Book Group Therapy

Many of us hope every week that our book groups will not turn into the above. As facilitators, we want to concentrate on the book. We’re careful about what we select for the group to read. We want the title to resonate with the readers, invite thoughtful conversation, and encourage shared experiences. We’re always happy to hear how the book elicited memories in a reader’s life and it’s a testament to the author’s talent when a reader can draw a parallel between a fictional experience and a real one.

While most of the book group leaders I know try to avoid this situation, there’s one book group leader who gladly invites it.

Julie Rains has embraced the concept of using a book group to promote healthy reactions and discussions to some of life’s greater emotional, mental, or situational challenges. She has pulled together a book group that uses the selected reading to encourage positive responses to difficult situations and allows members to discuss ways to handle them using the reading as a blueprint for healthy reactions or in some cases, a warning against negative responses.

It’s a fascinating concept and those of us who feel overwhelmed when these emotionally charged discussions arise unexpectedly will find some insightful guidance in Ms. Rain’s article here.

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About the Author:

Kaite Mediatore Stover refuses to give up her day job as director of readers' services for The Kansas City Public Library to read tarot cards professionally or be the merch girl/roadie for her husband's numerous bands. Follow her on Twitter at @MarianLiberryan.

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