People go to therapy for many different reasons. And although each therapist typically subscribes to a certain approach to therapy, a good therapist always stays open to the option of using a variety of tools to help make the therapeutic process successful for the patient. Crochet can be one option that a therapist implements to help his or her patients. It is useful in both individual and group treatment sessions.
Crochet in Group Therapy
One of the most acceptable therapeutic settings for people to bring their crochet work is a group therapy session. Crochet is often allowed (and in some rare instances even encouraged) in both inpatient and outpatient group therapy sessions. It is also common to see crochet at support groups that function similarly to therapy groups, such as AA and NA meetings.
People naturally have their defenses up when they enter group therapy. We all have walls that we put up because we don’t want to expose our vulnerabilities. But if you have too many walls up then therapy isn’t going to be successful. Crochet can help dismantle some of those walls in a group therapy setting. Here are some of the reasons for that:
- Individuals in the group may feel more relaxed as they crochet. Their emotional defenses relax correspondingly.
- The group may make small talk about the crochet that leads into a more serious therapy discussion.
- When multiple members of the group are crocheting it creates a feeling of kinship or commonality among the members that facilitates the group therapy process.
- Working on a project that is praised by others in the group can build self-esteem. As discussed in yesterday’s post on the health benefits of crochet, this can lead to massive healing for a variety of conditions for which one might seek therapy.
Crochet in Individual Therapy
Crochet is not used in individual therapy sessions nearly as much as it is in group therapy sessions. In an individual therapy session, the emphasis is on building a close relationship with the therapist and if the patient is seen as distracted by crochet then this could defeat the purpose. However, it has the potential to have the same benefits in individual therapy sessions as it does in group therapy and it may be appropriate for use by therapists for many types of patients. Examples of patients that may benefit from crochet in individual therapy include:
- Children and young adults who may not want to just talk about their feelings. It is used as any other form of art therapy.
- Especially anxious patients who may not otherwise come to a therapy session but who are calmed enough to participate if they can crochet during the session.
- Patients who tend to overintellectualize their emotional issues. It can help break that down a little bit if the mind is actively working on an artistic project.