Life’s too short for bad books – but with a new book published every 30 seconds, it can be hard to know where to start.
That’s why The School of Life set up a bibliotherapy service: to guide you to those amazing but often elusive works of literature, both past and present, that have the power to enchant, enrich and inspire.
In a consultation with one of our bibliotherapists, you'll explore your relationship with books so far and be asked to explore new literary directions. Perhaps you're looking for an author whose style you love so much you will want to devour every word they've ever written. Perhaps you’re about to trek across China and need to find ideal travel companions to download onto your kindle. Maybe you’re feeling disconnected from the world and want to listen to the classics of your childhood during your daily commute. Or you’re seeking a change in your life and want to hold the hand of people who've been there and done that already.
Our bibliotherapists specialise in works of fiction but also prescribe select works of philosophy, poetry and other creative non-fiction. They give one to one sessions, and run group sessions (on request).
You will be asked to complete a questionnaire in advance of the session.
Giving Bibliotherapy as a gift?
If you would like to give Bibliotherapy as a gift, simply book and checkout as usual and then get in contact with us – at firstname.lastname@example.org – and we will help arrange a Bibliotherapy gift card or personalised email to your recipient.
'The idea that really marks out The School of Life from other book enterprises is their recommendation service, Bibliotherapy. A specialist will help you choose books perfectly suited to you; a sort of literary personal trainer, it's the perfect way to pick your way through the minefield of what to read next.'
— The Guardian
ABOUT OUR BIBLIOTHERAPISTS
Sonya Tsakalakis has previously worked as a genetic counsellor, community educator and a rehabilitation coordinator. A lifelong bibliophile and inspired by the work of the Reader Organisation in the UK, Sonya began running shared reading circles in various community settings such as aged care, and even shopping centres! She also attended a conference in May 2014 in London, which focussed on research supporting the link between mental health and literature. Her website is www.literaryhand.com. Sonya is passionate about the creative possibilities of using literature to enhance self–awareness and community connectedness.
Nina Killham is an American/British novelist who now lives in Melbourne. Not a reader as a child, she finally began when her diplomatic father moved the family to Copenhagen and she could no longer understand the television. She turned to her parents’ bookshelves for entertainment and became a lifelong advocate of the transformative nature of books. She is the author of three novels. Her short story, My Wife the Hyena, was included in Best British Short Stories 2013. Her motto: "Books are like fish: If this one doesn’t suit, there are plenty more in the sea."
Our Bibliotherapy session run either at The School of Life in St Kilda, The State Library VIC, or a central cafe convenient for you and your bibliotherapist.