Tuesday 12 March 2013

Craft Therapy

This morning I have been thinking about craft as therapy. This has been prompted by a family member I saw at the weekend.

Most crafters will say that their hobbies are a 'time out', time for themselves, an escape from the stresses of work etc and some will say that they use craft to keep them out from under a dark cloud but how aware are we of how creative therapy is used to help with mental health issues such as schizophrenia?

For as long as I can remember, a member of my family has lived with schizophrenia and for as long as I can remember, that person has painted. I used to sit with them playing with water colours as a young girl. At that age, I was never aware of any mental health issues. As I got older, I am aware that this person used to go to woodwork group therapy sessions and it was only last year, when I caught up with them that I realised how much art therapy played a part in their lives.

This person isn't one for small talk but upon asking about some books that I noticed, I could not shut them up! I was then shown some sketches that brought a tear to my eye. I was told how these particular sketches were representative of certain parts of their mind and the personification was thought provoking. I am now more aware of how how art therapy plays a part in their treatment and the fact that it is available on the NHS as readily as drugs is surely testament to the benefits of arts and crafts and the positive effect it can have on mental health. The craft aspect aside, group therapies promote positive social interaction in a relaxed controlled environment.

Mental health aside, a creative outlet for everyone must be of benefit. I am constantly reading about child development on a physical and cognitive level and the effects of arts and crafts and I heavily promote this is my household.

Next time I refer to my Monday night craft group as my chance to socialise, have some time to myself and craft, I will surely be thinking about the HUGE effect that this concept must have on some people's lives. I would love to hear about your thought on this subject.

I guess crafting really IS the bee's knees!!

Mrs Crafty B

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