Bibliotherapy: Poetry Therapy or Therapeutic Story-telling

The Family Relations journal is available online by remote access, and on campus access, to E.M. White Library patrons. In the most recent issue, Vol. 70, Issue 2, of the journal there’s an article on Bibliotherapy, which may be of interest to students and faculty studying grief and loss. Here are two quotes from it. To read the article, just use the DOI link in the citation (remote access login will open first).

Bibliotherapy (also referred to as poetry therapy or therapeutic storytelling) is a creative arts therapy modality (see http://www.nccata.org) that involves storytelling, the reading of specific texts or writing with the purpose of healing. This brief report discusses the use of stories drawn from literary resources (poetry, memoir, fiction, drama, song lyrics, vignettes from film clips, and related sources) as powerful prompts for reflection and validation (see McCullis, 2012). These stories also are presented as catalysts for discernment of options useful when on the cusp or moving through thresholds that include losses.

Bowman, T. (2021). Lessons From the Field. Family Grief Care and Bibliotherapy: A Call for Models and Studies. Family Relations 70 (2): p. 402-407. https://doi-org.lpts.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/fare.12539

For this Lesson From the Field report, I write as a family and grief educator to advocate for greater attention to bibliotherapy by family scientists, therapists, and educators. Bibliotherapy (also referred to as poetry therapy or therapeutic storytelling) is the use of literary resources, storytelling, or writing with the purpose of healing.

Bowman, T. (2021). Lessons From the Field. Family Grief Care and Bibliotherapy: A Call for Models and Studies. Family Relations 70 (2): p. 402-407. https://doi-org.lpts.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/fare.12539

I The mourning dove in the photo is one of a pair in our Garden of Grace. The doves return every Spring to lay eggs and hatch babies in our garden. Once upon a time, when I was grieving, I even wrote a parable about the garden and its critters. You can read The Economy of Grace on One Church, Many Voices. My very own bibliotherapy!

Published by Anita

Anita Coleman joined Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary’s faculty as Associate Professor of Bibliography and Research and Director of the the Ernest Miller White Library in January 2020. Anita is passionate about the power of libraries to liberate and give life.

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