In a recent article entitled “How Bibliotherapy Can Help Students Open Up About Their Mental Health” by Juli Fraga and featured on KQED news, Fraga writes about a program that was developed at Westborough High School in Massachusetts in order to help young people deal with trauma and loss.
At Westborough High, the school librarian, Anita Cellucci and school counsellor, Ceil Parteleno, created a unique school-based support group, using literature and cognitive tools as a way to help adolescents understand and cope with their emotions. I quote: According to Dr. Liz Brewster, a bibliotherapy researcher and lecturer at Lancaster Medical School in Lancaster, England, bibliotherapy can help people understand, process and consider difficult emotions. “When they recognize their thoughts and emotions in a work of fiction, or in a self-help book, it can help people to feel less alone,” says Brewster.
The meetings are structured; opening up with a mindfulness activity or yoga, discussion about the book, as well as a focus on DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) skills as a coping strategy for overwhelming emotions.
What an absolutely wonderful way to incorporate storytelling into healing; providing to a person the use of validation and connection to another’s story as a way to help with their own understanding of themselves. Bravo, Westborough High!
Photo credit: http://Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash
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