What are the benefits of book therapy?

Posted by Bijal Shah on

Self-awareness, empathy and mental well-being

Reading is more than just voraciously devouring words as we hurriedly rush through the chapters of an engaging J K Rowling book for example. It is the connection that we feel with the characters, the identification with those characters, the sense of comfort and the feeling of being understood. 

A 2011 study published in the Annual Review of Psychology confirmed that when people read about an experience the same part of the brain lights up as having experienced it themselves. This suggests that people who read a lot, tend to empathise better with others, and are able to accurately predict what someone else is thinking or feeling.

As Virginia Woolf so aptly put it: "when we read we are in perpetual union with another."

Whilst reading may also give us a temporary but refreshing escape from the harsh realities of life, it enables short meditative pauses akin to small doses of medicine for daily stresses.

Increasing empathy and self-awareness, reading promotes mental well-being, acting as a catalyst for positive behaviour change.


Book Therapy offers an alternative to conventional therapy using the power of literature. We offer a confidential therapy session with a book therapist, exploring your current needs; prescribing both fiction/non-fiction literature. Or if you prefer we can simply curate a personalised reading list based on your needs. Contact us at bijal@booktherapy.io for a confidential, free initial session with a book therapist.  

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