Date of Award

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Amy Sonheim

Second Advisor

Dr. Chris Long

Third Advisor

Dr. Deborah Root

Abstract

In recent years, I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of ministry settings. One such setting brought me in contact with a girl who was in a bullying situation. In her case, she related to me action taken in her classroom by her teacher at the urging of her parents. The situation had been remedied, but she was still dealing with the emotional repercussions of having been a victim of relational aggression. In my acquaintance with the girl, I knew she enjoyed reading. Therefore, she helped to inspire my original thesis idea of learning more about the messages that can be derived from reading fiction, the process of writing fiction, and the possible beginning of my own book to be used in bibliotherapy.

My thesis idea originally centered on books that could be used in ministering and counseling; since I want to pursue both as part of my eventual career, but then I began to realize that teachers and parents might also be able to apply whatever I discovered. I shared my thoughts with Dr. Amy Sonheim, who introduced me to the term bibliotherapy.

From the first instant Dr. Sonheim mentioned bibliotherapy, defining it briefly as the use of books to help people, I was hooked and wanted to know more. How did bibliotherapy work? Who practiced it? How did one use it? And is bibliotherapy effective? Thus, a research project idea was born. I would research bibliotherapy- what it was, how it was practiced, and what its benefits were to those who used it.

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