Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bibliotherapy: Using Literature to help Kids Deal with Social and Emotional Issues

Have you ever heard of bibliotherapy?  Bibliotherapy is something I learned about since I started working on my PhD in Gifted Education.  It is the use of literature to help kids deal with social and emotional issues.  Kids (and even adults) are able to learn about life and how to deal with difficult circumstances through the catharsis they experience with characters. You can use picture books or novels.

If you want to learn more about Bibliotherapy, one of the best resources is to read Some of my Best Friends are Books by Judith Halstead. I read the book and keep going back to it.

Tonight I am giving a talk on Bibliotherapy (as a graduate student) by suggesting different books that can be used to help gifted kids deal with issues that are common to giftedness, such as perfectionism, isolation, social skills, empathy, developing imagination, valuing differences, etc. I look forward to sharing some blog posts as well with suggestions of picture books and novels that could be used for some of these different issues.

The idea of "some of my best friends being books" is something I can definitely relate to.  As a kid, I was an only child, very mature for my age, and we moved a lot.  I liked being by myself, but I also always struggled with feeling lonely and making friends.  I always loved (and still do) finding great series to read.  I loved really getting to know a character well because those characters really were my friends and became very real to me.  Bibliotherapy could be used with all kids, but it is especially appropriate for gifted kids because so many of them often are prolific readers.

You can click HERE to see my Pinterest board for Bibliotherapy where I am pinning books to use for different issues. Have you ever used a picture book or novel to help a student deal with an issue?  If so, what are some of your favorite books?


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