World Book Day: Exploring Bibliotherapy



This weekend is host to World Book Day, a day for the globe to unite in a love for literature today. And we’d like to open a discussion about the real power in books—healing.

The practice of using literature for healing purposes has actually been around for many years. Bibliotherapy, as it’s known as, is an expressive form of therapy that uses an individual’s response to books or written words to help heal. One of the most recorded uses of bibliotherapy in past years, was during World War Two, when injured veterans were given books as a healing tool.

Doctors and therapists are even reporting they have started “prescribing” books to patients who are dealing with depression, anxiety, OCD and other mental health conditions. Recent research out of London has indicated reading therapy has shown to treat symptoms of depression and anxiety, and this form of therapy is bigger in England than music therapy is (a concept also coming into the forefront).

Anybody that has had an emotional response to something they’ve read, can understand how this concept would make sense. When people are dealing with a mental illness or trying to overcome some form of trauma, they often seek self-reflection, an effect that can easily be experienced when reading. Therapists who use bibliotherapy in practice, will entice this self-reflection by recommending books for their patients and then asking them questions about what they’ve read, in essence to start a conversation they can relate to.

When you are reading, you are also creating a sense of mindfulness in that you are fully embracing your mind in something and blocking out other distractions. Being present in written words can be very powerful, and for many, a healing experience.

While ‘Conversations with a Rattlesnake’ seeks to create conversations surrounding healing, both internal and external, there’s great hope that combining content and the therapeutic effects of reading will have some big impacts. Many of our readers have shared how reading this book has helped them overcome barriers and/or advance in their healing journey, you can read some of the reviews here.

If you’ve felt some positive surge or shift in your journey after reading ‘Conversations with a Rattlesnake’, please share with us on Facebook or Twitter. And be sure to participate in #WorldBookDay conversations online on April 23 as well.

 – Written by Amber Craig

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