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Bibliotherapy

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  • 1. CR OSFARIZAL BIN OTHMAN KB;PA,CHApril 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 1
  • 2. Overview  Definition and aim of bibliotherapy  Origins and underlying premise  Reactive and Interactive approaches in bibliotherapy  Types of bibliotherapy  Basic steps in bibliotherapy  The role of the helper in bibliotherapy  Benefits and challengesApril 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 2
  • 3. Bibliotherapy from biblio or books (from Greek vivlion) and therapeia or therapyApril 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 3
  • 4. Bibliotherapy  generally refers to use of books (literary works in particular) to help people cope with problems such as emotional conflict, mental illness, or changes in their lives (Pardeck, 1994).  addresses themes such as separation and divorce, child abuse, foster care, and adoption  also employed in enhancing well-being of individuals who could benefit from affective change, as well as personality growth and development (Lenkowsky, 1987; Adderholdt-Elliott & Eller, 1989).April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 4
  • 5. Aim of Bibliotherapy To help people of all ages to understand themselves and to cope with problems by providing literature relevant to their personal situations and developmental needs at appropriate times (Hebert & Kent, 2000).April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 5
  • 6. Origins 1930s  Librarians compiled lists of written material that helped individuals modify thoughts, feelings, or behaviors for therapeutic purposes.  They worked in tandem with counselors in selecting and prescribing literature for clients.April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 6
  • 7. Underlying premise of bibliotherapy  Clients identify with literary characters similar to themselves  Clients release emotions (through catharsis: cleansing of emotions brought about through expressing oneself through some form of art, such as music, movement, painting or writing.)  Clients gain new directions in life, and explore new ways of interacting (Gladding & Gladding, 1991).April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 7
  • 8. Reactive and interactive approaches in bibliotherapy  Earlier, more traditional approach: reactive (focused on getting individuals to react positively or negatively to the reading material).  More recent approach: interactive - a development consistent with experiential theories of Reader Response that view reading as a transactional process between reader and text.April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 8
  • 9. Experiential Reader Response theories (Rosenblatt, etc.)  During reading process, readers  become emotionally involved  construct alternative worlds and conceptualise characters, events & settings, and create visual images,  connect the text with their own experiences, and evaluate their own experiences against what happens in the texts (Beach, 1993).  Readers interact with texts, becoming part of intellectual and emotional process as each story unfolds.April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 9
  • 10. Interactions in bibliotherapy  As readers attempt to process what is being communicated at the deepest levels, readers engage in activities that help them reflect on what they read, such as group discussion and dialogue journal writing (Palmer, et al., 1997; Anderson & MacCurdy, 2000; Morawski & Gilbert, 2000).  Readers also interact with faciltators or counselors through discussion and “therapeutic interactions” (Hynes & Hynes-Berry, 1986, p. 10).  Activities aimed at helping readers make a positive alternation or modification in behaviour or attitude (Myers, 1998).April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 10
  • 11. Types of bibliotherapy  Clinical bibliotherapy and bibliocounselling: Skilled practitioners use therapeutic methods to help individuals experiencing serious emotional problems.  Developmental bibliotherapy: Classroom teachers help ‘normal’ students in their general health and development; focuses on helping teachers identify students’ concerns before problems arise and guide them through predictable stages of adolescence => they are equipped with some knowledge of what to expect and examples of how other teenagers have dealt with the same concerns (Hebert & Kent, 2000).April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 11
  • 12. Basic stages in bibliotherapy  Identification and selection  Presentation  Follow-upApril 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 12
  • 13. Identification and selection (1)  Identify clients needs  Select appropriate stories or poems to match particular problemsApril 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 13
  • 14. Identification and selection (2): Selection of materials Stories, poems, etc.  must help readers feel relieved they are not the only ones facing a specific problem or that they are the only ones who possess particular personality traits => characters in the Literature should resemble the readers in some aspects of behaviour, or they should experience circumstances very similar to those of the readers.April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 14
  • 15. Identification and selection (3): Selection of materials Stories, poems, etc.  must be age-appropriate so that readers can better relate to the content.  must be at appropriate reading level so that readers will not struggle excessively to make sense of text  must have enough depth to enable a discussion of issues, and  must provide correct information about a problem while not imparting a false sense of hope (Pardeck, 1994).April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 15
  • 16. Presentation (1)  Present literary pieces carefully and strategically so that the clients are able to see similarities between themselves and the book characters.  Eventually, readers have to learn vicariously how to solve their problems by reflecting on how the characters in the book solve theirs (Hebert & Kent, 2000): “copying of character behaviours” (Gladding & Gladding, 1991).April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 16
  • 17. Presentation (2): Procedure (Basic procedure may be similar to normal interactive Literature lessons)  Start: Teachers and students begin by reading a book or poem  After reading: Discuss / react to characters and common experiences in the literary materialApril 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 17
  • 18. Presentation (3): Examples of Session activities (group/individual) Example 1  Assign a text for reading before a session  Participants respond to what they read  Guide readers, e.g., if assigned book is The Blind Men and the Elephant: An Old Tale from the Land of India, guide them to see that personal perceptions differ according to experience.April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 18
  • 19. Presentation (4): Examples of Session activities (group/individual) Example 2  Get each participant to share a piece of literature that has a special significance for him  As he talks, help him to realise what the stories mean to him and why it has an impact.  In a group setting, other participants may also identify themselves with particular characters.April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 19
  • 20. Follow-up (1)  Once the participants can identify with relevant characters, they enter the follow-up stage: they share what they have learnt about themselves as a result of identifying with and examining the literary characters and their experiences.April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 20
  • 21. Follow-up(2): Catharsis  Cathartic activity designed to help readers come to terms with their problems and to cleanse themselves emotionally.  Catharsis expressed verbally in oral discussion or writing, or nonverbal means such as art (Sridhar & Vaughn, 2000), role-playing, creative problem solving, or self-selected options for students to pursue individually (Hebert & Kent, 2000).April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 21
  • 22. Follow-up(3): Catharsis  Once catharsis has occurred, clients guided to gain further insight into the problem through activities, e.g.  Develop a summary of the book, using the point of view of different characters.  Create a diary for a character in the story.  Write a letter from one character in the book to another, or from the student to one of the characters.  Compose a different ending to the story.  Compose a "Dear Abby" letter that a book character could have written about a problem situation  Such activities help readers to study issues from a variety of perspectives, and in doing so, they may see solutions to their own problems.April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 22
  • 23. The role of the helper (1)  Carefully design a programme => draw from the basic principles of counsellor behaviour such as being non-judgemental and empathic, and being good listeners.  Develop a familiarity with a reasonably wide range of literary materials on various themes, perhaps by enlisting the assistance of Literature teachers and librarians.April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 23
  • 24. The role of the helper (2)  Be effective facilitators who can help readers see aspects of their own behaviour or problem in the literary materials, and later help the readers participate in cathartic activities.  Develop a basic knowledge of literary appreciation, as literary materials often make use of metaphors or images that, if explored, can provide readers with a framework for viewing – or not viewing – their problems in specific ways, e.g., in interpreting Robert Frosts’s poem The Road Not TakenApril 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 24
  • 25. The role of the helper (3) Literary appreciation and counselling/helping both involve activities such as restating or paraphrasing, clarifying, questioning, summarizing and reflection – they can enhance each other. BUT … unlike traditional counselling sessions in which only the counsellor is expected to paraphrase, summarise, question and clarify, both helper and client in a bibliotherapy approach apply these strategies in studying the literary material. The shared activity helps create a complementary and reciprocal relationship between both parties – constructing a common ground for discussions.April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 25
  • 26. Benefits of bibliotherapy  provides opportunity for participants to recognize and understand themselves, their characteristics, and the complexity of human thought and behavior.  promotes social development as well as the love of literature in general, and reading in particular  reduces feelings of isolation that may be felt by people with problems.April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 26
  • 27. Challenges(1)  unavailability of materials on certain topics, lack of materials in certain languages => useful to have network (Literature teachers, writers, counsellors => compile and share books.  facilitators may have limited knowledge of human development or appropriate literature => need training and exposure to literary repertoire for use in bibliotherapy.  facilitators may insist on making a point at the clients expense => avoid personal interestsApril 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 27
  • 28. Challenges (2)  lack of client readiness / willingness to read => material and presentation must be attractive and relevant enough.  clients defensive / unwilling to discuss uncomfortable issues: discount actions of characters, fail to identify with them, or use them as scapegoats => need to continue process itself, role play, etc.  clients may project own motives onto characters and thus reinforce their own perceptions and solutions. => help them be constantly aware of own problemsApril 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 28
  • 29. Challenges (3)  client and counselor stay on surface issues => suspend sessions until both parties ready and willing to work, by taping and critiquing selected sessions so that facilitators can monitor their own reactions to certain clients or problem areas, and by revisiting issues in stories that have been treated superficially in previous sessions (Gladding & Gladding, 1991). ]April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 29
  • 30. Conclusion  Bibliotherapy: potentially powerful method for school teachers and counselors  To establish a strong bibliotherapy programme, practitioners must  present the procedure as a non- threatening one, starting by calling the process biblioguidance, for instance  also solicit the input and advice of colleagues, parents, and administrators.April 2012 MHA Bibliotherapy 30