Creativity as Therapy — Scope | Disability forum
Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

Creativity as Therapy

Lis Member Posts: 5 Listener
edited August 2016 in Education
Hi, I’m Elisabeth. I have an upper limb congenital amputation (no lower right arm). I’ve lived with my disability for 25 years. I’ve grown up facing challenges, finding my way around things so that I’m not excluded. I’ve always been a creative person but often found it really difficult to master a lot of crafts - way too fiddly!

I saw a friend knitting and decided I really wanted to give it a go. So I bought some yarn, and taught myself a way to knit with one hand! My one-handed knitting youtube tutorial is here for anyone interested in learning:

Aside from the sense of achievement and excitement, I find knitting incredibly relaxing and therapeutic. It has transformed my world. I wrote a blog about it for Scope if you'd like to learn more about my journey:

So, I decided to get involved on the community to see how others use creativity as therapy - Have you found any ingenious ways to be creative? Do you also find it therapeutic? Does your impairment or condition make you see the world differently, which influences your art?

Let me know - I'd love to hear about methods, crafts, therapies- everything!




  • ICFighter
    ICFighter Member Posts: 2 Listener
    I find colouring very good. I find photography the most therapeutic and the only time i feel happy with a camera in my hand. I am trying more craft things as i know they can be good and going to try card making
  • Amanda Cerasale
    Amanda Cerasale Member Posts: 1 Listener
    I enjoy colouring it's a great pastime.
  • romaway
    romaway Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thank you (Elisabeth) Lis, for showing how you are knitting on video. My right hand (I am right handed) has of late been very painful with shooting pains at my wrist and having trouble to do so much with fingers becoming clumsy and unmovable also other parts of me, my neck and shoulders stiff and panful
    and my knees, feet swelling and out of shape but very painful which makes me very tired earlier then I would like, as I still have chores to do but also want to
    be like you creative and was thinking now what am I to do if I cannot have
    use of my hand, well you have shown me that I too must become more
    inventive even if it is difficult for us - thank you so much for your inspiration.
    I too have faced challenges and had difficulties finding my way around things
    so not to have my son excluded from an early age. When I gave birth to my first son I had great difficulty in feeding him as he was constantly sick, vomiting food up and seemed in pain, after a battle with GP, and a lengthy wait eventually he was seen at Great Ormond Street Childrens hospital, where I was informed
    my son would be a 'cabbage' and they could not tell me why other then
    he would never be able to walk, talk or do much in his life and then my son
    was diagnosed with a hiatus hernia, (Hiatus hernia can sometimes occur in newborn babies if the stomach or diaphragm doesn't develop properly).
    Offered an operation or medication, I took the decision to try the medication
    as the operation could be dangerous and I met another parent whom had lost
    her baby to this.
    By slanting my sons cot and with medication, he was improving day by day.
    My son eventually went to a special school for people with a learning disabilities
    and was never diagnosed as being in need of help as a person on the autistic spectrum with a challenging
    behavior also never helped with his poor muscle tone, and poor coordination skills
    and not supported by a speech therapist.However he was supported by
    one particular dedicated teacher whom I engaged to continue to teach my son
    throughout the long school summer holidays in teaching him reading skills
    and he began to learn to read.
    This was a huge achievement as the school had predicted he would never
    achieve such and because of this dedicated teachers good work which must
    have meant bruising to the establishment, she moved onto another school!
    The challenges are not solely owned by us, Lis and although they are rare
    to find among others without disabilities be sure they are around and so
    thankful we are to them, that they are.
    Kind regards, thank you so much for your encouragement.

  • Lis
    Lis Member Posts: 5 Listener
    edited July 2016
    @ICFighter - Photography is a great way to be creative, I did for Alevel and it's wonderful feeling when you get that perfect shot! Do you have a specific 'topic' that you favour or do you just see what inspires you? Colouring sounds good - do you draw first? Card making sounds interesting - would be great to see how you get on!

    Amanda - Colouring sounds like a good creative outlet - do you draw first? I've found painting very relaxing too - I'm not very good but I can disappear for a few hours and feel great at the end.

    @romaway I'm glad I have been able to help, and I'm sorry that you've struggled with such pain. If you ever want any tips/tricks for something, I can do my best to help. Thank you for sharing your story, I hope your son is still doing well.
  • chud67
    chud67 Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Photography is my hobby too...although as a quadraplegic getting the ''shot'' can be quite difficult at times! Shooting another wedding next weekend tho' so I must be doing something right !!
  • Alex
    Alex Scope Posts: 1,305 Pioneering
    Had a call from Katie Fraser, who wanted to add her comments to this thread:

    “My hobby relates to my love of theatre. I've a passion for the theatre since I was a child.

    I volunteer in a theatre in Birmingham Hippodrome, they have a theatre that I volunteer with every month and I contribute my ideas there.

    I work for a housing association, and i use my creative thinking where i work to come up with new ideas.

    I also love networking with regard to media contacts and disability campaigning.

    I love what scope does as it helps people to understand disability. One of my favourite campaigns was the Great Donate Hero campaign. I knew most of the people in the campaign through my love of media and disability media.”


Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.