For those of us who love and collect dolls, the title of this article needs no explanation. We have all experienced "doll therapy", in our own way, first hand. In fact, while doing my research for this article I even found a bumper sticker that said "Doll Therapy". I need that one! This all being said, there are other ways that dolls can be therapeutic to people who are not necessarily doll collectors, such as sick children, adults and the elderly.
There are websites which market dolls for sick or disabled children. Some of these dolls have no hair to comfort a child undergoing chemotherapy and have lost their own hair. Some dolls have prosthetic limbs, or no limbs at all; some move around in a wheelchair and some use crutches. There have been studies done that show increased cooperation among very young patients when the procedures they must endure is also done to their dolls.
Alzheimer's and dementia patients can benefit from having a doll to interact with. This is especially true for women who had children of their own. I speak from my own experience in this because my Mother passed from Alzheimer's and I used to give her a baby doll to hold. I learned, from observing her, that she enjoyed holding the "baby" and would talk and sing to it, as well as try to feed it. But she would become upset if I left it too long with her because it was quickly a burden to mind the baby and care for it after a while. So, while a doll can be company for a patient with dementia, the situation needs monitoring for added stress to the patient. Therapy dolls can be any simple baby doll or a more elaborate reborn baby. Some are available online designed specifically for Alzheimer's patients.
Some women who have suffered a pregnancy loss, or miscarriage, find comfort in owning a reborn baby, because they are so realistic in appearance. For this reason, some are very much against having one, also. I think this is a wonderful source of comfort for a grieving woman, but I would urge anyone who thinks of getting one for someone else, to make certain they want one before buying it, so as not to add to their pain.
Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls
Ebook with patterns and instructions to make 5 cloth dolls as well as chapters on general doll making techniques.The book includes 21 inch Lalena Doll, 21 inch David Doll, Bear Dolls, 9 inch Destiny Doll and 15 inch Annie Doll, all together in one handy book. 53 pages.Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls.