Re-thinking Therapeutic Literature with Dr Kelda Green

Bijal A Shah
10 min readAug 2, 2020
Rethinking Therapeutic Literature

When I came across Dr Kelda Green’s book, Rethinking Therapeutic Literature, I was fascinated — Dr Green had recently completed her PhD on the therapeutic aspects of literature and was sharing insights from her research. Her book was essentially a trim-down version of her PhD thesis and I wanted to know more. Particularly as her work aligns closely with Book Therapy’s mission: accessing the therapeutic benefits of literature.

Dr Green was born and grew up in South London. She read English and French at The University of Liverpool, graduating in 2009. She went on to complete a Master’s degree in ‘Reading in Practice’ before completing a PhD at The University of Liverpool’s Centre for Research into Reading, Literature and Society in 2018. Rethinking Therapeutic Reading, her first book was published in June 2020 by Anthem Press.

Here I share my conversation and author Q&A with Dr Green, herself.

Q: Tell us a little about your experience at the University of Liverpool’s Centre for Reading, Research and Society?

A: It was a unique experience. It was also challenging at times. What was really special about it, was that I got to work with people from very different fields to my previous experience when I was studying for my undergraduate and master’s degree at the University of Liverpool, based in the School of Arts, studying English and French.

By the time I started my PhD, the professors I was working with had moved over to the psychology department and it was very much about taking literature out of the traditional confines of the English department and instead looking at how it impacts people, how it can be used and how it affects people. It enabled a genuine kind of interdisciplinary research. I had the opportunity to work with experimental and clinical psychologists. It was great to have those different perspectives in the room, while still retaining our skills as literary experts — of close reading and analysis. It was really an integration of all the different skills the people involved were bringing to the table, from the experimental psychologists and clinical…

Bijal A Shah

Bibliotherapist, author, poet & founder of Book Therapy - therapy using the power of literature: and