Everyone knows that reading can make us smarter and more cultured and well-rounded individuals, but it can also greatly improve our mental health. In fact, some mental health clinics are employing a program called “bibliotherapy” or “reading therapy.” The process involves structured reading aimed at promoting recovery and coping abilities. This does not mean running a book club, but rather individual reading by people with mental illness that is supported by a clinician or peer supporter. Books on the topic of mental wellness can help people feel less isolated and misunderstood, and studies have shown that fiction proves to be very effective at relieving the depression and stress involved in living with mental health issues.
Storytelling, creative writing, and reading have long been recognized for their therapeutic potential. In the early nineteenth century, physicians began to use bibliotherapy as an intervention technique in rehabilitation and the treatment of mental health issues. While bibliotherapy is not typically recommended instead of more conventional therapy, it is frequently used by individuals in therapy and those who are waiting to receive therapy. The caring professionals at Plains Area Mental Health can help clients with depression and other mental health issues. Call one of our offices today or take our free online assessment found on this website.
P.S. The American Library Association has a vast amount of bibliotherapy recourses available that can help you connect with reading support in your area.