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Healing With Books: A Literature Review of Bibliotherapy Used With Children and Youth Who Have Experienced Trauma

Dawn De Vries, Zoe Brennan, Melissa Lankin, Rachel Morse, Brandi Rix, Teresa Beck


Bibliotherapy can assist children and youth (3–18 years old) in healing and developing effective coping skills after they experience trauma. The use of literature and identifying how to live more effectively through the characters and problems featured in a book enables children and youth to increase their insight and understanding of the themes and experiences as it relates to their own lives. Bibliotherapy is reinforced through the use of a variety of techniques such as discussion, therapeutic use of art, dramatization, puppetry, and creative writing (Early, 1993; Pardeck, 1990a; Pardeck, 1991a, 1991b; Pardeck & Pardeck, 1984, 1997). This literature review examines the outcomes of bibliotherapy when used with children who have experienced trauma. The use of bibliotherapy as a recreational therapy intervention will be discussed in terms of improving child outcomes and advancing recreational therapy professional practice.

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bibliotherapy; children; outcomes; recreational therapy; trauma

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