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Dr. Ann Collier authors book and research article on textiles and women's mental health

CollierDr. Ann Collier is the author of Using Textile Arts and Handcrafts in Therapy with Women: Weaving Lives Back Together, a new book that serves as a complete guide to using textiles in therapy with female clients.

Art-making with fabrics and fibres is a natural and creative method of self-expression and can enrich the healing process. Reviewing the role of textile-based handcrafts in the lives of women today, and integrating the life issues they face with the therapeutic making of fibre art, the book covers everything from the psychology of this therapeutic approach to how to carry it out effectively with a wide range of clients. Specific techniques and suggestions for practice are provided, alongside chapters on expressive writing, guided imagery, and cross-cultural applications of therapy. This innovative book is a useful tool for therapists, students, female artists looking to build on self-exploration, and anybody else interested in the therapeutic benefits that art-making with textiles can bring about.

Using Textile Arts and Handcrafts in Therapy with Women: Weaving Lives Back Together is available online from Jessica Kingsley Publishers at:

Dr. Collier is also the author of recently published article on the well-being of women who create with textiles.  In her study, a convenience sample (N = 821) of women textile handcrafters reported the frequency and pattern of their handcraft making, reasons for creating with fibers, and whether they used handcrafts to change difficult moods. These variables were examined in relationship to several measures and indicators of well-being. Women who used textile handcrafts to change mood reported more success, rejuvenation, and engagement than women who did not use textile methods. The overall sample reported well-being indicators that were at least average, engaged in their art form quite frequently, and reported high mastery with several different techniques. The most important reasons given for engaging in textile making were the need to have beautiful aesthetics, to feel grounded, and to cope. The implications of these findings for art therapy are discussed.


Collier, A. F. (2011). The well-being of women who create with textiles: Implications for art therapy. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 28(3), 104-112.