Monday, April 03, 2006
Healing Through Books: Bibliotherapy
Bibliotherapy, also known as Reading Therapy, is the inclusion of books to help individuals move through emotional experiences.
Historically, bibliotherapy dates back to the 1930's when librarians began compiling lists of written material that helped individuals with trauma, thoughts, feelings, or behaviors for therapeutic purposes.
I often use bibliotherapy to help people I work with move through difficult events or traumas, like death, divorce, chronic illness, teasing, or hospitalization, just to name a few. Bibliotherapy can be used with children and adults, and can be something that one does on their own as well. And book clubs can be seen as a kind of bibliotherapy too.
Generally speaking, activities in bibliotherapy are designed to do the following :
* provide information
* provide insight
* stimulate discussion about problems
* communicate new values and attitudes
* create awareness that other people have similar problems
* provide realistic solutions to problems
Right now, I'm doing the bibliotherapy thing. I am reading "The Myth of Moral Justice" by Thane Rosenbaum. I'm working through my emotions about injustice in the world.
Great Bibliotherapy Resources for Children:
"Books to Grow With" By Cheryl Coon
Great Bibliotherapy Resources for Adults:
"Read Two Books And Let's Talk Next Week" By Joshua & DiMenna
"Reading to Heal: How To Use Bibliotherapy to Improve Your Life" By JD Stanley
 Pardeck, J.T. (1994). Using literature to help adolescents cope with problems. Adolescence, 29(114), 421-427.
 Eric Digest: Bibliotherapy