Bibliotherapy: Building Self-esteem in Children and Adolescents

Essay by britsme817University, Master'sA+, May 2006

download word file, 6 pages 5.0

Downloaded 57 times

Bibliotherapy is defined as a form of supportive psychotherapy in which carefully selected reading materials are used to assist a subject in solving personal problems or for other therapeutic purposes. Bibliotherapy has been used to build self-esteem in both children and adolescents with learning problems. It has been used with children in rural schools, shy children, and to teach about bullying and victimization, among other things. It has also been used to help adolescents by developing a good self-concept in the face of crisis identity.

It is believed that the therapeutic benefit of stories and literature is mostly gained through a process that involves "the stages of identity with the characters involved, insight into the associated problems and dilemmas, and finally emotional catharsis and release (Young & Oliver, 1994). Using this process enhances possibilities for identification and insight. It also creates a safe atmosphere to talk about the strong emotions and issues that arise in the literature and in their lives from the safe distance of the third person.

Self-esteem can be greatly affected by the method of teaching. Cooperation and collaboration can enhance self esteem and promote student achievement. In a literature circle environment students have the opportunity to succeed while learning something new. There is a lot of emphasis placed on reading in the classroom, and students lacking the ability to read will probably experience issues with low self-esteem. Teachers must learn to work on self esteem along with reading due to the fact that the two go hand in hand. Self-concept is also very closely correlated with math achievements. Students with higher scores in math and reading were found to have higher scores in most areas of self-esteem as well (Stringer, Reynolds & Simpson, 2003).

This idea of learning by doing has also been emphasized by such...