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Bibliotherapy: Home

Starting Point

Please be noted:

  • Bibliotherapy should not be used as a substitute for professional mental health treatment. It can be an useful complementary approach to support and enhance mental health interventions. Always seek professional help if you are experiencing serious mental health issues or concerns.
  • It's important to keep in mind that librarians are not mental health professionals. Bibliotherapy is a complementary approach to mental health treatment, and proper training is essential. We encourage you to read books before recommending them and practice self-care. If you have serious mental health concerns, please seek professional help.

Bibliotherapy is a type of therapy that uses reading materials such as books, articles, and poems to help individuals deal with emotional and psychological issues.

Here are some mental health issue examples that may benefit from bibliotherapy:

  • Anger management
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Grief and loss
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Relationship issues
  • Schizophrenia
  • Self-esteem and self-worth issues
  • Sleep disorders
  • Stress management
  • Substance abuse and addiction
  • Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

How does it help?

Bibliotherapy works as an outlet for those dealing with emotional and psychological issues. It helps those who are struggling know that they are not alone! 

What is Bibliotherapy?


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The American Library Association quotes this definition:

Bibliotherapy: The use of selected reading materials as therapeutic adjuvants in medicine and psychiatry; also guidance in the solution of personal problems through directed reading 

(AHIL Quarterly, Summer 1966, p. 18).

UCNJ LibGuides at Union College