also digs deep and courageously revisits poignant childhood memories. A stunning example of this vigorous vulnerability is halfway through the long poem that makes up this book, where she comes to grips with her father’s passing.

Here she writes: Dad said in his business voice / we’d meet misfortune head on / that we’d get stronger from this / that growing up was learning how to tough out the bad times / but three months later when he died, my thirteen year old mind didn’t feel tough and I could still smell the burned rafters of my home.