Bibliotherapy : practice and research
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by S Jack, Kevin Ronan
Recent years have witnessed an upsurge in the therapeutic use of books. With its initial roots in psychodynamic theory, available models emphasize features of the relationship between the personality of a reader and the cognitive and affective experience offered through literature. This article explores the historical development of bibliotherapy focusing on its use in therapeutic practice and associated research. The current authors suggest that the field of bibliotherapy is in need of development with regard to more methodologically stringent forms of validation, notwithstanding meta-analytic findings in some areas. Additionally, coherent taxonomies and theory-driven practice models are particularly needed to underpin increased rigor in answering scholarly questions. With these caveats in mind, and in light of findings in recent years, bibliotherapy does hold promise as a useful adjunct for the busy practitioner and client. Highlighted throughout the article are the suggested benefits of bibliotherapy as well as a call for practitioners to consider the value of pragmatic evaluation of bibliotherapy within the context of managing their own local practice.