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ZunTold delivers a digital bibliotherapy service for young people and adults.

Fiction as therapy illustration

ZunTold delivers a digital bibliotherapy service for those who are 11 plus, when commissioned by a local authority or ICB. Young people and adults we have consulted with, have told us they want more creative ways of engaging with therapists and mental health professionals.

So how can we help?

We provide an easy-access route to counselling and therapy, and we work creatively, using bibliotherapy and creative writing. Young people and adults can also share artwork in sessions with their allocated worker. There is no waiting time and access to support happens immediately on sign up. Everyone is allocated a bibliotherapist (at ZunTold we call our counsellors bibliotherapists) and our carefully chosen Living Books are immediately available to begin the engagement.

How do we work?

We offer a population model of support and we work on the ground in conjunction with commissioners, partners and stakeholders to ensure the service is known about and is joined up and part of the local communities we serve. We also take referrals and can assist with waiting lists. We are in the process of building a subscription model for schools and individuals not currently covered by population models.

We provide access to literature and books and have curated fiction into interactive experiences to support both mental health and literacy. Supporting young people to read has been shown to be one of the most important predictors of social mobility and good mental health.

Evidence Base

Guided bibliotherapy and Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes is a growing field in mental health and we are committed to furthering the research in this field.

Bibliotherapy – reading books or listening to books – ZunTold Living Books are largely both text and audio – have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, improve depression and develops our mirror neurons to increase empathy and perspective. Reading or listening to stories increase comprehension and improve social mobility.

Writing for therapeutic purposes, an integral part of the Bibliotherapy programme, has a growing evidence base of improving both mental health and the physical effects of long-term conditions, and developing coherent narratives can result in more adaptive internal schemas. Some studies have shown that therapeutic writing can reduce visits to the GP, improve blood pressure, improve liver function, improve working memory, reduce hospital stays, improve student grades, reduce anxiety and depression and promote confidence and wellbeing (see Karen Baikie and Kay Wilhelm, Advances in Psychiatric Treatment 2005, Vol 11). Guided writing can support individuals to process trauma.

At ZunTold we bring Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes (CWTP), Bibliotherapy and counselling together. ZunTold's mission is to tackle health inequalities and develop alternative opportunities and ways of working with underlying trauma or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) which often underpin long term conditions (LTC) or medically unexplained symptoms (MUS).

Want to know more?

If you are interested in trialling our service or/and finding out more about the approaches we use, or the research underpinning the approach, we'd love to hear from you.

Just contact janclitheroe@zuntold.com or elaine@zuntold.com .

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