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:
- Find a supervisor well-versed in mental health or counseling to supervise your studies.
- Carefully review the material before working with the participants or supervisor.
- Begin working with a group, under supervision.
- Plan to review and work through the handbook a second time.
- 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.
- In case you want to become certified as a bibliotherapist, keep records of
- How many hours logged leading the group
- How many hours logged with the supervisor
- Transcripts of any classes taken to improve knowledge to aid your bibliotherapy goals. (Hynes & Hynes-Berry, 1994).