Document Type



Bibliotherapy has been defined many ways and is known by many other names such as biblioguidance, literatherapy, reading therapy, bibliocounseling, bibliopsychology, book matching and literapeutics. Most simply, if one goes back to the Greek roots of the word, it means helping through books. It has been used with all ages, with almost every imaginable issue or problem, and at all levels of intervention by teachers, counselors, librarians, social workers, nurses, psychologists and physicians. Developmental bibliotherapy, for example, can be used in the classroom where the goal may be to facilitate normal developmental passages or to educate about attitudes, feelings and behaviors. Clinical bibliotherapy usually involves trained mental health or healthcare pracititioners using books as a way to stimulate discussion of difficult feelings or facilitate resolution of more significant behavioral and emotional issues. It is seldom used alone, but more typically in combination with discussion or other follow-up activities that promote the psychological processes of identification, catharsis and insight.


Bibliotherapy; Books; Counselors; Creativity; Literature


Counseling Psychology | Library and Information Science

Publisher Citation

McMillen, P.S. (2006) A therapeutic collaboration: The Bibliotherapy Education Project at Oregon State University. OLA Quarterly, 12(2), 14-15.

Search your library