Use of Bibliotherapy
What is Bibliotherapy
Bibliotherapy has been in practice for years within the helping profession and can be utilized in ultimately any type of therapy. Bibliotherapy is a type of therapy that uses resources such reading and writing to explore and express a person's feelings, thoughts, and healing. Various types of literature such as poems, fictions, is utilized in order to implement Bibliotherapy is utilized to assist people with developing strategies to cope with mental illnesses, emotional issues, and everyday problems.
When Bibliotherapy is used to address emotional and mental concerns, it encourages a person to make changes within their lives by use of different literature. As result, personal growth and development is promoted from reading, analyzing, and applying. Relevant literature from a book is used when addressing certain issues experienced within one’s life, the solution within the book, exploration of different solutions, and critical thinking is applied. Ultimately, the premise of Bibliotherapy is that a person is able to identify with the characters and situations within a book, make note of their outcome, and make changes in their lives as needed. This type of therapy can be used with children and adults.
Use of the Bible
For the purpose of this discuss, I will be applying the bible as the as the primary literature reference. Yes, in the therapy field using the bible as your choice of literature will require that the person you are assisting is a Christian or is open to learning the word of God.
Identifying with the individuals within the bible also allows the person to release certain emotions, explore new way of coping and interacting, and gaining a new direction for their life. A person may read a certain verse and not identify with the whole story but pieces of the story. However, if nothing else is accomplished, they realize they are not the only one whom has experienced certain experiences. In order to develop new coping skills and gaining a new direction, a person must develop a positive modification in their behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs. The person is encouraged to reflect on bible verses they read and with individual, group, and journal writing, more in-depth personal growth can be developed.
All activities utilized in Bibliotherapy focus on proving information, insight, development, and execution of new values and attitudes. During this process, the person is also able to acknowledge that other people have similar problems, and develop realistic solutions to life’s problems. Not only does this process allow for the person to gain better coping skills, a more in-depth understanding is also developed of God.
In today's society, at some point in everyone's life a state of depression will exist. The bible illustrate that no matter your social status, you are not exempt from depress. Naomi, King Solomon, Moses, Saul, and Paul suffered from depression. Bible versus such as Deuteronomy 31:8, Matthew 28:20, and 2 Corinthians 5:7 all show that even when we are depressed God is still with us and able to walk us through whatever we are going through.
Anxiety is also addressed in the bible. Proverbs 12:25 says "Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up." Philippians 4:6-7 says Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus".
While the bible represent a spiritual book, it also in itself represent healing. At some level and some point, everyone mentioned in the bible expresses a level of hurt. More often than not, the stories from the bible are very relatable and relevant to the topics and stories of today. When the bible is used to assist with bibliotherapy, it provides the opportunity for the person to identify with people and topics and with assistance, the appropriate books and versus from the bible are applied to each topic discussed.
A level of insight is developed once the person is able to relate themselves to the people within the bible. Once the insight is developed, the person is encouraged to apply the new knowledge not only in discussion and writing but also using role-playing and other means.