Frequently Asked Questions About Bibliography

Reading is a skill that is developed and enhanced as we age. Many people enjoy reading stories and novels as a form of hobby or pastime.

For others, reading works of literature and articles help alleviate their work-related problems and set their body into a soothing mood. While for a few individuals, reading is a way to expand and assist their ever-growing writing and communication skills.

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But did you know that reading any forms of books or literature can also help with your mental health?

A bibliotherapy is a form of therapy that uses reading and literary materials as a functional tool in addressing mental health problems. It uses a wide range of genres and themes of literary materials. This therapy seeks to aid some conditions such as depression, anxiety, and mood changes.

Dated way back in Ancient Greece, there has already been an idea that links reading to notions of healing effects and tranquillity.

But it was only in the year 1916 when Samuel Crothers coined the terminology. It means to define a set of literary materials and concepts that can be prescribed for different disorders.

If you are unaware of what to expect from your therapist, don’t fret. This therapy won’t require you to read stacks of books per day. The therapist will start with bibliotherapy by finding out more about you.

Specific questions will help assess and determine the mental or emotional problems you have. Your therapist then will recommend a set of books or literary materials related to your current mental state.

Choosing these literary forms is crucial and influential in bibliotherapy. So it is best to consult with a proven and licensed therapist in this type of psychological activity. Make sure too that your therapist is licensed and has enough background about this therapeutic methodology.

There are also various techniques that your therapist can use in a bibliotherapy session.

If you want to know more about bibliotherapy, its scope, definition, and how it can direct you to better mental health, check out the FAQs provided here below:

What is bibliotherapy used for?

Bibliotherapy is the therapeutic practice of using reading as a support tool in treating mental health issues. This is usually done as a supplementary treatment for depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. There is no definite genre used — it may range from fiction to self-help books.

What is cognitive bibliotherapy?

Cognitive bibliotherapy uses principles from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to assist reading. Restructuring thought and emotions, as well as breathing techniques, are common. Materials may also be aligned with CBT techniques to be practiced.

Is bibliotherapy evidence-based?

There is substantial evidence that bibliotherapy is an effective emotional and mental health treatment tool. There are professionals in bibliotherapy to facilitate treatment and healing. Physical effects related to reading, such as lowered blood pressure and heart rate, are also extensively studied.

Does reading decrease anxiety?

Reading is linked to reduced anxiety and stress. As a form of relaxation, reading can provide headspace for focusing and keeping negative thoughts away.

Who created bibliotherapy?

Bibliotherapy and the idea that books can provide a healing effect can be traced back as early as the Greeks. However, the term itself was coined in 1916 by Samuel Crothers to describe literature prescriptions for different disorders.

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Who needs cognitive behavioral therapy?

Those undergoing treatment for diagnosed mental health conditions such as depression and eating disorders may benefit from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) both as a tool or standalone treatment. Aside from this, people who want to manage their emotions and thoughts may also benefit from CBT techniques.

How much should you read a day?

About 15-30 minutes of reading a day are enough. Depending on your schedule and lifestyle, this short amount of time is doable for most people. You will see benefits such as better focus and improved mood from this short amount of time.

Can reading be therapeutic?

Studies have suggested that reading has similar effects to other relaxation methods such as yoga and meditation. A 2009 study from the University of Sussex shows that stress levels can be reduced to about 68% while reading. Physical effects include reduced muscle tension and blood pressure.

Does writing therapy work?

The results of using writing as a therapeutic method are well supported. Writing about stressful and negative events serves both as a record and allows the writer a new perspective on the situation. The act of writing itself is also a relaxation technique. A mental health professional may provide prompts and directions to assist in the process.

Conclusion

Reading helps in a variety of ways. Thus, it can be a very useful tool for maintaining a better perspective about mental health. A 2009 study found that at least 30 minutes of reading can decrease blood pressure, heart rate, and feelings of psychological distress.

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Reading does not only give you a distraction from your present conditions and problems. It can also provide you a new perspective about your life. Meeting fictional characters or even biographies from esteemed personalities can help one aspire towards a more positive outlook in life, hence an inspiration.

Bibliotherapy can work for everyone, especially those who are interested in reading in general. This type of therapy can offer you the best experience and a more comfortable position. Through this, you get to heal while doing something you love.

Moreover, bibliotherapy can also work for people suffering from a mental health condition or emotional instability. This therapy can be both a stand-alone treatment or a supplementary method. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Emotional Trauma

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I was never snobbish when it came to fantasy books. I learned early that many books with bad blurbs still had an exciting plot; it would be crazy to judge them by their cover. Despite that, one of the books that I refused to re-read was New Moon, the second book in the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer.

It was not because the writing or storyline was awful, all right? The plot focused on how Bella Swan’s character tried to cope with Edward Cullen’s lack – or any of his family members – in her life. It detailed how the heroin went as far as trying crazy stunts because that’s the only way she could somehow hear or imagine Edward. 

Objectively speaking, it was extremely good. Subjectively speaking, it was horrifyingly believable and hit closer to home than I would ever admit. You see, I was once like Bella. I got abandoned by a loved one; I did not know how to move forward for a long time. Unlike Bella, though, I was entirely alone – I did not have friends or family to gain support from. Hence, I went down the deeper end of the depression and emotional trauma.  

1. What can cause emotional trauma? 

 Emotional trauma can be caused by a single shocking, horrifying event that an individual witnesses or experiences.

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2. What are the three types of trauma? 

  • Acute: You experience one traumatic incident.
  • Chronic: You deal with the same traumatic event repeatedly.
  • Complex: You’ve been exposed to a broad range of traumatic events.

3. Can emotional trauma cause physical symptoms? 

 Yes, emotional trauma can cause physical symptoms, especially when you feel strongly towards a specific event. Your head may ache, and your chest may constrict, for instance.

4. How do you deal with emotional trauma? 

  • Let time heal your wounds. Avoid forcing yourself to get better – that will only result in the opposite.
  • Figure out the reason behind the trauma. No matter how painful it may feel, you must face your fears if you wish to overcome them.
  • Create and follow a schedule of activities every day. Doing so will allow you to move even when you don’t feel like it.
  • Open up about your traumatic experience(s). Family and friends may be the closest support group you can have. If that is not possible, you may look for organizations that cater to traumatized individuals.
  • Look for people who have been in your shoes before. Talk to them and learn how they have risen above the trauma.

5. How emotional trauma affects the brain? 

 Emotional trauma practically causes the brain to produce more cortisol – stress hormones – than usual. The longer you deal with it, the higher is the possibility of emotional trauma changing your brain function permanently.

6. What are the five stages of PTSD? 

  • Emergency: During the first stage, you have a fight-or-flight response to everything. You cannot stay still and may often react intensely.
  • Denial: The second stage occurs when the individual refuses to deal with his feelings and memories. This is when they drink, party, and try various activities to avoid confronting reality.
  • Intrusive: It is technically the scariest PTSD stage, considering nightmares and flashbacks may appear at this point. As a result, you may get more anxious than ever. The silver lining is that severe anxiety and stress may push you to accept your trauma.
  • Transition: Acknowledging PTSD serves like a balm to your trauma-addled brain. The path towards healing most likely becomes apparent in the fourth stage. Ideally, you also sign up for a recovery program.
  • Integration: When you reach this stage, it entails that you have graduated from the program and are ready to face life with new coping skills. It’s okay if it takes months before achieving it – what matters is that you’ve gotten here.
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7. Does trauma ever go away? 

 Given that trauma can alter brain function, it may never go away. However, if you learn to deal with the symptoms, they may become manageable over time.

8. Can Trauma be cured? 

 No, trauma is one of the many mental conditions that cannot be cured at the time of writing. Despite that, you can try various treatments to manage their symptoms.

9. How would you know if you have unresolved trauma? 

 If you have unresolved trauma, you may experience the following:

  • Black-and-white way of thinking
  • Irrational fears
  • Spacing out
  • Hypervigilance
  • Guilty for living
  • Attachment issues
  • Depression symptoms
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Suicidal thoughts

10. How would you know if you have repressed trauma? 

 If you have repressed trauma, you may experience the following:

  • Unexplainable physical pain
  • Mood swings
  • Heightened sensitivity
  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Worthlessness

11. What mental illness is caused by childhood trauma? 

 Childhood trauma can cause depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, eating disorders, and other mental illnesses.

12. What does emotional trauma feel like? 

  • Everything makes you anxious or depressed.
  • It is impossible to trust or get close to another person.
  • Terrifying flashbacks come to mind.
  • You become closed-off when you see or hear anything related to your traumatic experience.
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13. How long can it take to heal from emotional trauma? 

 It is impossible to mention how much time it takes to recover from emotional trauma. Every sufferer is different, so the answer depends on how much you’ve accepted the issue and how easy you cope with it.

14. How do you release trapped emotions?

  • Recognize that there is perhaps an emotion or two that you don’t want to deal with. Figure out what those are and accept them.
  • Learn how to express your emotions, even if you are not ready to use your words to do that. For instance, you may dance, smash things, paint, draw, exercise, or even cry. Many have also benefited from going out and taking a deep breath.
  • Look after your mind and body. Whatever you’ve done in the past most likely isn’t enough – you need to prioritize yourself this time.

Final Thoughts

You might be wondering, “How did you get over the emotional trauma, writer?”

Well, for starters, I moved to another state. I left everything behind that would remind me of that person who abandoned me. I also cut ties with all the people who kept telling me, “I told you so.” Once I got settled in my new home, I went to therapy. It was a long and challenging process; it took me more than a year, to be honest. Despite that, it was worth the effort as I managed to regain self-control and self-confidence and leave the past in the past.