Textual Healing

Recently, I came across an engaging article called Textual Healing. The idea behind this is the attentive therapist gives a prescription of sorts to the person he or she is working with. Only this prescription isn’t for medication; it’s for a book, or books, that revolve around issues the person is dealing with in that moment. British writer-philosopher, Alain de Botton, who established The School of Life, initiated this idea to enhance peoples’ personal experience through specific, carefully selected readings that are relevant to their life interests and concerns. De Botton’s point is that the right book read at the right moment can do wonders in opening our perceptual experience. Seen from the distance of a chapter in a book, we discover part of our own story lived through another person’s life. The admirable point is the distance we gain from our immediate situation. This person isn’t a family member, a spouse, or a lover; this person is a character in a novel. In this way, we are better able to ‘connect’ to the character’s dilemma – as well as our own – and learn that we are not alone.