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Reading as Therapy

February 17, 1991

"The Art of Healing" by Patricia Ward Biederman (Times, Jan. 13), about the new publication "Vital Signs" by two UCLA graduates who are now medical students, was of special interest. I am pleased to see that "bibliotherapy," as it is known in library circles, was revived by editors Paige and Alloggiamento, and that they received inspiration and support from the late Norman Cousins.

Karl Menninger introduced the professional community to bibliotherapy in a 1961 paper, "Reading as Therapy." Dr. Menninger described how he and his brother, Will, had been practicing it in the Menninger Hospital, discussing it at meetings of the American Psychiatric Assn. and crediting those who had been precursors in the movement.

SHERRY TERZIAN

Los Angeles

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