How Bibliotherapy Can Skyrocket Your Mental Health

5 min read

Remember not to self-diagnose disorders. Always seek a professional when thinking about how bibliotherapy can help you. Professionals will help you navigate the issue and be able to diagnose if it is right for you.

What is Bibliotherapy?

Bibliotherapy, according to Good Therapy is a “therapeutic approach that uses literature to support good mental health”. source

Books for therapy? sounds fun!

Brief history of bibliotherapy:

  • As far back as Ancient Greece, people have been utilizing the healing power of books and storytelling. Ancient Grecian libraries have been associated with “sacred places with curative powers”.
  • Even in World War II, mental health professionals used bibliotherapy for soldiers with PTSD to rehabilitate them in order to adjust to civilian life.
  • In 1978, a woman named Rhea Rubin has published a book called Using Bibliotherapy: a Guide to Theory and Practice.

What are the advantages of bibliotherapy?

  • It is cheaper than other forms of therapy. source: Regain
  • Convenient- therapy is in your pocket or bag!
  • Can use audiobooks, poetry, movies, songs, etc.
  • Many types of book genres to suit your interests

Who is bibliotherapy for?

Anyone who has mild symptoms of these mood disorders can use bibliotherapy to improve their condition:

source: Good Therapy

What about anxiety?

Bibliotherapy can have positive effects on children and adolescents with anxiety and depression. source: U.S. National Library of Medicine | National Institutes of Health

Even if you don’t have a diagnosed mood disorder, you can still use books to help your mental health

How to do bibliotherapy?

According to Good Therapy, there are 3 ways to do bibliotherapy:

  1. Prescriptive Bibliotherapy- the self help method. The therapist will prescribe specific books and content that can be utilized with or without professional help. source: Good Therapy
  2. Books on Prescription- A program with a comprehensive list of books on mental health subjects dealing with grief, loss, divorce etc. in order to help the patient understand and begin to talk about their condition. source: Good Therapy
  3. Creative bibliotherapy- use of creative mediums such as plays, novels, stories etc. to help patients see themselves in a character in order to navigate his or her feelings and be able to open up and talk about issues they are dealing with. source: Good Therapy

Book therapy can be utilized in small groups or can be enjoyed by yourself.

Who can you seek for bibliotherapy?

  • Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator
  • Certified Poetry Therapist (CPT), Registered Poetry Therapist (PTR)

Read more about bibliotherapy at:

People who can help with Bibliotherapy:

  • The School of Life offers a bibliotherapy service online here
  • Google “bibliotherapist near me”

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