Wikipedia pages category bibliotherapy
Since Bookkaholic has a nice ReadersAnonymous ring to it and may aid in finding new reading matter, check out this review on one of my favorite authors (search this site for Ondatjee) as representative.
But is it bibliotherapy?
Bibliotherapeutic methods for mental stability...
Some reports from people who have utilized the School of Life at 70 pounds (140$?) For a reading prescription. Really sounds like simple readers advisory as taught in basic library school MLIS programs. But, sadly, with all the budget cuts to libraries, there are few libraries that can employ professional level librarians with time to devote to such elegant pasttimes. They're far too busy writing grants and marketing the library to the masses in order to keep the doors open. So all in all, a valuable service.
Now if I could just talk them into bankrolling a chain here in Portland with me at the helm.
Rivero mainstreams bibliotherapy in a nutshell. Only complaint is, once again, references are to how this works to help children with no mention that same methodology applies to adults. Suggests adults have answers whereas existential questions tend to be lifelong explorations in multiplicity and evolving points of view. We can all benefit from "creative reading" regardless of age or level of maturity (since reading level seems to be more indicative of the latter than the former.)
Bibliotherapy as defined by a cognitive behaviourist.
Possible inspiration for left brain right brain networking.
I.e., Why not?
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Definition: A form of psychotherapy in which selected reading materials are used to assist a person in solving personal problems or for other therapeutic purposes.
“What’s missing from your life?”
I knew this question was coming. It was the second-to-last on the form I had been asked to fill out – just before “Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?” and after “What are your passions?” It was the reason I set up this appointment and travelled to London.
“I’m considering a career shift; I need some inspiration. And courage.” I cough.
The person asking me the Big Questions is Ella Berthoud, a sprightly woman sporting a jumper dress with oversize buttons, a flaming-red pixie haircut and shimmering tangerine and pea-green eyeshadow. She leans in. “Have you ever read The Year of the Hare?” she asks. “It’s about a Finnish journalist who takes a drive in the countryside, accidentally hits a hare and disappears into the woods to help it recover, leaving his former life behind for the call of the wild.”
Glancing at the alphabet-shaped cookies piped with neon-hued icing on the table and the black-and-white trompe l’oeil mural in the next room, I assure myself that I haven’t stumbled down some rabbit hole and into a cartoon wonderland. No, silly, I’m meeting a bibliotherapist.
Although bibliotherapy might sound like just another clever name for the self-help book section, the practice has existed since at least the end of the 18th century in Europe and the beginning of the 19th century in the U.S., where mental-health hospitals started setting up libraries in the 1840s as a means to treat patients. The American physician Benjamin Rush noted in 1812 that certain novels could cure melancholy – this at a time when it was commonly believed that sensationalist texts caused insanity. And British soldiers were prescribed fiction after WWII to help them recuperate from post-traumatic shock. The notion of the library as an intellectual pharmacy continues to flourish, but what if your symptoms are less serious than depression or anxiety? What if you’re just interested in, say, a new career path?
Enter the School of Life. The unassuming little shop in London’s Bloomsbury neighbourhood – the city’s literary heart and one-time stomping ground of Virginia Woolf and Charles Dickens – tackles everyday philosophical quandaries with an eclectic curriculum, including everything from secular Sunday sermons to classes on “How to Fill the God-shaped Hole” and “How to Be Cool,” along with its popular bibliotherapy program.
Perched on my wooden chair, I’m not expecting a typical couch session – until Ella starts asking about my childhood. “Did your parents read a lot when you were young?” Yes. “Do you ever swap books with them now?” Rarely. Is this a late reading rebellion? Before I have time to invent past picture-book traumas, she moves onto relationships. “Do you and your partner ever read aloud to each other?” Apparently it’s a great way to spend time with your loved one while sneaking in a few chapters. Ella examines my questionnaire like a health chart before making notes along the margins. She scrawls something on a card – my instant prescription! – and tells me a full list will follow in a few days.
Heading south along Charing Cross Road, which seemingly slopes down toward Trafalgar Square from the sheer collective weight of its many bookshops, I duck into one of them in search of The Year of the Hare. The backwoods of Finland feel very far from London’s grand buildings and cobblestone grit. At the cash desk, the salesgirl peers over her black-rimmed glasses and says, almost cryptically, “This book is magnificent.” I buy a bookmark of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit to remind me where I am.
Later, as I settle onto a leather bench at the nearby National Portrait Gallery, a chorus of bronze busts reading over my shoulder, one character description pops out: “He hunted for his true identity in literature.” A book prescribed especially for you – that speaks directly to an existing condition – becomes a kind of map: Follow the narrative thread closely and chances are a few realizations will unravel. When The Year of the Hare’s protagonist exchanges all his worldly possessions for a simpler, more nomadic life, I find the idea of leaving the comforts of a nine-to-five existence less daunting and more thrilling. The story may be a fable, but it’s hatched a thought in my mind, easing it into the realm of possibility. How little you need to survive when you become your own guide, I think, flipping the book to an earmarked page. “Even a few days of freedom had sharpened his senses,” the text answers back.On my way to fill the rest of my prescription – starting with Passionate Nomad, a biography of the fearless British explorer and travel writer Freya Stark – I cut through Chinatown along Gerrard Street, festooned with glowing red lanterns. The cover image of the hare peeking out from a tweed jacket is just visible above my own coat pocket. “Year of the Rabbit,” a man says approvingly. “Have you read it?” I ask. He shakes his head quizzically: “2011 is the year of the rabbit.”
Right. In other words, my fictional travel companions will stay with me long after my week in London ends, their journeys continuing to influence my own. They’re at the very centre of this “bookmark trip” – which, I recently learned, means to mark the end of one chapter in your life and the beginning of another. Or am I just reading too much into things?
Fun and probaby cathartic. I have to admit, as a librarian, i have censored romance novels from our collection. But not because of the smut, because of the incredibly bad writing. I may have missed a trend toward improved calibre of authors who devote themselves to this genre. And, I have always thought that romance novels were women's porn. Good on the wymyn of Vaginal Fantasy for tackling the bodice ripper.
PDF of Powerpoint http://infopeople.org/sites/all/files/webinar/2012/04-17-2012/bibliotherapy_3spp.pdhttp://infopeople.org/sites/all/files/webinar/2012/04-17-2012/bibliotherapy_3spp.pdff