Here is part 2 of the Bibliotherapy interview of Ms. Ardeth Aquino.
6. What are the steps in implementing bibliotherapy?
You may refer to the ppt I sent you for the stages and steps in a bibliotherapy session.
7. What assessment skills and tools do you use in bibliotherapy for clients? How is progress evaluated?
For developmental bibliotherapy, the assessment is very authentic. Students who go to the library often want to read for two reasons: they need academic support and they need to unwind. Meeting students needs for academic support can be met through a reference query process. It is the “unwinding” needs that is more exciting since the inquiry can begin with generic questions to personal ones.
In cases like these, students would ask for books that are light and easy to read. I move on asking them what they have read from the library so far. If they say a title or two, I ask them if they liked it or not, then I suggest or recommend similar titles. I also have a list of book reviews ready for further recommendation. The reviews were done by students. When readers looking for books to read learn that the book review was done by a friend, a classmate or a school mate, they become more interested in reading it. There is a social aspect to reading. I think this is the success generated by Goodreads.com.
Assessment for developmental bibliotherapy can be done with the help of the school guidance counselor. For example, in the school where I work, we have recent concerns on bullying. The guidance counselor conducted individual intervention as well as a group processing of the issue at hand. This is an opportunity to support the counselor’s efforts in conflict resolution through bibliotherapy. So, bibliotherapy here is not a method used in isolation. What I am doing right now is selecting books and reading materials on conflict resolution to further enrich the counselor’s approach in assisting our students develop a coping mechanism to solve personal problems. The list contain that books range from individual titles on personal, self-help and fiction books. The guidance counselor will make use of this list to recommend books for a student to read or for a group counseling session. A similar approach and strategy can be done with classroom teachers.
Clinical bibliotherapy by medical health practitioners is focused more on mental and psychological therapy and requires a different set of asessment tools.
8. What types of activities would you use with a particular population?
The activity would depend on the developmental need of an individual or a group. But, the principle of mirroring or catharsis is the basis of any activity for a bibliotherapy session. It is important to know the profile of different age groups, their learning modalities and context. Reading ability is also a factor.
For children, reading aloud can be done. For more independent readers, they can read on their own pace and time allotted for the session.
9. How are the families, and significant others involved in the assessment process and intervention?
Interviews with family members and friends may help to establish content. They can also be included in special meetings or counseling sessions.
10. What is the biggest challenge in facilitating bibliotherapy?
Tracking and documentation of readers’ progress. Bibliotherapists also need a wide array of resources, other than books, movies and songs can be used for sessions, but our library system in the PH is very poor and such resources are expensive to keep and manage.