Monday, June 23, 2014

Doctors Are Now Prescribing Books to Treat Depression

This kind of so called "bibliotherapy" isn't a totally new idea. The word was coined in 1916 by a clergyman named Samuel Crothers, but he certainly wasn't referring to self-help books. In 1966, The American Library Association began talking about bibliotherapy. Today, they define the word this way:

The use of books selected on the basis of content in a planned reading program designed to facilitate the recovery of patients suffering from mental illness or emotional disturbance. Ideally, the process occurs in three phases: personal identification of the reader with a particular character in the recommended work, resulting in psychological catharsis, which leads to rational insight concerning the relevance of the solution suggested in the text to the reader's own experience. Assistance of a trained psychotherapist is advised.

Read more at Smithsonian magazine

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