Christmas Bibliotherapy

It’s Christmas season again.

In Iceland, Christmas gift giving is unique. Special. Books are traditionally exchanged as gifts there. This is what I saw and learned from Writer Sid’s blog post below.

Books are real gifts. They bring health and wholeness. For the weary, lonely, and downtrodden, including during Christmas seasons, books can be a source of solace and wisdom.

As Alvin Toffler put it, “A library is a hospital for the mind.”

Depending on a person’s context, I’ve at times read specific passages in a book to depressed clients. For the purpose of healing and perspective. It proves to be an effective natural anti-depressant.

“Bibliotherapy,” psychotherapists and mental health professionals would call it. It employs an individual’s relationship with content found in books and poetry.

First coined by Samuel Crothers in 1916, even dating back to the Middle Ages, bibliotherapy uses books to change behavior and reduce internal distress.

“Thank you doc, I got it from Philippians 4:7,” said a client Peter, who recovered from severe depression, addiction, and marital separation reading the Daily Bread.

Books heal. It’s medicine if you choose correctly and well.