Nicholas  Mazza, PhD, PTR

Nicholas Mazza, PhD, PTR

Cascade Communication

Professor and Dean Emeritus at Florida State University

Expertise: PsychologyMental HealthHurricane IanDomestic Violencepoetry therapyGriefTraumalossDepressionAnxiety

Nicholas Mazza, PhD, is Professor and Dean Emeritus at the Florida State University, College of Social Work, Tallahassee, FL. Dr. Mazza holds Florida licenses in psychology, clinical social work, and marriage and family therapy. He's been involved in the practice, research, and teaching of poetry therapy for over 40 years. He says that poetry’s unique use of language, symbol, story and rhythm has been effective in therapeutic settings. And while typically a solitary act, sharing poetry can provide additional healing and support.

Dr. Mazza is the author of Poetry Therapy: Theory and Practice, 3rd Edition (2022); and Editor of a 4-volume series, Expressive Therapies (published by Routledge). He is also the founding (1987) and continuing editor of the Journal of Poetry Therapy: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Practice, Theory, Research, and Education. He is president and continuing board member of the National Association for Poetry Therapy (NAPT). In 1997, Dr. Mazza received the Pioneer Award; and in 2017, the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from NAPT.

He can:
-Discuss why poetry is in a “full on” renaissance
-Discuss why poetry is such a simple yet powerful therapeutic practice
-How writing poetry impacts positive mental and emotional health
-Poetry’s unique ability to express emotions and provide release
-How poetry can assist in coping with loss, recovery, trauma, violence and more
-Yet, it can also connect people and build community and support
-Offer tips and advice on getting started with poetry for therapy

Dr. Mazza is a widely published scholar and poet. He can offer tips and advice for getting started with poetry, discuss why it is such a therapeutic practice, why it is seeing a renaissance. In addition to poetry therapy, Dr. Mazza has practiced, taught, and published in the areas of crisis intervention, death and trauma, family therapy, group work, clinical theories and models, and the arts in community practice. Dr. Mazza, a marathon runner, is the founder of the College of Social Work Arts and Athletics Community Outreach Program for At-Risk Youth established at Florida State University (FSU) in 2011.

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“The need to address mental health is greater than it's ever been. It’s no surprise we’re seeing growing interest in poetry."

“Writing poetry offers a unique opportunity for emotional release and self-discovery that is empowering and healing, and it’s clear people are seeking it out. They’re looking for more positive social connections and communities that are supportive, understanding and where expression is authentic. Poetizer gives them this with all the benefits for a healthier mind.”

“Poetry has the unique ability to facilitate meaningful shared experiences. Poetizer has given a home to poetry as a social network connecting people to others who have the same emotions about life, societal issues, economic and global concerns. It allows people to express themselves freely and to build community.”

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