Questions and Answers
What do we do in bibliotherapy and psychotherapy treatment?
Bibliotherapy with adults and adolescents:The treatment begins with a conversation between therapist and patient. In addition I suggest different creative ways for us to work together: we can read literary texts of the patient’s choosing, do writing exercises, or discuss a piece of writing of their own from the past.The therapeutic process is different with each patient and is adjusted according to the patient’s needs. The consequent meetings are devoted to getting to know the patient and creating a therapeutic bond.
Bibliotherapy with Children:Dyadic Therapy with Parents and Children: This therapy begins with meetings with both parents and continues with meetings with the child accompanied by one parent. Every few weeks, both parents will meet the therapist for guidance. In the meetings with the child and the parent, we will play, paint, and tell and read stories with the end-goal of developing a better relationship between the child and his parents.
Individual Therapy for Children: This therapy starts with meeting the parents and then meeting the child. The therapist and the child spend sessions playing, painting and telling and reading stories. Every few weeks, the parents will meet with the therapist for parental guidance.
How bibliotherapy is different from other kinds of therapy?
Bibliotherapy is puts the creativity and playfulness of the patient at the center of the therapy session. Through writing and reading, through speaking and feeling, patients become the co-authors of their life story. The bibliotherapist helps the patient to be the owner of his life story and his or her sense of self, to fulfill his or her creative developmental potential and to cope with daily difficulties by using creativity and playfulness.
Who can use bibliotherapy and psychotherapy?
Bibliotherapy is for both those who are addicted to words and those who don’t like using words. Bibliotherapy exists where there is a story and also where the story has gone missing. In each developmental stage in life, bibliotherapy can help the patient to fulfill his or her developmental potential. It is a therapeutic emotional workspace for very young children whose language skills are still developing and who may have developmental delays based on emotional issues. It is an opportunity for adolescent patients to develop a sense of identity and meaning during times of confusion, sorrow, pain and fear. It is a chance for adults to deal with difficult personal and relationship issues and to use their creativity in order to feel more joy in daily life. Sometimes our self-development is affected by the complexity of our present life but sometimes our past is haunting us and bringing us down. Bibliotherapy can help us feel and think in different ways about ourselves and about our life, both past and present.
What's in it for me?
Bibliotherapy will not make the problems or pain go away. The process of therapy can help one cope with the problems and disorders in life in new ways and from a new perspective. Bibliotherapy will help the patient to feel that life is more meaningful. It helps patients get to know themselves better and learn to use their own creativity to solve problems.
The different kinds of texts we read and write help us to re-read and re-write the patient’s unique narrative. When the patient’s narrative is changing, his or her inner world is changing as well. When the text of the patient grows, his or her identity and sense of self become more flexible, multiple and creative. As a bibliotherapist, I have worked with toddlers, children, parents and adults. The patients have all kind of problems: developmental delays, behavioral problems, and severe mental disorders such as depression, suicidal thoughts, and bipolar disorder.
Dr. Biri Rottenberg, Bibliotherapist and psychotherapist, Israel,