Biblotherapy is a Very Useful Tool


Cameron W. Meredith, Ph.D.

Guest Writer for Florida Adlerian Society Newsletter (Fall 2006)

I have found bibliotherapy therapy to be very useful in helping clients with their journey to better mental health and happiness and to improving their relationships with the important people in their lives. I am constantly on the lookout for books and handouts which mix will with the principles and practices of Adlerian psychology such as encouragement, social interest, and cooperation. Books written by Adlerians such as Rudolf Dreikurs’ Social Equality: The Challenge of our Times and Adlerian Theory by Eva Dreikurs Ferguson are available in the FAS bookstore and handouts are available on-line from www.carterandevans. I have given thousands away over the years.

One of the most challenging areas is working with parents and their relationships with teenagers. Frank Walton’s small book Winning Teenagers Over has been my favorite for years. He clearly spells out the difference between democratic, coercive, and permissive parenting. William Glasser’s more recent book For Parents and Teenagers: Dissolving the Barrier Between you and your Teen, (formerly Unhappy Teenagers) emphasizes friendly, cooperative, and respective relations. I recently read and reread Geri Carter’s delightful book Parenting Today’s Teenager: A Guide to Fostering Democracy, Cooperation, and Teamwork in your Home. The sub-title says it all. Written in an easy to understand format, it gives readers a workable Adlerian theory of parenting and plenty of parenting skill. The charts and tables are well done. My clients have already found the book very helpful in improving relationships.

I am also interested in books written by non-Adlerians which seem to be Adlerian. Dale Carnegie’s book How To Win Friends and Influence People was written in 1936. The newer version, How to Win Friends and Influence People for Teenage Girls, is an excellent resource. Dale Carnegie through out the book quotes Adler. Adler was in NYC from 1930 to 1937. I can’t prove it but my guess is that he interviewed Adler several times and was influenced by his book What Life Should Mean to You. The summary of his first chapter was “Don’t critique, condemn or complain.” The summary of his second chapter was, “Give honest and sincere appreciation” In his book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, his 18th chapter “How to cure depression in 14 days” was taken out of Adler’s book. The summary was “Forget yourself by becoming interested in others. Every day do a good deed that will put a smile of joy on someone’s face” Albert Ellis’ book, How to Stubbornly Refuse to make yourself Miserable Anytime, yes anytime, is very Adlerian. Of course, William Glasser’s classic book Choice Theory is also ­­­applicable whether the issues are at home, school or the work place.

I find Wayne Dyer’s books very Adlerian. I recently read his 48th book, Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling. I was inspired. I think you will find ­­biblotherapy therapy inspiring. Happy reading!


Download this article
as a printable PDF document.