What is Bibliotherapy?
* Bibliotherapy - the use of literature to help people cope with emotional problems, mental illness, or changes in their lives or to produce affective change and promote personality growth and development. * The underlying premise of bibliotherapy is that clients identify with literary characters similar to themselves, an association that helps the clients release emotions, gain new directions in life, and explore new ways of interacting * E.g. Teenage readers may feel relief that they are not the only ones facing a specific problem. * They learn vicariously how to solve their problems by reflecting on how the characters in the book solve theirs Some approaches in Bibliotherapy
* Traditional bibliotherapy
* Tended to be more 'reactive'
* Focused on getting individuals to react positively or negatively to the reading material. * Therapeutic process
* More interactive one: the reader becomes part of the unfolding intellectual and emotional process of the story, and in struggling to understand what is being communicated at the deepest levels, the reader responds by making a positive alternation or modification in behavior or attitude. * Interactive bibliotherapy
* Help them reflect on what they read, such as group discussion and dialogue journal writing. * In clinical bibliotherapy and bibliocounseling
* Skilled practitioners use therapeutic methods to help individuals experiencing serious emotional problems. * Developmental bibliotherapy
* Classroom teachers are more likely to use this method * Involves helping students in their normal health and development * Advantage - teachers can identify the concerns of their students and address the issues before problems arise. * Students can also be guided through predictable stages of adolescence Basic stages in Bibliotherapy
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: identification, selection, presentation, and follow-up. * First two stages - the clients' needs must be identified, and appropriate books selected to match their particular problems. * The books must then be presented carefully and strategically so that the clients are able to see similarities between themselves and the book characters. * Once the clients can identify with the main character, they enter the follow-up stage during which they 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. (Catharsis – the process releasing strong emotions through particular activities or experience) Benefits and limitations 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. * LIMITATIONS
* 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 * Facilitators may have limited knowledge of human development and developmental problems, and inadequate knowledge about appropriate literature. * Clients may be unwilling to...
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