Knit Yourself Calm
As part of my work as a Gestalt therapist specialising in grief and loss in Brighton and online, I run a Zoom Knitting Group where we explore anxiety, depression, and the process of making meaningful changes in our everyday thinking.
The practice of knitting strikes at the heart of Gestalt therapy – a creative, interactive form of therapy that focuses on self-awareness in the ‘here and now’.
For instance, do you stick to the pattern, or are you able to improvise and make things up as you go along? What happens if things go wrong, such as a dropped stitch or worse? How do you deal with tension, stress and changing colours? Do you experiment with bringing more colour into your knitting and, by extension, into your life as well?
Even as a practicing therapist, I haven’t found a way to beat the winter blues. Usually over the winter months I end up feeling low and melancholic due to a lack of light. I have one of those bright SAD lights, which help enormously. However, this year, when March came around, I realised I hadn’t felt low or depressed over the winter and started to wonder what changed.
Looking back, I realised that, since November, I had been knitting a very exuberant shawl in bright pinks, yellows and oranges. Knitting in these bright colours positively impacted my mood and wellbeing, allowing me to feel optimistic and happy with life whist engrossed in present and future projects.
Ever since the days of Kaffe Fasset, I’ve always knitted with many different changing colours and I get caught up in the process of knitting, changing colours, and working out patterns and future possibilities in my head. While there are many people who can knit at speed with single colours, I’m definitely not one of them! I’m actually pretty slow and use YouTube videos to help me with complicated stitches, but my interest lies in blending different strands of yarn to create a sense of vitality and texture with whatever I’m making.
In this sense, knitting becomes a meditation. Feeling and seeing this single strand of yarn moving through my fingers and transforming into knitting fabric stitch by stitch, I end up losing track of time and feel calmed by process. And when it’s all over, I’ve created a work of art, something unique, bringing pleasure to a friend who receives the unexpected gift from me.
To learn more about my knitting group and how else I can help you as a Gestalt therapist specialising in grief and loss in Brighton and online, don’t hesitate to get in touch.