Using books as healing tools: a recommended reading list

Today is ‘Book Lovers Day’, an unofficial holiday to encourage people to pick up a book. The use of books for healing purposes is not a new concept, in fact, it’s coined bibliotherapy. This is an expressive form of therapy that uses an individual’s response to books or written words to help heal.

Anybody that has had an emotional response to something they’ve read, can understand how this concept would make sense. When people are dealing with a mental illness or trying to overcome some form of trauma, they often seek self-reflection, an effect that can easily be experienced when reading. Therapists who use bibliotherapy in practice will entice this self-reflection by “prescribing” books for their patients and then asking them questions about what they’ve read, in essence, to start a conversation they can relate to.

When you are reading, you are also creating a sense of mindfulness in that you are fully embracing your mind in something and blocking out other distractions. Being present in written words can be very powerful, and for many, a healing experience.

We have been honoured to hear that ‘Conversations with a Rattlesnake’ has often been used by professionals and those seeking healing tools, as a resource for trauma. While ‘Conversations with a Rattlesnake’ seeks to create conversations surrounding healing, both internal and external, there’s great hope that combining content and the therapeutic effects of reading will have some big impacts.

We also wanted to extend some recommendations for other books we have enjoyed, as part of the healing process:

Braving the Wilderness — Brene Brown

A timely and important new book that challenges everything we think we know about cultivating true belonging in our communities, organizations, and culture. [Chapters/Indigo]

Hardwiring Happiness — Dr. Rick Hanson

Hardwiring Happiness lays out a simple method that uses the hidden power of everyday experiences to build new neural structures full of happiness, love, confidence, and peace. You’ll learn to see through the lies your brain tells you. Dr. Hanson’s four steps build strengths into your brain—counterbalancing its ancient negativity bias—making contentment and a powerful sense of resilience the new normal. [Chapters/Indigo]

Nurturing Resilience — Kathy Kain

A practical, integrated approach for therapists working with people (both adults and children) who have been impacted by developmental trauma and attachment difficulties. [Amazon]

The Book of Joy — Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu

The occasion was a big birthday. And it inspired two close friends to get together in Dharamsala for a talk about something very important to them. The friends were His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The subject was joy. Both winners of the Nobel Prize, both great spiritual masters and moral leaders of our time, they are also known for being among the most infectiously happy people on the planet. [Amazon]

What book has been a great tool for healing for you? We would love for you to share it with us on social media.

— Written by Amber Craig

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *