Knitting as a Vehicle of Personal Transformation
Smith, Mélanie J.
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This paper served to examine the potential of knitting, and by extension, other textile arts, to serve as a vehicle for personal transformation in a psychotherapeutic process. There is very little empirical research that focuses specifically on the psychological benefits of textile arts, and their potential application in a therapeutic setting, but there is a growing interest and potential for inquiry, based on the findings of several qualitative, descriptive studies on the subject. The following explores the physiological, psychological, and social benefits of knitting, through the lens of current empirical research on other, similar, expressive arts. Findings suggest that knitting has great potential as an adjunctive therapeutic modality, particularly in treating anxiety and depression in clients who are vulnerable to rumination cycles. Further empirical research is indicated to verify these findings, and to explore the potential of textile arts in the management of chronic pain, trauma symptoms, anxiety disorders, and other mental health concerns.