Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Raquel Stephenson


Art therapy has been implemented in eating disorder treatment facilities to aid in a multidisciplinary approach to treating a complex disorder; which is complemented by anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Those that practice art therapy in these settings are witness to its benefits, but few studies have explored the potential benefits of specific art-making in different levels of care. The goal of art therapy with this population is to provide a means for communication and expression to help explain how one is feeling about, thinking about and understanding their disorder. Informed by the research of art therapy and eating disorders, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and eating disorders, and multidisciplinary approaches to treatment and eating disorders, caregivers recommend providing grounding tools for patients to evaluate their progress in treatment. To expand upon these findings, a reoccurring group was designed to provide patients in a residential treatment program with a tool for self-exploration and self-care by creating altered books. The group was implemented with adolescent girls, between the ages of 16-26, at a residential hospitalization program to explore the potential value of specific art therapy interventions with this population. The evidence of the patients’ participation, connection, positive response and commitment to the group has supported the need for future research of providing art therapy tools to assist in the progression through eating disorder treatment.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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