Forums Home

Lived Experience Forum

Acceptance, connection, support. Share the journey.

Safe, anonymous discussion for people living with mental illness, moderated 24/7 by mental health professionals.

Read the community guidelines
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Looking after ourselves

Not applicable

hobby therapy

hi all, im not sure if this post is in the right area, anyway i had an appointment with my psychologist today and we some how ended up talking about therapies that were used on as a child and how i still use them today mainly art and craft therapy like origami, knitting and crochet, beading and colouring in as it still helps me find my calm she called it hobby therapy just wondering if anyone else has does a similar thing


Re: hobby therapy

Hi @Former-Member, I'm not sure if it's technically a therapy. I wonder if she using was using the terms like 'retail therapy'. Not 100% certain though. Anyone else have any thought/info about this?

Re: hobby therapy

Sounds more like occupational therapy to me. If it works as a distraction then why not.
Not applicable

Re: hobby therapy

Hi @Former-Member@Kurra@CherryBomb

I would say that handcrafts like knitting, crochet & beading, also colouring would come under the the category of art therapies. This is a valid and effective part of treatment for a range of mental and physical conditions. 

Dr Eric Cunningham Dax was a well known Melbourne psychiatrist who pioneered the use of art as a treatment modality for mental illness. There is a gallery in Melbourne dedicated to this work.

Expressing emotions, mental and physical internal states via creativity is often a safer and gentler way to do therapy. Sometimes the words do not come but one can draw a symbol or make a colour that expresses the internal state. It unlocks another language and part of the mind & heart that promotes healing.

Many famous artists had mental illness and yet produced amazing paintings or works of music that continue to move and inspire us. I wouldn't dismiss the power of "hobby" therapies.

Personally I love watercolour and waterlillies Smiley Happy


Re: hobby therapy

Thanks @Former-Member
Music therapy is very similar in the way it can unlock seemingly lost abilities. The word 'hobby' is obviously the same concept but it threw me off the mark completely.
It's good to know that I'm still learning!

Re: hobby therapy

Hi @Former-Member

When I was in a psych ward in July I started to take up knitting.  I used to knit little things as a child but nothing big.  But i started to knit a scarf.  I found that while knitting i am calm, i feel in control and i enjoy what i am doing.  So far i have knitted 3 scarves, and 3 knitted bags.  I tried art therapy in hospital but didn't enjoy it as it was too triggering for me and i would leave crying.

I also enjoy colouring in.

Re: hobby therapy

Hi. At the hospital I regularly spent time in they were very big on colouring in mandalas. Even having time set aside for colouring groups. I didn't see the point, thinking it childish until I was at home and was given a detailed colouring book for Christmas . I now found it soothing and a safe place to get lost into when I feel I need to escape the world, or when I can't settle it is something to do while sitting still and eventually I relax.
Given that the whole world seems to have discovered colouring there are now some incredible books around. M x

Re: hobby therapy

One hobby I used to have years ago when I was working and in good health,I used to love going out to the new display homes to look at the new homes by various builders and even transportable home builders too.I would look through their floorplans while I looked through each home.I'd take those brochures,etc home and built up a big collection of floorplans.I still have a collection of my favourite builders floorplans.Most of those builders closed down over the years for various reasons.Even whilst I was in a relationship I managed to continue my hobby.I miss those days.  Years later I was able to buy books online that were floorplan books.Over 500 homes.I had 3 of those books.  I gave them away recently.I loved that hobby with a passion.  Did anyone else ever do that?

For urgent assistance, call: