Those of us who look upon books as friends will readily understand the concept behind bibliotherapy; the concept that reading books is a healing experience which has been recognized as dating back to the 1930s.
We have a natural inclination to identify with others and their expressions of art and literature, which is how reading material specifically prescribed for a person or their particular problem, can help.
For instance if one was grieving for the loss of an important person in their life, they could derive courage from a book about another person in a similar circumstance. This can also help a person feel less alone.
Bibliotherapy can be prescribed to include play therapy; particularly for small children. A story book and actions such as drawing and painting could help to draw out a child who is reticent or hesitant to speak about something in particular.
While bibliotherapy can be used in a structured therapeutic environment, with a trained expert guiding a person and helping them sort out their issues, it can also function on a far less formal plane.
It is a concept that may as simply be utilized by parents to pick meaningful and helpful reading material for their children.
The concepts of bibliotherapy are also applicable when selecting appropriate course material in schools and colleges, so that prescribed reading is age appropriate and can help target certain situations and behaviors.