By "issues," I believe Ms. Miller means life situations beyond a child's control, things like the death of a close relative, a move, or even molestation.
By "behaviors," I believe she means...well, you know what she means.
Many of the Berenstain Bears books are written as straight out bibliotherapy for children. It's rather self-apparent when you consider titles such as
Of course, the Berenstain Bears books are picture books, and rather simple ones at that.
A number of library and educational sources on the web have put together bibliotherapy booklists. My intent is to bring you the best of all these lists by pointing you to the books that appear on multiple lists.
It's time-consuming! But so far I've assembled "best of" lists on:
Proper use of bibliotherapy for children
When it comes to bibliotherapy for children there seem to be two distinct schools of thought.
As you might imagine, 1) is the party line of highly paid children's therapists. Of course, the ones with specialized bibliotherapy training recommend that you don't dare even settle for a standard psychotherapist.
These therapists will tell you that proper use of bibliotherapy for children involves
Some of them will even try to scare you about the negative consequences of choosing the "wrong" book.
I abide by a different school of thought
I believe that no one knows their child better than an attentive, thoughtful, caring parent possessed of common sense. And no one is better situated to help their child through difficult times.
A children's bibliotherapy book can be a starting point for discussion or an end in itself. If the child warms to the book's message, peripheral activities - like drawing - that relate to the text can be terrific reinforcement by repetition. Consider:
"For a young child, repetition is a key to learning."
"The exercise which develops life consists in the repetition, not in the mere grasp of the idea. When a child has attained this stage, of repeating an exercise, he is on the way to self-development, and the external sign of this condition is his self-discipline."
Did you know I "invented" bibliotherapy...more than a hundred years after Freud did?
I didn't even know I was performing bibliotherapy. I just knew that my daughter was experiencing a behavior problem and that nothing else in my parental bag of tricks was helping. It's really a neat story.
What happened was I applied my storytelling skills (I'm a screenwriter by trade) and made up for my daughter a story about a little girl who was exhibiting the very behavior problem that my daughter was struggling with.
Now I don't mean to congratulate myself too much...
...but my child's behavior problem proceeded to resolve itself almost immediately. At her request, I wrote the story in book form and allowed her to illustrate it.
I mention this because of my belief in the power of attentive, thoughtful, literate parents. There's a page on this site where I walk you through the process of writing your own one-of-a-kind pictureless picture book aimed at your child's behavior problem.
It's a long page, and a bit of a process. But at the end you'll have a piece of unique bibliotherapy precisely aimed at your child's problem behavior and its particular manifestations.
Give it a try!
Alternatively, maybe one of my behavior books speaks to one of your child's behaviors: