Crochet As Therapy?

June 26, 2023


Hannah Dear
Community Case Manager

One afternoon, while spending time at Gracehaven’s Therapeutic Group Home with the girls, I shared that I knew how to crochet. One of the girls immediately said she wanted to crochet plush animals. This girl struggles with focusing on conversations and tasks, but she is a natural at artistic activities. With a little bit of dedication, she mastered some of the foundation skills needed to crochet. A few days later, she shared that she had been practicing during her down time!

Another girl shared that she wants to be a fashion designer and crochet her own clothes. I taught her some of the basics after art class. Suddenly, a girl whose mood and behaviors had been escalated throughout the art class had regulated herself through one relaxing activity. She shared that she wanted to take her crocheting everywhere as a way to stay calm in stressful situations.

Crocheting is a great way to engage both the mind and the body. Our clients often struggle with executive function and focusing on important tasks such as schoolwork. Working toward the completion of a fun task, such as a crochet project, can help build important skills needed to complete larger, more important tasks such as applying for a job or completing homework. Crocheting is also a way to practice self-care and relaxation. It is a mindful activity that requires one to slow down and think through a pattern or process. Youth who have existed in survival mode often struggle to take time for themselves to relax or regulate themselves after becoming de-escalated. Teaching them different mindful activities gives them skills to practice these activities on their own.

Teaching crochet isn’t easy, but it is worth it to share a new activity with girls who were not given the opportunity to explore their interests growing up. I’ve very much enjoyed sharing one of my passions with the girls as a way to help them find new hobbies and practice self-care.