Bibliotherapy – it’s more important for Coaches than you think!

Bibliotherapy Prescription: Read a few books, and call me in the morning.

Reading is medicine for the soul. I have always loved books and over the years have continued to receive the long lasting transforming mental and emotional therapeutic benefits for personal growth and problem solving.

We all know the powerful benefits of reading the Word of God and other sacred readings. Often combined with journaling and writing therapy, reading good books provides a general sense of well-being and healing in many ways.

1. Reading is healing

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ~Charles W. Eliot

Good books that have particular relevance and meaning guide us through ways we can improve our life. Memoirs, novels and non-fiction also inspire change, offering stories that we can ‘get lost into’, relating to, giving us perspective of how others triumphed through difficulties.

Be aware of how reading can impact you for change and healing.

Coaching application:

– Self awareness

How are you becoming more aware of yourself and your own life?

– Identification

How do you identify with the author, characters and experiences?

– Catharsis

How are you emotionally connecting to the story or content, so that your feelings are revealed, and emotional pressure is relieved?

– Insight

What are you discovering about your own situation and how it can be solved? Are you more aware that you are not alone in your particular problem?

I also enjoy ‘picture books’ like these for relaxation, just pure visual and emotional pleasure.

The Secret Language of Churches & Cathedrals by Richard Stemp
The Life and Love of Trees by Lewis Blackwell

2. Reading helps with problem solving

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” ~Oscar Wilde

Reading good books can help you deal with real-life problems and conflict resolution. You can vicariously learn new ideas, attitudes and values from how others have improved their lives, discovered how to resolve problems and be in relationships.

Here are some examples to get you started:

One Thousand Gifts by Anne Voskamp
Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat. By Dr. Michelle May
Sleep: It Does A Family Good by Dr. Archibald Hart

3. Reading brings positive behavioral outcomes

“A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint…. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Read with an open-minded approach of ‘What can I learn from this’? What new things can I try that will improve my life? How does this draw me closer to God? How does this help me have more empathy and respect for others? Is there a better way to cope with my situation or challenge?

Question: What good books could you ‘prescribe’ to yourself for enjoyment, inspiration, or to help you improve your thoughts, feelings and behaviors at this time?

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