A Nourishing Start to 2024 with Bibliotherapy Australia

By Dr Susan McLaine

We have had a wonderful start to the year at Bibliotherapy Australia with the completion of our first Building Bibliotherapy Skills course for 2024. Held over three days from 2nd-4thFebruary, I was honoured to host our attendees in Melbourne for this intensive workshop.

Our course participants came from a wide range of disciplines and included an art therapist, writer, psychologist, teacher, osteopath plus others exploring a new career path. The way they engaged within the group helped to create a wonderfully enriching experience for all – including me.

One of the benefits of Bibliotherapy for mental health and wellbeing, particularly within the Heart-Centred model I teach, is the invitation to pause and slow down. One member of the group said, “This is the first training I have been able to absorb, ponder and sit with ideas. Learning while letting go of the noise of the world was therapeutic. I’ve gained so much insight about slowing down my approach.”

Part of this therapeutic practice is learning how to actively engage the imagination, while listening to or reading a story. This allows for creative introspection to shape how we want to share in response to that story, sparking meaningful conversations and expressions. This builds a stronger connection to ourselves and others, and helps us to find purpose and meaning within our lives.

An attendee, Ellie Watts, at our Melbourne training event felt so moved by my question around what it means to listen, she responded with her own poem that I would love to share with you here:

The Quiet Carrots

Come, sit with me

In the garden

I wonder if you could listen

Could you sit with me

Long enough

Could you allow yourself to come

To a quiet

That could hear my heartbeat


Next to you

Could you sit with me

And listen

Long enough

To hear what is not said?

Would you sit

In our gentle silence

Long enough

To hear the hum

Of the quiet carrots

As they suck in sunshine

And starlight

Transforming eternity

Into physical nourishment

Into life

Could you hear that

If you sat with me

Long enough

Our next training event is scheduled for 29th-31st May in Melbourne and promises to be equally inspiring. I am pleased to reveal this course will be run in collaboration with Vision Australia, and will be held at their premises in Kooyong, Melbourne. The venue is close to public transport with parking available.

Bibliotherapy courses are held with small groups limited to 5-10 people. Participants receive 12 modules, comprehensive course notes, post course activities to embed learning and a follow up zoom meeting for questions and further discussion. Attendees also receive a Certificate of Completion, and payment options are available.

If you would like further information on our courses, or to register for our next training event please click here

If you would like to be in contact to share your bibliotherapy experiences and love of stories and books, please email me at susan@bibliotherapyaustralia.com.au

To read more reviews from previous attendees please visit here

I hope to see you at one of our training courses soon. Experience the opportunities for self-discovery and growth available to your own clients, through the power of Bibliotherapy.

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