From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bibliotherapy (also referred to as “book therapy” poetry therapy or therapeutic storytelling) is a creative arts therapies modality that involves storytelling or the reading of specific texts with the purpose of healing. It uses an individual’s relationship to the content of books and poetry and other written words as therapy. Bibliotherapy is often combined with writing therapy. It has been shown to be effective in the treatment of depression. A 3 year follow up study has suggested that the results are long-lasting.
Storytelling and learning
Storytelling is a means for sharing and interpreting experiences. Peter L. Berger says human life is narratively rooted, humans construct their lives and shape their world into homes in terms of these groundings and memories. Stories are universal in that they can bridge cultural, linguistic and age-related divides. Storytelling can be adaptive for all ages, leaving out the notion of age segregation. Storytelling can be used as a method to teach ethics, values and cultural norms and differences. Learning is most effective when it takes place in social environments that provide authentic social cues about how knowledge is to be applied. Stories function as a tool to pass on knowledge in a social context. So, every story has 3 parts. First, The setup (The Hero’s world before the adventure starts). Second, The Confrontation (The hero’s world turned upside down). Third, The Resolution (Hero conquers villain, but it’s not enough for Hero to survive. The Hero or World must be transformed). Any story can be framed in such format.
Human knowledge is based on stories and the human brain consists of cognitive machinery necessary to understand, remember and tell stories. Humans are storytelling organisms that both individually and socially, lead storied lives. Stories mirror human thought as humans think in narrative structures and most often remember facts in story form. Facts can be understood as smaller versions of a larger story, thus storytelling can supplement analytical thinking. Because storytelling requires auditory and visual senses from listeners, one can learn to organize their mental representation of a story, recognize structure of language and express his or her thoughts.
Stories tend to be based on experiential learning, but learning from an experience is not automatic. Often a person needs to attempt to tell the story of that experience before realizing its value. In this case, it is not only the listener who learns, but the teller who also becomes aware of his or her own unique experiences and background. This process of storytelling is empowering as the teller effectively conveys ideas and, with practice, is able to demonstrate the potential of human accomplishment. Storytelling taps into existing knowledge and creates bridges both culturally and motivationally toward a solution.
Stories are effective educational tools because listeners become engaged and therefore remember. Storytelling can be seen as a foundation for learning and teaching. While the storylistener is engaged, they are able to imagine new perspectives, inviting a transformative and empathetic experience. This involves allowing the individual to actively engage in the story as well as observe, listen and participate with minimal guidance. Listening to a storyteller can create lasting personal connections, promote innovative problem solving and foster a shared understanding regarding future ambitions. The listener can then activate knowledge and imagine new possibilities. Together a storyteller and listener can seek best practices and invent new solutions. Because stories often have multiple layers of meanings, listeners have to listen closely to identify the underlying knowledge in the story. Storytelling is used as a tool to teach children the importance of respect through the practice of listening. As well as connecting children with their environment, through the theme of the stories, and give them more autonomy by using repetitive statements, which improve their learning to learn competence. It is also used to teach children to have respect for all life, value inter-connectedness and always work to overcome adversity. To teach this a Kinesthetic learningstyle would be used, involving the listeners through music, dream interpretation, or dance.