Perhaps you’ve heard the term before. Bibliotherapy is, according to this article and this article in Psychology Today, the use of books and other forms of literature to support one’s mental health. The good news is that we can practice this on our own as well as in conjunction with a therapist – and realistically, if you’re reading this blog you’ve probably been your own bibliotherapist for years.
So, who could use a little mental health support on this morning of November 4, 2020?
Bibliotherapy tools include self-help books, obviously. The articles referenced above also support the value of fiction, poetry, and memoir, all of which provide insights into different points of view, build empathy, foster gratitude, and sometimes just allow for temporary escape.
Here are three books I’ve reviewed that might provide help. Click on the links for the full reviews. These titles should all be readily available from your library.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – a readable classic coming-of-age story in which flawed characters love other flawed characters. The main character overcomes diversity to achieve success.
Once Upon a River – the audio version especially. The narrator’s voice is warm and unhurried, and the story is rich and full of magic.
A Wrinkle in Time – this fantasy/science fiction classic is written for children, and as such might be a good choice to read together with your family. Good triumphs over evil.
What is your favorite therapeutic literature? You can share by commenting. (Off-topic comments will not be approved.)
Let’s not forget about laughter! Try listening to anything by David Sedaris, a very funny man. I’ve had success checking out his audiobooks through my library. You can also find him all over Youtube. He’s released a new book called The Best of Me, which was exciting initially, but it’s actually a compilation of previous work. That might actually be a good starting point if you haven’t listened to him before.
Poetry can also provide bibiliothearpy – reading a poem is almost like meditating, so that makes sense. In my next post I’ll talk more about this.
Take good care.