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Teen Biblio Therapy

Teen Biblio Therapy is a treatment modality based around the creative, therapeutic engagement of reading. In Biblio Therapy, therapists use the powerful connection between readers and literature as a tool to facilitate a productive space and conversation in which teens can explore and address numerous different aspects of their thoughts, beliefs, experiences, and feelings. This exploration in turn can be valuable in assisting with teens’ treatment goals of recovery, personal assessment, and growth.


Biblio Therapy is an Expressive Arts Therapy, in which therapists help teens to gain access to different aspects of their experience, through reading. Biblio Therapy is especially beneficial and poignant for teens that already love to read, and for whom the connection to literature has a strong foundation. However, we find that Biblio Therapy can be both beneficial and enjoyable for many different teens, especially in its ability to help teens open up and explore their thoughts and feelings indirectly, and without the pressure of direct inquiry and conversation.


The power of Biblio Therapy is really found within the innate connection humans have with stories, and the ways in which stories can help us to imagine, to feel, to think, and to experience, producing a sort of vicarious experience in us, through books. During Biblio Therapy sessions, therapists help to lead teens through the text in order to study characters’ behaviors, thoughts, and feelings, in a way that also allows teens to reflect upon themselves. In this space, teens are able to gain insights into themselves that can then lead to powerful change and growth in their lives that correspond with their overall treatment goals.


At Paradigm New York, we implement Teen Biblio Therapy sessions as part of our treatment plans for teens struggling with mental health and/or substance abuse disorders. We find that Teen Biblio Therapy provides an excellent supplement to the teens’ talk therapy sessions, which can sometimes be challenging, especially for teens that find it hard to express their thoughts and feelings directly. Especially at the beginning of treatment, while teens are just beginning this emotional inquiry, it can often be very valuable for them to engage with this exploration in other ways, such as through reading and talking about literature, with the guidance of their Biblio therapist. In this way, our Expressive Arts Therapies provide teens with opportunities to make valuable gains which can then be used to further the important work their doing in other sessions.


Paradigm New York is a residential teen treatment center, located in Westchester New York. At Paradigm New York, we provide mental health and substance abuse residential therapy to teens ages 13-17, both locally here from New York, as well as he rest of the country. Paradigm New York specializes in designing and implementing holistic teen treatment plans which support and address all aspects of teens’ health and well-being.