Metal detecting as self-therapy: findings from Denmark

For many in the metal detector hobby, detecting is about more than ‘just’ finds and history. For some its also about finding some peace and tranquility and a break from a busy work-life or family commitments. For others it’s about finding themselves and cope with mental health challenges. A newly published study (in Danish) has focused on the use of metal detecting as a form of self-therapy in Denmark.

The findings suggest that practitioners feel that metal detecting has a significantly positive and lasting effect on their health and well-being. A significant proportion of respondents feel that metal detecting has alleviated specific symptoms of their mental disorders (PTSD, depression, anxiety and others). The key factors for the beneficial effect of metal detecting appear to be of a mental, sensory, physical and social nature. First and foremost, however, its beneficial effect seems to be deeply rooted in the fact that the participants interact with archaeological heritage.

For a more detailed view of the study see the original study on the repository of Aarhus University