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Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

North Wales Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service




Bibliotherapy: Book Prescription Scheme for Children and Families

Why have a Book Prescription Scheme for Children and Families?

All families have questions or difficulties from time to time.

There is a lot of evidence to say that using good quality self-help materials can be just as effective in addressing mild to moderate difficulties as spending time with a therapist.  The books selected for this scheme have been reviewed by professionals and families who rates them as being both helpful and easy to use.

About the Scheme

This  is a scheme designed to make psychological approaches more accessible to children and families by providing quality self-help books in local libraries.  There is a lot of self-help material available, but not all of it is equally good.  This scheme has identified some of the best books currently available and has compiled a recommended book list.

What if I think a book might help?

If families seek your advice about a relevant issue, you may want to recommend a book from the list, the majority of which are aimed at parents/carers.  Check the list and see if there is a relevant book.

Local professionals (from health, social services, education and the voluntary sector) have been provided with packs that will allow them to recommend the books to families.

Families do not have to be recommended a book to use the scheme.  If they are members of the library, they can borrow any of the self-help materials just like any other library book.  Alternatively, some people prefer to buy the books for themselves.

The books are kept in all the local libraries and people can borrow a book even if they are not a library member.

Who is the Scheme for?

Self help can be used at any time:

All families are different and when difficulties arise, the whole family is affected by what is going on.  By looking at as many points of view as possible, the recommended books offer a variety of ways to understand the complexities of child development, family life, stressful life events and some of the more challenging behaviours and emotions that children may display.

The aim is that the books contain useful information and advice without being too prescriptive.  They encourage people to use and develop skills they already have, and suggest new ones they may want to try to help them manage their situation. Most of all the importance of good relationships and communication are addressed as key factors in dealing with any difficulties in family life.

The scheme allows professionals to recommend self-help books as part of their work with children and families.  A recommendation slip can be written, stating which book has been recommended and how long the loan should be. Alternatively, anyone can suggest a particular book and encourage a parent to borrow it from the library.