Reading for recovery

HSE National Clinical Programme for Eating Disorders- Bibliotherapy guide 2019

What is Bibliotherapy? 

Bibliotherapy is the use of books for therapeutic purposes and can be used to help you and your family through a time when you are worried about your health. 

The types of literature used can include:

  • self-help books,
  • poetry,
  • fiction and
  • personal stories. 

It can be done on your own, with a therapist or in a group and can be a useful start in working your way through worries or concerns about different topics, including eating behaviours or Eating Disorders.

Dr Aoife O Sullivan, GP,  talks about how Bibliotherapy can help

How does Bibliotherapy work? 

Bibliotherapy is a way of solving problems through reading and learning more about what you are going through, about your health condition, and about what can help.

When does Bibliotherapy work? 

Whether bibliotherapy works or not depends on the problem you have, the quality of the book, and also on your motivation. If you actively read and use self-help material anyway, you are likely to benefit. Guided self-help is often recommended for mild to moderate health conditions. It is a recommended treatment for adults with Binge Eating Disorder. To find out more, follow this link to our Guided Self-Help section.