Thursday, December 23, 2010

Therapeutic Thursday: Can making crafts be therapeutic?

Making Christmas angels with clients in Art Therapy
Making Christmas masks with clients in Art Therapy
Why would making crafts be part of an Art Therapy session? 
Because it:
1. Stimulates the imagination. Creating in any way helps stimulate the imagination. Our brains start firing with ideas when triggered by creating something novel. Working with patterns (knitting), lines and shapes (sewing), and/or different smells and textures (cooking) helps shift us from our habitual way of thinking and wakes us of to wonder: "What would happen if I did this or that?" 

2. Calms the Nervous System. The heart rate lowers, the body becomes more relaxed and centered. Often we feel joyful, happy and/or content. 
3. Creating crafts can reduce stress. A report, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that extreme tiredness and stress could be as bad for the brain as smoking. 
4. It helps us create relationships. Craft groups have a relaxed atmosphere in which people can develop friendships and work on communication and social skills. 
5. It allows us to express ourselves. Making crafts gets us to use our senses and improve our motor skills by doing detailed work. We live in a busy overly complex world. It is satisfying and healthy for us to start and finish something beautiful and handmade, especially if we work at jobs where we don't get to see a finished product as a result of our work.


The Creative Beast said...

It's rather telling that this question STILL needs asking and clarifying...

Every point you make is why ART is so important to us on the intellectual, emotional and physical planes. SO much can learned through ART: working with numbers (knitting & sewing), physical coordination (knitting, cooking & sewing), as well as patience and persistence - I can't tell you how many times I've undone a knitting project more than once so much so even that my dear boyfriend got concerned about one project!!

And your last point of seeing a finished work is so important - it really gives a sense of accomplishment =-)

Thank you for this post Karen - I Believe in Art and all that it can teach us! =-)

ladaisi said...

You share some wonderful insight on this blog - thank you!

Found you via Gypsy Girls Guide.

I agree - crafting and artistry are certainly therapeutic. People say that artists are prone to deeper depression than others - which I have often experienced myself. . . but have also found that the cure is honing into my creativity.

Thank you for sharing.

- Lauren

Ladaisi Blog


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