Our creative groups were welcomed this February to the Stoneham Bakehouse in Hove for two sessions of baking therapy - bagel, bun and grissini-making!
Therapeutic baking sessions were held on the 11th and 18th Feb, making Foccacia and hot cross buns.
But we didn't just go for the tasty baked goods.
The sessions are a vital means of passing on therapeutic benefits to participants. Those involved relax and chat freely while concentrating on the meditative task of baking bread.
Participants enjoyed learning new skills in the relaxed environment and the team at Stoneham Bakehouse were fantastic, friendly trainers!
So, what are the benefits of baking therapy?
"Baking is a deeply personal experience that aids more than just your taste buds. The shift from chore to hobby has enabled women to take back the baking as a form of empowerment, using the process to develop a firmer idea of themselves and their place in the world.
By drawing parallels with baking, women can get a physical understanding of how mixing a set list of ingredients may never turn out the same for everyone. The flour and eggs become career and family, and each woman can produce a different result – each delicious in their own way. By being so deeply involved with the process, the reward at the end is equal parts personal achievement, affirmation and deliciousness.
Baking is also hugely advantageous for improving mental health, with benefits that include increased mindfulness, satisfaction and sensory pleasure. By using baking as a form of behavioural activation, bakers that struggle with depression or other mood disorders can escape into a focused activity, occupying the whole mind/body spectrum. This redirection of thoughts is a subconscious form of therapy."