Self-help books have had a bad reputation with the general public and many therapists. They opinion has been that they were ineffective or simplistic. However, over the years, I’ve recommended many self-help books to my clients, and seen them be very effective in helping my clients improve.
Now a report has come out with studies that self-help books are useful for people with mild to moderate depression or other mood disorders. Therapists are prescribing “bibliotherapy” to help their patients. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, by David Burns, has shown that it has helped reduce depression in many readers. Bibliotherapy isn’t a substitute for traditional therapy, but it can be used as an additional strategy.
Whenever a person discovers new information or is able to get a fresh perspective on a personal issue, it helps change the way the subconscious and conscious minds process old habits and ideas. Change can happen just by reading about someone else’s story, learning new techniques to alter their viewpoint, or discovering that an old attitude isn’t necessary. Why has it taken this long for the value of self-help books to become known to the public?
Read the full article at Bibliotherapy: Reading Your Way To Mental Health at the Wall Street Journal.