Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Growth Through Developmental Bibliotherapy

  • Pirjo SuvilehtoEmail author
  • Kelli Jo Kerry-Moran
  • Juli-Anna Aerila
Part of the Educating the Young Child book series (EDYC, volume 16)


Stories can play important roles in helping children cope with problems and overcome challenges. When young children make connections between themselves and story characters, they can use those connections to learn that other people face similar problems and gain inspiration for overcoming difficulties. Bibliotherapy, the therapeutic use of stories in children’s lives, is an approach used by counselors and health practitioners, librarians, educators, and families. In bibliotherapy, stories are used in supporting discussions between children and caring adults of children’s concerns, and as promoters for studying diverse issues that are meaningful for children’s mental health and moral development. While stories are often used in a therapeutic way, educators and families may be unaware of bibliotherapy and the strategies that can be implemented to make the therapeutic use of books, poems, films, and other forms of children’s literature more intentional and successful. This chapter presents developmental bibliotherapy as a tool to support young children’s social and emotional growth and provides suggestions for educators and families.


Bibliotherapy Developmental bibliotherapy Literary art therapy Book therapy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pirjo Suvilehto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kelli Jo Kerry-Moran
    • 2
  • Juli-Anna Aerila
    • 3
  1. 1.University of OuluOuluFinland
  2. 2.Indiana University of PennsylvaniaIndianaUSA
  3. 3.University of TurkuRaumaFinland

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