UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An investigation of the extent and use of bibliotherapy in the lower mainland of British Columbia Yasin, Sandra Rae


This study is an investigation of the extent and use of bibliotherapy in the lower mainland of British Columbia. Bibliotherapy is defined as the use of literature, either fiction or non-fiction, to help people with their problems. The sample consists of forty mental health practitioners, randomly selected, fifteen of whom were interviewed personally. These fifteen respondents were those who used bibliotherapy as part of their practice. A questionnaire was devised, on the basis of the literature review to examine the methods and procedures of bibliotherapy. The tape-recorded interviews were then transcribed verbatim and summarized into major and sub-categories. Frequencies and percentages of the responses were recorded and tabulated. The findings were that most of the respondents use a similar procedure when prescribing bibliotherapy, i.e. they are semi-directive in their recommendations, provide an adequate rationale for their suggestions and discuss the impact of the reading with their clients. The types of books most often employed were non-fiction, either lay psychology or self-help literature. The type of problem which the client presents played a determining role in the decision to use bibliotherapy. It was possible to isolate two major areas with which bibliotherapy was most effective: communication and interpersonal problems and family conflicts. In conclusion, bibliotherapy has been effectively employed by the respondents in this study and is a valuable form of psychotherapy whose wider application should be considered.

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