Monday, March 20, 2006


Bibliotherapy. Remember the concept of bibliotherapy? This ERIC Digest from 1993 has a good summary of the concept.

The site noted, "The idea of healing through books is not a new one--it can be traced far back in history, from the days of the first libraries in Greece (Bibliotherapy, 1982). The use of books in healing, however, has been interpreted differently by classical scholars, physicians, psychologists, social workers, nurses, parents, teachers, librarians, and counselors. There is, in fact, confusion in determining the dividing line between reading guidance and bibliotherapy (Smith, 1989). And the vast amount of professional literature that is available on bibliotherapy (Eppele, 1989) naturally mirrors the point of view of the helping professional who wrote it and the field in which he or she is an expert. "

As times have changed, I wonder if some are using specialized web pages to create biliotherapy (webiotherapy?) sites which can serve the same purpose faster and with less cost?


Jennie W said...

I love this idea! I think books are the answer to everything. Honestly, if I don't know the answer, I always go to my books. And there is nothing so relaxing as a good book. Now we just need to teach the rest of the population how to read and what a book is....was that too mean? But it is amazing how many people in the US can't, don't or won't read.

M said...

"But it is amazing how many people in the US can't, don't or won't read."

I think while literacy remains high, intrest in reading itself is low.

My seven year old son is just starting to read. It just seemed to have clicked for him and it has been a lot of fun listening to him read to me.

Steve Barancik said...

I don't know if you'd call it a specialized page, but I'm developing a website inspired by a positive experience borne of having inadvertantly perpetrated bibliotherapy on my 5 year old daughter!

Long story short, she was experiencing a rather persistent problem behavior, and nothing I was doing was helping. One day, in the car, I just started weaving the story of another girl with the same behavior, using my modest storytelling skills. (I'm a professional screenwriter so of course they're modest.)

My daughter was enthralled, needing to hear the story again and again. (The character in the story resolves the problem behavior herself after experiencing negative consequences for it.) Next thing you know, I was putting the story to paper and my daughter was illustrating it.

Amazingly, the problem behavior resolved itself almost immediately. My daughter drew the strength to fix it from the girl in the story. None of my other attempts at parenting had made a dent!

I discovered only afterward that what I'd done had already had a word applied to it, namely Bibliotherapy.

Anyway, the site, Best Children's Books - Find, Read or Write, seeks to get parents to put a little more thought into building and nurturing their child's lifelong love of reading.

The page, How To Write A Children's Book For A Very Specific Audience, walks parents step-by-step through taking a hack at homemade bibliotherapy for their own child's problem behavior.

Thanks for listening!