Impact of Bibliotherapy on Positive Coping in Children Who Have Experienced Disaster

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Pola, A., & Nelson, R. (2014). The Impact of Bibliotherapy on Positive Coping in Children Who Have Experienced Disaster. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 48(4), 341-344.

Children who have experienced trauma, whether natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or war, tend to have a greater risk of developing a psychological disorder. This research looks into using bibliotherapy as a coping mechanism for these children, in addition to other treatment interventions, to deal with the trauma that follows such events.

An interview is conducted with the individual, and the therapists takes into account the type of disaster they have endured and their reading/learning level. They then choose a book which aligns with their experience and abilities.

Using bibliotherapy to discuss their personal experiences resulted in “increased empathy, new interests, positive attitudes, personal and social adjustment, positive self-image, tolerance, respect and acceptance of others (Pola & nelson, 2014).”

This article is short but sweet in the sense that it succinctly tells the reader the process for meeting and analyzing the child, giving them the tools, discussing the events in a safe place with material that reflects their situation, and then tells the outcomes. I think that in conjunction with other therapeutic avenues, bibliotherapy is a great help for starting a conversation with the child about their trauma with a gentle buffer between (the literature) and giving them an example of how others have gone through this type of situation before. I love the thought of someone suffering from such a gigantic event finding solace in the words of others, and it giving them a small amount of peace within themselves.

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