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Damon Young

Bibliotherapy prescription for a new you

in Nonfiction by

No matter what your resolutions for 2015, books can help. The right book can amuse, teach, reassure, or even heal. The term “bibliotherapy,” from the Greek biblion (books) and therapeia (healing), was coined in 1916 by Unitarian minister Samuel McChord Crothers. Books were therapeutic tools in military hospitals during the two world wars, and clinical bibliotherapy is still popular in treating mental illness, often in combination with medical approaches. Libraries also support “creative bibliotherapy,” mining fiction and poetry for their healing capabilities. The School of Life, philosopher Alain de Botton’s brainchild, is a London hub for studying how to live. Classes, secular sermons, and a library of recommended reading tackle subjects like job satisfaction and creativity. The School also offers…

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