Wednesday, November 29, 2023

We All Need Some Bibliotherapy


We all know about pet therapy, where one gets comfort and a sense of calm from having their pet go everywhere with them – car, plane, work, school, outdoor restaurant, etc. Well, how about bibliotherapy?  

Yes, books can be therapeutic!  

Writing books. Reading books. Being surrounded by books, authors, and book people is most soothing for me. How about yourself? 

In the technical sense, bibliotherapy has evidence of reducing alcohol dependence, self-harm, and panic disorder. Basically, bibliotherapy is the act of intentionally using books to help us overcome a burden or challenge, to put us in a healthier frame of mind, and to alleviate stress. 

Books can certainly help us resolve certain issues, either because the content specifically addresses an issue of concern, or because the act of reading allows us to relax. Reading stories that provide an opportunity for growth, escape, or enjoyment are as therapeutic as anything else. Bottom line: Does reading books make you feel better? Yes? Bibliotherapy, thank you!


Wikipedia describes bibliotherapy as such:


Although the term "bibliotherapy" was first coined by Samuel Crothers in 1916, the use of books to change behavior and reduce distress has a long history, dating back to the Middle Ages. When applied in a therapeutic context, bibliotherapy can comprise both fictional and non-fictional materials.


“Fictional bibliotherapy (e.g., novels, poetry) is a dynamic process, where the material is actively interpreted in light of the reader's circumstances. From a psychodynamic perspective, fictional materials are believed to be effective through the processes of identification, catharsis and insight. Through identification with a character in the story the reader gains an alternative position from which to view their own issues. By empathizing with the character the client undergoes a form of catharsis through gaining hope and releasing emotional tension, which consequently leads to insights and behavioral change.


“Working with an imaginative journey and a specific selection of metaphors, proponents claim that a therapeutic story approach has the potential to shift an out of balance behavior or situation back towards wholeness or balance. A patient might also find it easier to talk about his issues if he and the therapist can pretend that they are talking about the character's issues. Proponents suggest that the story form offers a healing medium that allows the listener to embark on an imaginative journey, rather than being lectured or directly addressed about the issue.” 

So, books are therapeutic, whether you realize it or not. They give us skills, provide knowledge, distract us from problems, share wisdom, provide mentoring and support, and allow for us to have a teacher, therapist, coach, and minister right beside us, 24/7, wherever we are. 

We are never alone with good books.


“To approach greatness, write about the unwritten, the unspoken, the unspeakable.”

--Arthur Miller

“The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

--Samuel Goldwyn

“Be yourself, everybody else is already taken.”

--Oscar Wilde

Need Book Marketing Help?

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at  He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:

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