‘Book Doctor’ Ella Berthoud leads UAEBBY–Abu Dhabi Libraries bibliotherapy workshop

UAE Board on Books for Young People in partnership with Abu Dhabi Libraries organised the workshop, which explored ways in which people can use books to improve their mental well-being

Sharjah, June 02, 2022

Reading books can be therapeutic, discovered visitors to the recent workshop titled “Bibliotherapy” conducted by avant-garde artist and author Ella Berthoud from London. The workshop was organised by Sharjah-based non-profit UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Libraries at the Cultural Foundation in the capital city.

The three-day workshop was delivered by The Book Doctor, as Berthoud is called, in stages – in the first stage, participants had to understand the concept, history and future of bibliotherapy; in the second stage, they had to try it out practically with different books; and in the third stage, use specific books for therapy.

Commenting on the workshop, Ella Berthoud, who has authored The Story Cure and The Novel Cure among many others, said: “The purpose of this workshop is to bring the bibliotherapy to the Middle East and it gives me immense satisfaction that I could promote this line of treatment, with minimum physical side-effects but maximum mental gains, here in the UAE and the ADIBF. I thank UAEBBY for giving this opportunity, and the reaction of participants show how excited they are about the idea. It is important to bring new ways of thinking in children, teenagers and adults to handle life’s myriad problems.”

She added: “I encourage authors and librarians to think about ways books can have a therapeutic effect on readers. While authors can keep this in mind when they write books, librarians can help readers by suggesting books that will help improve mental health.”