El bienestar en la cultura
Una mirada desde lo empírico y la episteme
Una mirada desde lo empírico y la episteme

Post-doctoral research on Bibliotherapy and the Meaning of Life

I am studying a post-doctorate at the University of Flores, which is called: Psychology with Orientation in Revision Research Methodology.

It is based on the Application of the PRISMA method which means: Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses*. They are a set of useful indications for scientific publications of texts and are implemented to summarize data from a collection of studies. It is the modality par excellence that is used with reports from medical publications, which leaves no doubt as to the level of rigor that it implies.

* Definition; the meta-analysis methodology consists of a systematic review in which statistical techniques are applied to quantitatively analyze the results of the different studies collected.

PRISMA is constituted in a proposal of 27 items, which imply key elements of the design of any supposedly scientific publication. Thanks to its structure, the data of an investigation (with an empirical basis) are easily revealed, so these 27 items are used to reduce possible biases in any final evaluation of the results.

This means that an author, a scientist, if he could follow the recommendations for making his publication, using the PRISMA method, would be providing more complete, clear and transparent information, which, as an extract, would facilitate a first contact with his work and it would allow evaluating the effects of its results, according to specific parameters (such as: consistency with other sources, measurement instruments used in each case referred, etc.)

Thus, thanks to the number of publications based on the PRISMA method, for a certain empirically based topic ***, it is possible to find various publications with a magnitude of its own effect, a sample size, with its probability of bias, etc. all of which enables the work of the meta-analysis, which consists of finding variations and explaining them based on the comparative review of all the publications found on this research topic.

*** Definition: The empirical is based on practice, experience and observation of the facts

The conditions required by people who are in charge of the postdoctoral academic process, in general, are the following:

  • Possess a graduate Doctor’s degree.
  • Demonstrate research activities in the field of postdoctoral discipline.
  • Present a research plan and one academic work.
Doctors working in Social Scientific Research during a Postdoctoral Degree in Psychology with Orientation in Review Research Methodology from the University of Flores. A very great academic experience

The University of Flores explains the importance of this type of research in the following way:

“The Orientation in Research Methodology for the Review of the Post Doctorate in Psychology at the University of Flores postulates the development of a relevant investigative modality in front of increasing indexed publications. Scientific knowledge about the Research Methodology covers various disciplines, and Meta-analytical and Revision studies are postulated within the framework of its applicability to psychological science. In the framework of the growth and advancement of science, the imperative demands of ordering knowledge, comparing and contrasting it give rise to Revision and Meta-analytic studies, which, although they do not provide a complete knowledge of the subject, nourish about publications and provide increased scientific evidence. The Systematic Reviews indicate analyzes of studies of a primary nature carried out on a reproducible basis through explicit methods.”

Dra. Analía Verónica Losada
Director of the Posdoctorade at the University of Flores

The fundamental purposes of a postdoctoral experience are to promote postdoctoral learning in accordance with the academic research of each member, also facilitate innovation for scientific production, and finally, to stimulate the most efficient management of scientific work. All this in the most rigorous context of academic and interdisciplinary exchange.

Science is currently characterized by hyper specialization and it requires a very specific knowledge of each subject, which explains the reason why   academic postdoctoral research protocols are rigorous, this is evidenced in the curricular content of the postdoctoral proposal of the University of Flores.

Due to my academic experience I acquired knowledge related to the topic I chose for this post-doctoral research, I was certified in Bibliotecology and documentation (bachelor’s degree) and with one doctorate in Social Psychology.

In the current context of scientific research, the interdisciplinary contribution is highly valued and the post-doctorate brings together in an academic and science field a multisectoral complexity typical of the diversity of disciplines and topics to be boarded.   For this reason the revision studies in order to detect its applicability in the social sciences acquire greater volume of importance. The possibility of gathering and ordering knowledge, through scientific disciplines, it is very important to guarantee the usability of certain instruments of social intervention with scientific rigor.

The PRISMA method then allows to gather the knowledge of a particular subject, with a multidisciplinary perspective to present a comparison of results that give rise to reinforce certain lines of research and certain scientific models and practices more than others, considering its scientific validity.  Today the volume of information and publications grows exponentially, however, more than one scientific criterion is required to verify the effectiveness of certain procedures and models of social applicability. Once verified, then it is in a better position to raise its reproducibility to the political and social sphere, through specific intervention programs or projects that promote well-being in public and social health issues.

Group photo. Doctors Analía Verónica Losada (Director of the Post Doctorate) and Julieta Marmo (Teacher) [at the center of the image] and Doctors from Argentina and Brazil who attended the Postdoctoral Program in Psychology with Orientation in Review Research Methodology at the University of Flores

What do I investigate?

I have been a librarian since I started working in a library at 18 years old

Then I learnt thanks to bibliotecology by assuming the task of participating in different volunteers from non-profit organizations, library networks and library associations, with increasing assiduity.

Dr. Antonio Martín Román
With José Edmundo Clemente Director of the National School of Librarians of the National Library of Argentina in 1988

After that, many years ago, I started teaching at the tertiary level and then university. Next I studied Social Psychology, and learned the Logotherapy that was developed by neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, who had developed a notion regarding the use of the book for therapeutic purposes, in the inaugural speech he gave in Vienna in 1975, during the Book Fair.

«ALS Das Buch Therapeutikum» – The book as therapy
“Writers who went through the hell of despair, who experienced the seeming lack of meaning in life, can offer their suffering, through writing, as a sacrifice on the altar of the human species. Their revelations will help the reader who suffers the same state to overcome it.» Viktor Frankl – Opening speech fragment – 1977 Vienna Book Fair

Logotherapy, the Meaning of Life, the power of reading, the therapeutic use of the book, are all topics crossed by an existential interest in living that involves professional areas of approach such as, Bibliotecology and Social Psychology. The Meaning of Life, in conjunction with therapeutic use of books, opens up infinite possibilities of intervention and applicability that deserve to be scrutinized and validated with science.
Each person needs to develop their own Meaning of Life, and therefore, it is important for social scientist to give tools that make it possible to develop that meaning, using at least one scientific model, to shorten the gap that separates people from a state of emptying of subjectivity to a life internally enriched, with all the diverse range that may exist between these two poles.

My definition of bibliotherapy is:

«Process of interaction with books and by extension with other texts, that encloses a convoking content, that allows a person to recreate and find in them, contents that give meaning to their life or that function as mechanisms to heal psychic aspects»

Dr. Antonio Martín ROMÁN

Social Psychology becomes an evident resource when it is implemented as an intervention tool capable of strengthening psychosocial processes in adverse socio-cultural contexts.

Currently there are a number of social minorities that suffer from circumstances that are conditioning of all kinds, such as inmates in prisons, political refugees, exiles, natural disasters, epidemics, communities overwhelmed by social dictatorships, religiously persecuted, people’s victims of genocide or abuse of all kinds, etc.

It is very common that in these contexts psychological resources are lacking, so that people need cope effectively with their situation, lack of strategies generates psychophysiological imbalances that can reduce vitality, the Meaning of Life, and on a deeper level, could be generators of severe pathologies, especially the noogenic neurosis.

Existential frustration is a real danger, which can reduce the psychosocial coping capacity, especially in situations of social vulnerability.

It is therefore useful to highlight that Bibliotherapy has a history and a line of action, based on a diversity of possible interventions supported by different models that together with social psychology, emphasized in the psychological needs of social minorities, can give rise to scientifically intervention devices, capable of proposing elements for strengthening social coping mechanisms, such as resilience and the Meaning of life, that they can ultimately act as an antidote against social marginality (self-referenced or social) and against noogenic depression of communities.

In my doctoral thesis I studied the perspective of Logotherapy, fundamentally from the development of the concepts of the book «man´s search for meaning» of Viktor Frankl, who comments on how the years of confinement were in a Jewish ghetto during the Nazi occupation, to later manifest the principles of Logotherapy.

We can emphasize as more important the notion of protagonist, which means humans being must appropriate how to face their circumstances, it’s doesn’t matter how difficult they may be for each one.

Then, outside the ghetto, there is a society like the current one, which reveals exorbitant rates of world depression, a fact from the World Health Organization, which is quite revealing. For this reason, Logotherapy it´s important, as an instrument able to beneficiate to the minority and marginal groups. The human being is a being of potentialities of permanent construction, then, each person must be the protagonist of his own history, regardless of any circumstance, there is always a margin of action, however small, even if it only exists in the mind, or by reading a book, but able to make a difference regarding the destination, that it is possible to choose to some extent. Freeing yourself from social and cultural ties is the key to freely assuming a life purpose full of personal meaning that transcends us as humans in the face of the mystery of existence.

Reading can connect us with this and other worlds, in order to accompany vulnerable communities that suffer noogenic depression   in order to guarantee a coping style capable of improving the concrete conditions of existence  and to grant a transcendental value in a context of physical and social conditioning , nothing less. And if that were not enough, it makes it possible to approach different values ​​that enrich the gaze, and open the door, to questions about oneself, source of all biopsychosocial and spiritual growth.

The postdoctoral degree at the University of Flores make  possible to carry out a rigorous meta-analytical study regarding the psychosocial effects of Bibliotherapy in vulnerable communities,  to extrapolate the results obtained in the research to areas of psychosocial and community emergency.


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  • OMS (2020). «Depresión: hablemos», dice la OMS, mientras la depresión encabeza la lista de causas de enfermedad 14/03/2020
  • Román, A. (2019). Imaginarios sociales de exreclusos sobre la lectura y el sentido de la vida: la función de la biblioterapia en personas privadas de su libertad (tesis doctoral). Universidad Argentina John F. Kennedy, Argentina.

How to cite APA format 2019:

Román, A. (2019). Investigación pos doctoral sobre biblioterapia y el sentido de la vida, [Día Mes, Año de la consulta on line] https://antonioroman.info/posdoctorado-english

Muchas gracias a Juan Martin A Weinberger por colaborar en la traducción de este texto al inglés.

  • Candidato a Doctor en Psicología Social, Universidad Argentina John Fernando Kennedy
  • Autor de la tesis «El psiquismo como placebo frente al estrés social y el sentido de la vida.» Universidad Argentina John Fernando Kennedy
  • Posgrado en Coaching, PNL, y liderazgo de Equipos, de la Universidad Santa Catalina de España

Muchas gracias a Suzaneide Oliveira Medrado por colaborar en la traducción de este texto al portugués.

  • Candidata a Posdoctorado  en la Facultad de Psciología de la Universidad de Flores.
  • Autora de tesis doctoral “La lectura como promotora de la capacidad noética del auto-distanciamiento y de la asertividad”. Universidad Argentina John Fernando Kennedy.