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Its processes and benefits and application in clinical and developmental settings

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This article discusses the historical development of bibliotherapy and how books can be used in the treatment of a range of minor mental health conditions. The article provides a brief historical account of how books have been used in institutions through the centuries and how the bibliotherapuetic process works through the use of texts from which the reader gains an insight into their personal situation by identifying with a character experiencing similar problems. Bibliotherapy as both clinical and community-based treatment is discussed through a number of case studies from the critical literature, in particular the Ayrshire Read Yourself Well scheme and the Reading Well/Books on Prescription scheme. The results of a medical trial on the benefits of reading a novel based on MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans of readers are then discussed.


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