What is bibliotherapy?
Bibliotherapy is, simply, reading for healing.
It is “the art of using literature to help individual or small groups of children understand specific difficult experiences.” (Thibault 2004, http://www.naeyc.org/yc March 2013)
Here at bibliotherapyproject.com, we connect parents, teachers, librarians, and clinicians with the picture books they need to foster emotional wholeness and mental health in the children in their lives.
We believe that story time is a valuable opportunity to establish strong foundations of love and belonging and to arm children with the emotional resources to face tough times now and in the future.
***NOTE: Clinical therapy, including clinical bibliotherapy, should be done by a trained expert. Bibliotherapyproject.com is NOT a clinical approach. Instead, we offer resources to help parents, schools, and librarians. The information and other materials presented here are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to substitute for medical or mental health advice.***
How The Bibliotherapy Project began…
As a children’s book author and a new mother holding her infant son, Theresa Kiser wanted to fill her child’s heart with the strength to face whatever challenges might come his way:
I started writing.
Rather, I started writing picture books for the first time, and it just felt *right.* I started checking out children’s books from the library stacks at a time, even though my son was still too young for them. I joined picture book writing groups and attended children’s book conferences. When people asked, “What do you write?” I answered, “Picture books about emotional wholeness and mental health.”
“Oh!” someone said, “You write bibliotherapy!”
What? I had never heard of the term, but the more I learned, the more I realized that yes, I do write bibliotherapy, and the more I wondered…why don’t we talk about this more? Many children’s books are textual and visual masterpieces, brimming with beauty and ripe for conversation and reflection, even on tough-to-talk-about themes.
There was no home-base for this conversation, not even online. So I made one.
Here, it is my sincere hope, we will band together to identify the picture book resources that can meet children where they’re at, and help them ascend to a place of emotional wholeness, mental health, hope, love, and peace.
Let’s “turn the page” for emotional wholeness and mental health.
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Words to Treasure
“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”Neil Gaiman, Coraline
It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.J. K. Rowling
Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.Dr. Seuss