Learning more about bibliotherapy
Bibliotherapy is a complementary treatment approach that can be useful for a variety of problems. Bibliotherapy refers to the use of books and reading, often guided reading, that is meant to help people achieve different goals. Bibliotherapy can serve a wide variety of goals. It might help gain a better understanding of a specific phenomenon, serve as a tool for contemplation, develop new attitudes and belief systems, learn from other people’s experiences, and, generally, serve as a tool for education, entertainment, and the development of new skills.
Bibliotherapy is not usually seen as the main treatment approach to any issue but it can be a very good complement for a variety of problems, among which we can find substance abuse. Bibliotherapy has been effectively applied with many different people.
In general, books can be a source of distraction, solace, and entertainment but they are also powerful tools for education. Combining these two main aspects, they may be seen as useful and important tools that can be used to support a person’s journey to sobriety. Bibliotherapy can be undertaken as a personal journey but it might also be a part of the therapeutic process. Guided reading may be recommended as a part of the therapy or as a support for the individual.
What type of books might be helpful for a person with addiction? First, there are self-help books. Self-help books may be helpful because they suggest and promote different activities, ideas, and beliefs on recovery that can support the individual with addiction. For example, self-help books can offer new activities and ideas that the person might apply to battle with cravings or to reduce their anxiety or to solve a specific issue that they are dealing with. By reading several self-help books, it is possible to access a wider repertoire of strategies that one might person might think. The second type of books that may be helpful are informative books that focus on specific aspects of addiction. Books with accurate and up-to-date information can let the person know what to expect, what is normal, what might be a sign of problems, what to pay attention to, and so on.
Many books on addiction are written by experts on the topic, often former addicts themselves, and can be an important resource to touch on all topics that the person feels unsure of. The third type of books that may be helpful is literature on the topic, fiction and non-fiction, that covers similar experiences. People who are addicted might feel uniquely bad or isolated in their experiences, so books may provide ways to get intimately acquainted with the experiences of others, including often the darker or most private aspects of that experience. This can make the person feel less alone. Fourthly, any kinds of books may be recommended depending on the individual’s situation. Even for people who do not read frequently, books can become a good way to find distraction, solace, novelty, enjoyment, and other positive experiences, as books may serve the function of learning tools or sources of distraction. Books can be powerful and have a lot of value for people who are looking for new, healthier ways to pass the time and enjoy themselves.
What are the advantages of bibliotherapy? It is usually a cost-effective tool because most individuals have access to digital or brick-and-mortar libraries. It is also a tool that promotes skills applicable to many other areas of life, as reading is one of the main paths to learning even in the age of video lessons. Bibliotherapy can help the person discover new experiences and reflect upon their personal experience from a new perspective. Guided reading also provides a way of beginning dialogues on difficult subjects, broadening one’s horizons, and even making new connections if one chooses to join book clubs or similar activities.
In general, bibliotherapy can be a useful addition to therapy, albeit it should not be treated as the main approach to addiction recovery. It can be recommended to most people, albeit special consideration might be needed for people with short attention spans or disabilities, for instance, dyslexia. Generally speaking, bibliotherapy has no side effects.
Overall, the application of bibliotherapy in addiction has been suggested as an effective option for many. Exploring this personally or with the help of a counselor may be beneficial for people with addiction.