A Beginning

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Using biblio/poetry therapy in a public library setting is more than simply recommending the right title to a seeking patron. It is part reader’s advisory, part discussion. According to Hynes and Hynes-Berry, a question or series of questions are posed, and hopefully lead help the patron, “arrive at a fresh view of life…that insight is internationalized and leads to a change in behavior” (1994). The authors of Biblio/Poetry Therapy, The Interactive Process: A Handbook recommend that if you choose to educate yourself in this discipline, you follow these suggestions:

  1. Find a supervisor well-versed in mental health or counseling to supervise your studies.
  2. Carefully review the material before working with the participants or supervisor.
  3. Begin working with a group, under supervision.
  4. Plan to review and work through the handbook a second time.
  5. Make sure you take academic classes on therapeutic theory and communication, group therapy, and if you are not familiar with literature, add an academic course on literature and/or creative writing.
  6. In case you want to become certified as a bibliotherapist, keep records of
    1. How many hours logged leading the group
    2. How many hours logged with the supervisor
    3. Transcripts of any classes taken to improve knowledge to aid your bibliotherapy goals. (Hynes & Hynes-Berry, 1994).

 

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