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Bibliotherapy is reading books to help people understand their own actions, feelings, and find possible ways to cope with problems. By identifying with a character who successfully resolves a problem similar to the one they are experiencing they can gain insights into their own life. The story allows for problems to be externalized making topics safer to approach for some people.

Addresses the cognitive, emotional and social dimensions:

  • Provides information and supports exploration about various topics on a developmentally appropriate level

  • Fosters an understanding of their own experience

  • Empowers people to recognize their own feelings in the literature

  • Encourages people to disclose their thoughts, feelings, problems, and fears

  • Assists children in adjusting and coping with the difficulties they face

  • Develops critical thinking and strategies to manage problems

  • Creates awareness that others have similar problems and enhances feelings of belonging

Post-Reading Discussion:

  • Aims to identify feelings, problems, and find solutions.

  • Encourages the exploration and discovery of the parallels with their own life

  • Encourages to open up and share their own feelings and concerns which helps to understand and reframe their own experience.

  • Experiencing and gaining insight into solving a problem, characters’ coping skills and applying this knowledge to his or her own life 

  • Insight occurs when the reader understands the feelings and situation in a new way and is then motivated to make positive behavioral changes

Beneficial for the following challenges:

  • Emotional: Controlling aggression, managing stress, coping with fear, anxiety, frustration.

  • Social and interpersonal: Initiating and maintaining social relationships.

  • School-related: Adjusting to the school environment, working together.

  • Self-concept: Formation of one’s identity, awareness of its own abilities.

  • Home-related: Coping with divorce, marital conflicts, abuse, neglect, financial difficulties, parent’s mental illness.

  • Sensitive topics: Bullying, homelessness, disabilities, at-risk students, cancer, eating disorders, and other sicknesses, death.

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