Words That Heal at the Melbourne Writers Festival

MWF photo (2)At the 2014 Melbourne Writers Festival I was a guest speaker in the session ‘Words that Heal’ on bibliotherapy (the use of literature to help people deal with psychological, social and emotional problems). Writer and journalist Jane Sullivan chaired the 60-minute conversation between myself and writer/general practitioner Jacinta Halloran. I spoke on the background and uses of bibliotherapy including a psycho-social rehabilitation unit within the criminal justice area and with homeless and at risk people. I also spoke about a wellbeing focused bibliotherapy program I have developed in collaboration with a psychologist and general practitioner.

The session attracted much interest with 400 bookings and received some pleasing feedback.

Congratulations on your session at the Writers Festival. I really enjoyed your session on Friday morning, it was such an unexpected surprise – I had no idea that the session was on bibliotherapy & your amazing work. Every year I go to the festival & come across surprise gems – and your session was certainly that for me – so refreshing to hear and learn how you are using literature to work in transformative ways.

The possibilities of bibliotherapy resonate with so many, as people search for more meaningful ways to connect.