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  • Sarina Shirazee


Bibliotherapy is the use of books and stories to help promote personal growth and healing. For children, it may enable them to process and manage difficult situations in their lives, as well as improve their social and emotional awareness and regulation.⠀

Books can be presented as fiction, where children read about characters going through similar situations to themselves. When young children make connections between themselves and story characters, they can use those connections to feel validated, to learn that other people face similar problems, and to gain motivation and ideas for overcoming their difficulties.⠀

Books can also take more of a non-fiction or "teaching" structure, where children learn about how something works, or about their own or others' difficulties. The more information and knowledge a child has about something, the more power they have over it.⠀

Another benefit of bibliotherapy is that it allows children to look at their experiences from an objective viewpoint. Reading about their difficulties in the form of a picture book can be less confronting than more traditional talk therapy, and may make them feel more comfortable to talk or write about their feelings and experiences.⠀

It is recommended that an adult always accompanies a child when reading books designed to help with processing difficult situations, feelings or emotions, so that if it does encourage them to open up, they are not alone.⠀

Pictured is a book that I use with children who have difficulty with emotional regulation, called "All About Feelings".⠀


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