My Online Psychotherapy Ph

Books That Heal Mental Disorders

Psychotherapy advocates books that heal mental disorders. It’s called “Bibliotherapy.”

As the applied words of writer W. Somerset Maughan put it,

“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for your self a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.”

Chris is my 28–year-old long time therapy patient. He’s an avid reader of books and budding writer.

He loved reading former American soldier Andy Mcnab, a bestselling novelist who was an ex-psychopath. 

Also, as time went by, Chris found the books of Scriptures. He read them as well along with the Daily Bread.

In our psychotherapy sessions, Chris referred to his books and Scriptures as his ultimate therapy.

He’d always say that he would more likely end up in the mental hospital if not for his books. 

Books are Chris’ faithful friends and guardians. 

Most importantly, his books prevented him from killing his father in their home!

Bibliotherapy is the use of books that heal mental disorders. 

Directly, indirectly, or both, books help metabolize life’s deepest wounds and struggles.

The word “bibliotherapy” was first coined by Samuel Crothers in 1916. But historians say that the use of books that heal mental disorders has a long history.

From the vantage point of psychotherapy, Bibliotherapy is applied through the use of fictional or nonfictional books.

The books are used in-session for the goal of reaching catharsis and insights. The releasing of emotions and insights brings hope and behavioral change.

I’m reminded of another patient who hated being lectured by her mother. What worked for her was a story in a book.

After reading the “story,” she paused and smiled. She began to see something. 

She began to process an alternative reality to her recurring rage and hatred.

Rather than reacting to lecture, she responded to a story of deeper insight through a more effective healing medium.

“I’m a big believer of Bibliotherapy. Books have the power to change lives: what we think and what we do.”
— Eric Walters


books that heal mental disorders

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