Therapeutic Knitting

Time Required: 
30 minutes

Betsan Corkill was a physiotherapist, who now runs Stitchlinks, a support network for those who enjoy the therapeutic benefits of crafts particularly knitting (a bilateral rhythmic psychosocial intervention).

This novel presentation provides the background to why Betsan became interested in knitting as a therapy and the sources she used to inform its relevance. She set up a social knitting group at the Royal United Hospital, Pain Clinic in Bath. It covers the large amount of psychosocial benefits such as distraction, but not just simple distraction. Examples include the ongoing refocusing of attention, it provides purposeful occupation and structure (rewarding), it is motivating, it can control the anticipation of pain and it also has a calming effect. “Why knitting?” is rationalised from a biopsychosocial perspective and in terms of “what makes it different”. It also develops creative thought and has a positive impact on well being. Betsan also discusses some interesting findings on how touch and texture are more important than colour, and provides information on the network of therapeutic knitting groups.

Key words

Calming
Chronic pain
Control anticipation of pain
Distraction
Knitting
Management
Mood
Motivation
Pain
Psychological benefits
Psychosocial
Psychosocial therapy
PTSD
Relaxation
Self-esteem
Self-management
Therapy