Thursday 5 June 2014

Bibliotherapy: The Power of Words – a Clare County Library Book Promotion

Many thousands of self-help books exist and while the best of these are highly effective, others are not so useful. In March 2007, the first bibliotherapy scheme in Ireland was piloted, led by Elaine Martin, HSE Senior Psychologist in collaboration with Dublin City Public Libraries. The objective of the scheme was to give GPs, mental health professionals and patients choice in the treatment approach to some mild and moderate mental health difficulties. The scheme provided GPs and other professionals with a list of high quality self-help books. In preparation for the 2013 scheme, hundreds of the best evidence-based titles were read and reviewed by willing psychologists and General Practitioners working in Ireland. Based on their recommendations a long list of 97 books and a short list of 42 books have been compiled by Elaine Martin and Sara Kelly (HSE Primary Care Psychology, Dublin North City). Most of the books chosen are written by leading psychologists with clinical expertise and many present self-help versions of established treatment programmes.

Over the past year the book list has been revised and updated, reflecting and incorporating matters of concern to public health, developments in the treatment of various difficulties and with thought to the support needs of carers too. The list includes books for adults on the common psychological problems that people experience including depression, anxiety, panic, eating difficulties, stress and low self-esteem. The list includes books for children and families on topics such as parenting, worries, bullying, bereavement, separation and eating issues.

A leaflet listing the 42 books on the shortlist is available at all branches of Clare County Library and these books are available for borrowing in all branches. Books can be kept for up to four weeks and renewed if required for longer. An extended list of 97 books covering other issues such as body image problems, sleep problems and compulsive gambling is available on Clare County Library’s website, with links to reviews and the library catalogue for each book. These books are stocked in a selection of branches but may be requested through any of the 15 branch libraries. See Bibliotherapy: The Power of Words...

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