LitTherapy, aiming to make bibliotherapy free and accessible to all readers, launches crowdfunding campaign to make site social.

Bibliotherapy, or reading as a tool for wellbeing, is at the centre of LitTherapy’s mission: to provide fiction prescriptions for the feelings, situations and problems that so many of us face, alongside mental health issues.

LitTherapy.com currently provides a list of categories on its homepage, including feelings and situations that range from ‘anxiety’ to ‘seeking solitude’, and a selection of novels are ‘prescribed’ within each one. However, the site is now hoping to reach its next stage by crowdfunding £1000 on Indiegogo before the end of March 2013.

Rather than simply being a source of book recommendations, LitTherapy is aiming to become interactive and social with user areas, individual bibliotherapy plans that users can add books to, and a way to share your own book reviews and experiences of bibliotherapy with others.

The money that’s raised on Indiegogo will go straight to the LitTherapy project, no matter how much is raised. While Lucy, the founder of LitTherapy, has already funded the domain, hosting and approximately 20 hours of work by a developer (on the limited budget of an undergraduate!), the site now requires some help from its supporters to maximise its potential as a usual resource for all readers and their wellbeing.

£1000 will cover the hiring of a developer on Elance to implement the social and interactive features, and it will provide a basis for other book bloggers, readers and volunteers to get involved with the site and supervise its running along with Lucy, the founder.

Lucy states:

Reading Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace helped me overcome and manage the symptoms of my PTSD and anxiety disorders, and I now want to create a free online resource for all readers. Whether you’re feeling low, confused, or simply in need of a great book, bibliotherapy shouldn’t be something to pay for, but rather a tool that’s readily available. I believe that by sharing our combined knowledge and experience in one place we can build the best bibliotherapy resource possible, and I’m keen to get everyone involved.

The LitTherapy campaign is offering some great rewards for helping their project along, including a hand-selected novel in the post, personal bibliotherapy recommendations, and the Tolstoy Therapy ebook alongside other literary treats.

However, the main incentive to get involved is to be a part of an online resource that will introduce so many people to the healing potential of fiction.