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Bibliotherapy to beat the Winter Blues

By Mary Laughlin

What’s the most meaningful book you’ve read recently? Chances are it’s spoken to a part of you that’s difficult for you to put into words. While non-fiction can be helpful for gleaning information, there’s nothing quite like a strong protagonist that meets you exactly where you are. 

Bibliotherapy– or the reading of a book as a means of self-discovery, emotional exploration, or well-being – has been a type of therapy that librarians have known about since they started compiling books as early as the 1930’s for people struggling with depression, intrusive thoughts, and trauma (Serani, 2021). Clinicians will often use prescriptive bibliotherapy to target specific information that clients may find useful in developing a skill such as controlled breathing or healthy relationships. Therapeutic Bibliotherapy, however,  is the use of poetry, fiction, or non-fiction used alongside traditional talk therapy. Clinicians can use these types of books to help clients identify what stood out to them, possibly pointing them towards ways to grow and heal. 

That being said, it can be time-consuming to research the book you need, when you need it. The following are fiction book recommendations by yours truly that are hand-selected for not only excellent prose, but also the benefit they can have on your mental health. Reading (or hearing) the stories of others who have similar struggles can have a profound impact on our overall well being, disproving the lie we often tell ourselves- “that no one would understand.” 

 Additionally, these books would be great selections for reading with a friend ( i.e. another human, that is, but I suppose a furry companion or hot beverage could work too) or book club – giving you the added bonus of connection with others, something most of us need in heavier doses during these winter months. 

  1. And Still I Rise by Dr. Maya Angelou (Audiobook read by the author) A legendary collection written to the black american woman, but whose themes touch on what it means to be human. 
  2. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman While this book does cover some heavy topics (grief, loneliness), it is also a story of friendship and love. There’s also a  pretty strong movie adaptation, in my opinion, called A Man Called Otto. This would be the perfect selection for a book club. Read it and then watch the movie together.  
  3. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. This book also touches on similar themes, but through the lens of a young adult that doesn’t realize what she is missing..until she has a unique encounter.
  4. The Giver by Lois Lowry This one is an old favorite by many standards, but could promote interesting discussion and reflection in different seasons in our lives. 

At The Pursuit, a group of experienced therapists have come together to offer best in class counseling services. We prioritize clinical theory, non-judgmental approaches, and effective interventions, treatment plans, and coping skills.

We have therapists who specialize in different areas and we strive to find the best match for your unique needs. Our services cater to individuals, families, and organizations, including adolescents in high school. Our aim is to connect you with the specialist who can best address your concerns.

 Our specialized  counseling services aim to address the underlying emotional wounds that contribute to behaviors. We offer evidence-based  counseling that is effective with working many presenting problems. We provide a holistic approach to recovery, focusing on healing the past to create a healthier future. 

Are you ready to take the first step on your Pursuit towards a happier, healthier you? We invite you to book your free 20-minute consultation with one of our skilled therapists. Don’t wait; it’s time to invest in your well-being. Simply  Book Now to start your Pursuit towards personal growth and positive change today.

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