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Bibliotherapy & Play Therapy: Home

Alkek Library offers various bibliotherapy professional resources for checkout: games, kits, manipulatives, juvenile literature, research material and databases.


According to the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, a potential of  bibliotherapy has been known since Egyptian times. King Ramses II ordered an inscription “House of Healing for the Soul” to be put above the entrance to the royal chamber where books were stored. The term “Bibliotherapy” was first coined by Samuel Crothers in 1916, while the idea of using reading or books as a means for therapy and healing has been traced back to the middle ages. 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines bibliotherapy as "the use of selected reading materials as therapeutic adjuncts in medicine and psychiatry; also, guidance in the solution of personal problems through directed reading." This definition was also adopted by the Association of Hospital and Institution Libraries, a former division of the American Library Association, in 1966. Bibliotherapy material is used by teachers, counselors, therapists, psychologists, clinicians, psychiatrists, registered nurses.

"There are some themes, some subjects, too large for adult fiction; they can only be dealt with adequately in a children's book." —Philip Pullman. 


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Arlene Salazar