During my death and dying class I did a research paper about bibliotherapy. To put it simply, bibliotherapy is the use of books as a therapeutic tool to help a client come to a greater understanding of something they are experiencing in their life.
I was in therapy for a short time after leaving a verbally/emotionally abusive relationship (long before therapy after the death of my daughter). My therapist was wonderful and helped me realize my ex’s abusive behavior was about him, not me. My ex wanted me to believe that some other man smiling at me was because I was a bad person acting like a slut but, in reality, was he was ruled by his own insecurities. When therapy was getting close to finishing, my therapist recommended reading “The Razor’s Edge” by W. Somerset Maugham. He told me to pay close attention to the main character, Larry Darrell. “That is the kind of man you should be on the look out for,” he said. Of course, I have had an affinity for that book ever since and own a paperback and hardback copy.
I hope to use bibliotherapy in practice when I’m a therapist. Many of the clients I see as an intern have zero interest in reading (or any homework for that matter) but a few have expressed interest and I’m hopeful because reading has been so therapeutic for me.
I added to my collection today, although I now realize I need to pay more attention to possible fiction bibliotherapy books.
Harry Potter is for my own therapeutic needs.