Bibliotherapy for an inner journey during quarantine 

Bibliotherapy during quarantine


If you can’t go outside…go inside!

What better occasion than quarantine to use our precious time for a little (or not so little) reflection on ourselves, new awareness and personal growth? I believe bibliotherapy is a useful tool in my work, as I often recommend some reads to my patients as support to their psychotherapy. 

Here are some interesting reads to start your inner journey, as they may inspire the changes you were longing for by shedding light on mental functioning.

The courage to be disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

An imaginary conversation between a wise philosopher and a young adult on how to achieve freedom from our mental schemas and increase our happiness, through the lenses of Adlerian psychology. 

A good prompt for reflection on the desire to be accepted and recognised by others, self-confidence and how sometimes we can be the very saboteur to our own happiness.

Emotional intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman explains why emotional intelligence can actually be much more useful than IQ. 

Emotional intelligence implies the ability to read our and other people’s emotions in order to understand them and use this information as a guide to behaviour and thinking. This emotional muscle is indeed one of the keys to success in interpersonal relationships, both in our private life and the workplace.

The choice by Edith Eger

Dr Edith Eger shares her personal story as a survivor of concentration camps in the Second World War, delving into her struggle healing from trauma and the path to becoming a psychologist to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. An inspiring and heart-touching story delivering an important life lesson: even in the worst possible situation, we can always choose our thoughts and attitude and change the way we perceive reality. 

 The power of now by Eckhart Tolle 

When approaching the concept of mindfulness, being and living in the present moment exerts the ability to stay in the here-and-now, while observing from a detached and non-judgmental point of view what’s going on inside us.

Eckhart Tolle outlines the power of Now, a concept deeply embedded in Eastern philosophies, yet still so foreign and little-known in Western societies. 

Come as you are by Emily Nagoski

Dr Nagoski takes us on a journey into women’s sexuality, debunking false beliefs (and believe me ladies, there are plenty!), as well as inspiring a reflection on what are the brake and accelerator factors in our sexual life. An excellent read to get to know yourself better, understanding how culture, early experiences and stress impact on sexuality by learning that we are all normal, made of the same parts but organised in different ways.

Overcoming low self-esteem by Melanie Fennell

If self-confidence is your Achilles’ heel, this self-help book is for you! 

Melanie Fennell explains how self-esteem develops across the lifespan, starting from early experiences with our caregivers as well as school-peers, and how our beliefs about ourselves influence and mediate almost every aspect of our daily life, such as our attitude in the workplace, with our partner, friends, and so forth. The book contains several practical exercises, based on Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy to effectively increase self-esteem.

Staring at the sun by Irvin Yalom

I would recommend literally every book written by Irvin Yalom, yet this may actually be the one that touched me the most. In this book, Yalom offers a little window to his therapy room, sharing true stories of patients dealing with such a sensitive topic like the fear of death. 

Given our human nature, we may well relate to Yalom’s patients, as they live life coping with the certain fact that time on this planet is limited.

Yalom gives us food for thought, drawing on his vast experience in existential psychology and ancient philosophy.