The term bibliotherapy may be relative modern; however, the concept of using books for healing is reportedly as old as the sign of the anxiety Grecian library at Thebes which translates as, “the healing place of the soul.” In the 1930s Dr. Karl Menninger and Dr. William Menninger advocated the use of books within the psychotherapeutic process.
Pardek, an expert in bibliotherapy, defined it as a dynamic interaction which occurs between the personality of the reader and the literature. Others define bibliotherapy as the use of literary work in the treatment of emotional and physical problems.
Bibliotherapy has many uses including:
- To gain insight into a problem
- To provide relaxation and diversion
- To stimulate discussion of problems
- To encourage one to focus outside of one’s self
NOTE: Books are not a substitute for the therapists’ time and are not to be considered a shortcut.
When you walk through a bookstore or browse online you will likely notice a very large section of books labeled psychology or self-help. Many of these books may be recommended by a therapist during treatment. Bibliotherapy is not limited to that section of books alone. Biographies, novels, non-fiction, comic books, and children’s books may also be used to stimulate growth and wellness. The use of movies and videos has also gained popularity in achieving the same goals.
You can be sure more book reviews are coming……Happy Reading.