The Oxford Dictionary defines bibliotherapy as “the use of books as therapy in the treatment of mental or psychological disorders.” While at the surface it may just sound like a fancy word for reading self-help books, it is much more! Bibliotherapy the practice, has been around longer then the word itself. In ancient Greece libraries were known as places to heal the soul. Ancient Greeks embraced the power of catharsis. Today many people unknowingly practice bibliotherapy and several mental health professionals utilize it with their clients.
Reading can be therapeutic in a number of ways. Not only can we learn skills and strategies to overcome obstacles when we read, we can also safely explore emotions, feel validated and connected, and more. Not every book provides the same experience for every reader, the more we identify with the characters or scenarios the more beneficial it tends to be.
Reading can absolutely be a form of self-care and I will be sharing with you things that I have read and found to have potential therapeutic benefit. While bibliotherapy is something you can explore independently there is the chance that certain books could trigger difficult feelings. In all my reviews I will list things that I have identified as possible triggers. If while reading if you become overwhelmed please do not hesitate to reach out to a professional to help you through processing your feelings.