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to be of significant help, the book must contain sound information about how to overcome depression.

--Bibliotherapy is an adjunct to psychological treatment that incorporates appropriate books or other written materials, usually intended to be read outside of psychotherapy sessions, into the treatment regimen. --is an expressive therapy that uses an individual's relationship to the content of books and poetry and other written words as therapy. Bibliotherapy is often combined with writing therapy.

--Bibliotherapy refers to book therapy or a list of books that may be helpful in understanding a newly developed problem, a diagnosis, or suggested treatment.
--A person suffering from depression reads self-help books and other motivational books in between therapies to speed up the recovery.

Bibliotherapy is an old concept in library science. In the US it is documented as dating back to the 1930's. The basic concept behind bibliotherapy is that reading is a healing experience. It was applied to both general practice and medical care, especially after WWII, because the soldiers had a lot of time on their hands while recuperating. Also, the soldiers felt that reading was healing and helpful.

In psychiatric institutions bibliotherapeutic groups flourished during this time. The books kept the patients busy, and they seemed to be good for their general sense of well being for a variety of reasons. Bibliotherapy can give children the confidence they need to deal with anything that comes their way. It also gives parents an opportunity to discuss it with their children and find out what is going on.

3 Purposes of Bibliotherapy:
1. To provide support to those grieving the loss of a loved one 2. To provide support to those with chronic or terminal illnesses 3. To provide support to those in the helping professions

To develop an individual's self-concept to increase an individual's understanding of human behavior or motivations to foster an individual's honest self-appraisal to provide a way for a person to find interests outside of self; to relieve emotional or mental pressure


To show an individual that he or she is not the first or only person to encounter such a problem to show an individual that there is more than one solution to a problem to help a person discuss a problem more freely to help an individual plan a constructive course of action to solve a problem.

Generally, activities in bibliotherapy are designed to:

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

Four Basic Stages:

1. Identification- clients' needs must be identified, and appropriate books selected to match their particular problems. 2. Selection- takes skill and insight, as the books must provide correct information about a problem while not imparting a false sense of hope.

3. Presentation- books must then be presented carefully and strategically so that the clients are able to see similarities between themselves and the book characters. 4. Follow-up- clients share what they have gained. They express catharsis verbally in discussion or writing, or nonverbal means such as art role-playing, creative problem solving, or self-selected options for students to pursue individually Once catharsis has occurred, the clients can be guided to gain insight into the problem.

Bibliotherapy: Different Approaches

Traditional bibliotherapy
- focused on getting individuals to react positively or negatively to the reading material.

Interactive bibliotherapy
- participants engage in activities that help them reflect on what they read, such as group discussion and dialogue journal writing.

Clinical bibliotherapy and bibliocounseling

- skilled practitioners use therapeutic methods to help individuals experiencing serious emotional problems.

Developmental bibliotherapy
- involves helping students in their normal health and development.

Bibliotherapy is not likely to be useful with clients suffering from thought disorders, psychoses, limited intellectual ability, dyslexia, or active resistance to treatment. In addition, some clients may use bibliotherapy as a form of doit-yourself treatment rather than seeking professional help.

Implementing the therapy

Bibliotherapy can consist solely of reading, or it can be complemented with discussion or play activity. A child might be asked to draw a scene from the book or asked whether commonality is felt with a particular character in the book. The book can be used to draw out a child on a subject (s)he has been hesitant to discuss.

1.The therapists can "prescribe" a self-help book for their patients to read between therapy sessions to increase the speed of learning and recovery. (complementary therapy) 2.Individuals suffering from depression or anxiety can be given a self-help book to read as a self-administered treatment without any other drug therapy or psychotherapy. (stand-alone therapy)

Two Ways to Administer Bibliotherapy:

Benefits of Bibliotherapy
provides the opportunity for the participants to recognize and understand themselves, their characteristics, and the complexity of human thought and behavior. promote social development as well as the love of literature in general, and reading in particular reduces feelings of isolation that may be felt by people with problems.

availability of materials on certain topics lack of client readiness and willingness to read Clients may also project their own motives onto characters and thus reinforce their own perceptions and solutions. participants may be defensive, thus discounting the actions of characters and failing to identify with them, or even end up using them as scapegoats.

Limitations of Bibliotherapy:

facilitators may have limited knowledge of human development and developmental problems inadequate knowledge about appropriate literature clients may be unwilling to discuss areas that are uncomfortable, or facilitators may insist on making a point at the client's expense client and counselor stay on surface issues

References: /depression/dep_bibliotherapy.htm y m ga_Ziliene.pdf