Bibliotherapy refers to the use of books for managing wellbeing, facilitating self-development and providing psychological support. These books are often known as ‘self-help’ books and can vary in approach. Evidence suggests that bibliotherapy can be an effective way of helping people with a range of common emotional difficulties.
In the UK bibliotherapy began in Cardiff, where a scheme was developed which linked the city's libraries and medical practices. This scheme is now known as 'Book Prescription Wales' and is used throughout the health service in Wales. Here at the University, the Counselling Team in partnership with Library Services and supported by the guild have set up their own bibliotherapy scheme called ‘Book my Mind’. This initiative involves a collection of books that have been specifically chosen by our Counsellors, Wellbeing Advisors and Mental Health Team.
Our collection of books cover a wide range of issues such as anxiety, depression and include a variety of approaches such as cognitive behavioural therapy to mindfulness. We have especially tried to include books that we hope students can identify with. For example books relating to the pressures of academic life and the student experience. However as our books are available for staff as well as students we have tried to include something for everyone. Ranging from psychoeducational books that provide us with the tools for change, to books with real narratives that are insightful and empowering. We hope you will take this opportunity to Book My Mind!
Our book collection is still in development but we are pleased to present our list of books that are available in the library.
Please also see the full list of therapeutic books we recommend. We hope that these books will be available in our libraries within the academic year. The list is split into categories to help you choose where to start or it may be that a particular book has been suggested to you by your personal tutor or another member staff.
Therapeutic books can be used independently or alongside seeing a mental health professional. However, please note that although these books can often provide all the help needed they can also highlight the need for further support. Please do not hesitate to contact the services available at the University or your GP if needed.
The counselling service will be complimenting this collection of books by dedicating a therapeutic student group to the project. This group will run throughout the year and will be based on specific books from the wellbeing list. A blog has been set up to keep everyone updated on the project and also a place where staff and students can share book reviews and any other related content.
If you have any comments or questions about book my mind. Or if you would like to suggest any books that you feel should be included in the wellbeing list please contact Debbie Burns.