Bibliotherapy, natural cure for the spirit

What kind of reader are you and how many books do you read per year? Do you have several on your bedside table and read them at the same time? Do you know that with bibliotherapy you can also heal the spirit? Here is the story of an experience and some titles to grow and prepare your own safe haven in which to drop anchor in the most difficult moments

Bibliotherapy, natural cure for the spirit

Bibliotherapy as a natural cure

A natural cure and a psychological cure in all respects, a methodology used in various contexts and helping relationships, bibliotherapy has, over time, fascinated many people and, in some cases, helped to resolve issues and knots in life that would otherwise be difficult to face. with bare hands .

From the ancient Greeks, to Freud, passing through the soldiers of the First World War who were prescribed books to cure themselves once at home, with a book in your hands it is, in fact, much more encouraging to go on, and, pathologies or traumas to aside, a book is always a good and trusted travel companion.

Above all, as we have already seen in the previous article “Bibliotherapy: reading to be happier”, beyond the therapies and disorders that a book can help cure, there are cases, such as that of the writer Ceridwen Dovey , in which a text can also be stimulating from a spiritual point of view . When between the lines of The New he tells us of his experience in bibliotherapy at the School of Life in London, and of his meeting with the “bibliotherapist”, writer and painter Ella Berthoud , one cannot help but take notes and ideas.

And precisely, start to mark yourself, by Ella Berthoud and writer Susan Elderkin “Healing with books. Literary remedies for every ailment” (original title: The novel cure “) and for new mothers but not only, even the text ” Growing up with books . Literary remedies to keep children healthy, wise and happy “. 

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Books to try to naturally heal the spirit

In short , Ceridwen needed something that could become her personal port where to drop anchor in times of need , she needed a book that could support her in the moments of greatest discomfort that life brings with it, such as separation or loss of someone. So then Ella advised her to read these texts, some of which have not even been translated into Italian: 

> “The Guide,” by RK Narayan;
> “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ,” translated into “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ” by José Saramago;
> “Henderson the Rain King,” translated to Saul Bellow’s “Henderson the Rain King”;
> “Siddhartha,” by Hermann Hesse;
> “The Case for God,” by Karen Armstrong;
> “Sum,” by neuroscientist David Eagleman.

Satisfied, after two years and after reading the aforementioned books, here is the author herself who tells us positively and enthusiastically about her experience. She goes on to say that reading has been shown to put our brains in a pleasant trance-like state, similar to meditation , and that it has the same health benefits of deep relaxation and inner calm.

Regular readers sleep better, have lower stress levels, higher self-esteem, and lower rates of depression than non-readers.

And, in conclusion, he reports what was said by the writer Jeanette Winterson “Fantasy books and poetry are real doses, medicines, what heal is the rupture that reality causes to the imagination”.

Ceridwen Dovey herself is the author of the short story ” Blood Kin ” and the collection of short stories entitled “Only the Animals.”

Brief history of bibliotherapy

Bibliotherapy was born in the United States around the ’30s thanks to the psychiatrist William Menninger and it is a gentle cure for the spirit and the mind that provides for the prescription of books as “homework” to read, with the aim of helping the person on his personal therapeutic journey.

In the USA it is still a very widespread technique today , but also in Ighilterrra and in Europe in general, still little prescribed in Italy, supported by several studies, many of which are still in progress. 

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