Healing Through Books: The Evolution and Diversification of Bibliotherapy

Author: Tukhareli, Natalia
An excellent resource into the emerging field of bibliotherapy, which is the intentional use of the therapeutic potential of literature in a variety of clinical and creative schemes. The book advances a simple, accessible, and cost-effective way of addressing a variety of physical, emotional, psychological and social issues by revealing how bibliotherapy helps people restore meaningful connections with themselves, with others, and with the world around them in times of difficult transitions and physical, psychological, emotional and social challenges.


“This is an excellent resource and historical overview of a field (bibliotherapy) that has not yet had such comprehensive scholarly work…This book provides a comprehensive survey of the diverse practice of bibliotherapy through history; it also shows mastery in explaining complicated scholarly ideas in simple words and effective classification. It is by far the most complete and detailed scholarly introduction to bibliotheray that I know.”
-Prof. Hoi Cheu,
Laurentian University,
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

“The writing is straightforward, clear, succinct, and relatively jargon-free. In charting the history and development of the theory and practice of bibliotherapy to the present time, this manuscript has broad appeal and is accessible to a non-academic audience. However, by providing significant context to the theory and criticism of bibliotherapy, the book may also be of interest to academic generalists and students, as well as to librarians and clinicians pursuing research and practice in this area. Specialists may benefit from the extensive resources/reference list available.”
-Dr. Elan Paulson,
Western University,
London, Ontario, Canada

“Dr. Tukhareli puts before us that bibliotherapy is measured as successful when it is able to lead the reader to a new sense of personal empowerment. When the reader feels renewed optimism, hope and energy, and when a feeling of increased control and agency is experienced, than many changes become possible…a fitting and valuable contribution to the multidisciplinary field of bibliotherapy.”
-Dr. Joseph Gold,
Professor Emeritus,
University of Waterloo

Table of Contents

Foreword by Joseph Gold
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1
A Historical Overview of Bibliotherapy: From Early Records to Recent Applications

1. The history of bibliotherapy from early records through the 19th century
2. The development of bibliotherapy in the 20th century
3. Bibliotherapy in the first decade of the 21st century to the present
Chapter II
Book-Reader Interaction in Bibliotherapy

1. Books as “silent therapists”
2. The psychological basis of bibliotherapy: “identification insight” paradigm
3. The book-reader interaction and the construction of meaning in bibliotherapy
Chapter III
Theoretical Aspects of Biblitherapy: Definition and Classification

1. The problem of definition
2. Traditional types of bibliotherapy” clinical and developmental
3. The development of bibliotherapy in the 21st century and its terminological implication
Chapter IV
Clinical Bibliotherapy: Current Trends and Tendencies

1. Self-help bibliotherapy
2. Types of self-help materials used in bibliotherapy
3. Recent applications of self-help bibliotherapy
4. Bibliotherapy for depression
5. Supported (guided, assisted) and unsupported bibliotherapy)
6. Potential benefits and drawbacks of self-help bibliotherapy
7. Self-help bibliotherapy within a stepped-care model in primary care
8. “Books on Prescription” bibliotherapy model
Chapter V
Creative Bibliotherapy

1. Recent applications of creative bibliotherapy
2. Evaluation of creative bibliotherapy schemes
3. Benefits and challenges of the creative bibliotherapy approach
4. Creative bibliotherapy reading groups within the framework of traditional support groups
Chapter VI
Bibliotherapy Programme on HIV/AIDS

1. HIV/AIDS in Africa and its impact on women and children
2. The psychological and emotional issues encountered by children living with HIV/AIDS
3. The bibliotherapy programme description