Bibliotherapy: these books that help us to live better

Practical guides or click-through stories, book therapists entertain as much as they care. Which one to consult? Six psys recommend their favorite "Dr. Book". Six personalities reveal to you the one who did them good.

Valérie Colin-Simard Pascale Senk

It has long been known that books enlighten, entertain, and cultivate. We must now count on another power: that of healing. And this, on three levels: the body, the psyche, the spirit. It is enough to measure the number of practical guides invading the big bookshops to be convinced of it: To know how to manage its stress (Charly Cungi, Retz, 1 .) to the radius health, To live better by the yoga (Lionel Coudron, I read, 1 ) in Psychology, The Great Book of serenity (Aziadée, Le Cherche-Midi, 2000.) in spirituality ... There is for all tastes.

"Bibliotherapy" therefore lands on a massive scale. Where does it start? Where does it stop? After all, laughing out loud when reading Groucho Marx's aphorisms can prove therapeutic, when some scholarly essays on depression plunge into boredom and despair. Moreover, everyone has a story, unique. If some texts can shock, open gaps, trigger awareness among some, they will have no impact on the lives of others. In the ocean of books that overwhelms us today, however, we can identify three major curricular currents: the books of direct advice or "self-help", the books of self-knowledge, and the fictions that cause inner clicks.

Guide books

The practical guides are particularly popular. Exercises, lists of questions and detailed typical situations inspire the reader in search of well-being. Until then, these self-help books were considered pure products "made in USA-Canada". They were suspected of walking on the flowerbeds of scientists and doctors, and were seen as simplistic manuals of "turnkey etiquette". In France, their public has long been marginal. "On the other hand, this vast movement of self-help - which also includes self-help groups - represents the first healthcare structure, explains Dr. Cungi, psychiatrist and specialist. It has generated new knowledge on many disorders. "

" These guides have beneficial effects in all cases of psychological difficulties where healthy areas of the person remain, "says psychiatrist Christophe André. So understand: for anxiety and obsessive disorders, bulimia, addictions, etc. But in the case of depression, which invades the whole personality, it is more delicate.Note, however, that self-help manuals addressing schizophrenic and psychotic disorders are about to be published! Some publishers are mixed. Abel Gerschenfeld, director of the collection "Réponses" at Robert Laffont, refuses many titles of self-help: "I would have too much trouble selling a text by one:" There, you will find the solution. "I believe that the books open doors, enrich, but if they contained the salvation, that would be known! "

Our selection:

Knowing how to develop its creativity by Brigitte Bouillerce and Emmanuel Carré, Retz, 2000.

Svetlana Crabbé, Marabout, 2000. Books that help you to know yourself

One of the major qualities of the "book that heals" is to promote identification: the reader knows that he is no longer alone, he is guilty of guilt; his situation suddenly seems less dramatic. Aline, 50, is an adept of bibliotherapy. For twenty years, she devours everything that appears in psychology or personal development. "In my periods of ill-being, some books have flatly appeased me.

The Prodigious Victories of Modern Psychology ( Pierre Daco, Marabout, 1996.) helped me to put words on inner sensations that I did not understand. " In general, essays that decode a psychological difficulty also make room for introspection, to the story of true stories. There are also testimonials from "those who are doing" - cancer or drug addiction. It is also necessary that these texts give rise to hope and encourage change. Because, to the extent that they refer to personal stories, they are only encouraging if they invite the reader to look for his own truth too, if they raise the right questions, without imposing answers.

Our selection:

Guy Corneau's Healings of the Heart

, Robert Laffont, 2000. Christophe André and François Lelord's Self Esteem

, Odile Jacob, 1 .

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