Bibliotherapy, in a variety of its clinical and non-clinical applications, has been widely acknowledged as an effective way of applying literature in everyday life. Research shows that bibliotherapy-based interventions in the form of individual consultations with a therapist or shared reading groups facilitated by librarians, educators, social workers, or others, have great potential for addressing a broad range of health issues – from mental health problems to dealing with chronic or terminal illnesses to coping with grief, loneliness, poverty and relocation.
In response to the growing interest in Bibliotherapy among librarians, we are proposing to form the Bibliotherapy Interest Group (BIG) within CHLA. The BIG will provide a platform for sharing creative ideas and experiences in bibliotherapy. The ultimate goal of the proposed interest group is to advocate for creative (non-clinical) bibliotherapy applications as a safe and effective methodology for addressing life problems and challenges and to promote resilience and psychological health and wellness. Other goals will include:
1.educate librarians on bibliotherapy research and existing theories and practices, particularly those relevant to a library setting;
2.explore new ideas and opportunities for bibliotherapy-based library programs and services to target inpatients, outpatients, caregivers, and healthcare providers;
3.create a Bibliotherapy LibGuide: an online database of literary materials (both fiction and non-fiction) on health and wellness topics;
4.develop and publish a Bibliotherapy Manual: a practical guide on how to facilitate a bibliotherapy-based reading group.