Bibliotherapy uses literature to bring about a therapeutic interaction between participant and facilitator…The goal is to reflect upon a question asked, and arrive at a fresh view of life. Perhaps the new idea becomes internalized and leads to a change in behavior. (Hynes & Hynes-Berry, 1994).
Let us examine the two of the three schools of bibliotherapy as it exists today.
- Reading Bibliotherapy: Born out of a librarian’s natural ability to perform readers’ advisory, reading bibliotherapy is “prescribing” a book for a patron for it’s “therapeutic potential” (Hynes & Hynes-Berry, 1994). The involvement of the librarian or educator does not extend beyond the suggesting of the book. They rely on the literature to do the heavy lifting.
- Interactive Bibliotherapy: This school does not focus so much on the literature itself but the feelings it evokes and how we process through them through therapeutic interaction. “Dialoging with the facilitator about the response can lead to a whole new dimension of insight” (Hynes & Hynes-Berry, 1994). This aligns more directly with psychoanalysis than readers’ advisory.