Definition – f0restrun

A Different Kind of Therapy

Therapy isn’t just talking to a therapist in a room on a couch. It isn’t just sitting in a group in a circle talking about your life. It can also be rocking a lifelike doll to sleep. Or petting a soft plush puppy you love so much. Therapy counts as cuddling that little frog doll you have in the back of your closet you love so much when you feel anxious. It may seem like a silly thing to do but In nursing homes and psychogeriatrics, this is exactly what is used. In “health news from NPR”, it talks about the use of baby dolls catching on in nursing homes and senior facilities, and how it’s used to help ease anxiety, and dementia patients with mood changes. This is very important in helping patients who feel lonely in nursing homes.

The first thing that shows up in someone’s mind as therapeutic isn’t exactly dressing a doll, or doing it’s hair. But it provides care for many nursing home patients. Many elders in the nursing homes are living with feelings of loneliness, and giving them something to feel happy about is helpful towards their future. In an article made by Namkee G. Choi, the author, talks about themes that relate to their depression: lack of freedom, privacy, lack of meaningful in-house activities, social isolation and other things. Giving a patient something as simple as a baby doll can help give them something to do. They are able to have something that makes them feel happy and occupied during the day. They are also able to socialize with other patients about their own dolls and help with social isolation. I am not saying dolls are an absolute cure for nursing home patients but they can help them feel better about their current situation. Realistic baby dolls can also help dementia patients with memory loss. They are able to care for something that is important to them during the day and night, and give them something to do. It could take them back to memories of taking care of babies, or other family members. It can help relax them by distracting them with something cute to cuddle. I think that stuffed animals and stuffed cuddly baby dolls are important to patients when they are dealing with feelings of depression because they have something to love and form an attachment to. Patients are able to bond with something and that helps them with the feeling of not being socially isolated. It can give these patients healthy ways to cope, and help them feel better. These are healthy activities to give these patients so that they do not feel like they are doing nothing all day because they have things to care for. It is also helpful for them to be able to socialize with the other patients about their dolls because they easily have something to talk about. It helps them feel better about missing sons and daughters as well as grandchildren. Doll therapy can have multiple benefits to the people receiving them. 

Even though doll therapy can seem very beneficial to most, others may have a different point of view. Some may argue that these dolls are not beneficial to the patients by giving them something inanimate they are not able to actually make connections. They also might feel hurt when the doll breaks or if it stops working. In Health news NPR, the author talks about critics feelings towards dolls in patient care, and they say that having these dolls are demeaning and infantalize patients. But I think that this is not the case. In the reborn community (a reborn is a realistic baby doll) many adults care for these reborns as a means of therapy. These therapy dolls are not infantalizing because they are not for children. They are meant for adults to care for as if it were a real baby. These patients would probably not recklessly care for it, and would treat it as if it were a real baby. They are also not demeaning because in the reborn community, these dolls are often used as a coping mechanism. Holding these dolls in my own experience with reborns are like being under a weighted blanket. Reborns or realistic baby dolls give you a sense of comfort that makes you feel at ease. I personally use them for stress, and I know that the multiple stressors that patients may deal with at the nursing home or dementia facilities, or adult homes are hard, and having something as simple as rocking a cuddly doll or being able to change it gives you peace. They are comforting, and there is something about caring for a doll that is therapeutic. It helps ease your anxiety, and you don’t feel lonely because you have something to care for. Some patients may think about family when holding these dolls and I think that is great. I also think that is what is important about these dolls in adult care. They are able to have something near and dear to them. It is important for people to have hobbies that they care about, because it helps ease depression and anxiety. 

In, the author of the article mentions how in patients with dementia, the realisticness of these baby dolls can help these patients think about happier memories. They mention how just a weighted regular baby doll can help, they do not even have to be super realistic. They also noted that they reported patients being happier and interacting more with others. It is amazing to note that these dolls can help these patients think onto happy memories, and help them feel better about the day. Being able to reflect on happy memories is great for these patients because they are able to think of a time in their life that was great for them, and that impacts their lives greatly from the day they hold these dolls . Reborns, baby dolls, and realistic stuffed animals are not just cute toys for children, they are also objects that help people feel better. They are healthy ways to cope, and a great use of therapy. 


Gorman, Anna. “Doll Therapy May Help Calm People with Dementia, but It Has Critics.” NPR, NPR, 3 Oct. 2016,’s%20used%20to%20help%20ease,the%20need%20for%20psychotropic%20medication.

“Depression in Older Nursing Home Residents: The Influence of Nursing Home Environmental Stressors, Coping, and Acceptance of Group and Individual Therapy.” Taylor & Francis,

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6 Responses to Definition – f0restrun

  1. f0restrun says:

    Gorman, Anna. “Doll Therapy May Help Calm People with Dementia, but It Has Critics.” NPR, NPR, 3 Oct. 2016,'s%20used%20to%20help%20ease,the%20need%20for%20psychotropic%20medication.
    “Depression in Older Nursing Home Residents: The Influence of Nursing Home Environmental Stressors, Coping, and Acceptance of Group and Individual Therapy.” Taylor & Francis,

  2. davidbdale says:

    f0restrun, I’m glad to see your Definition Argument, but you haven’t posted an IDENTICAL Definition Rewrite. Please copy and paste this material into a new post and publish it as “Definition Rewrite—f0restrun” in the Definition Rewrite category.

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