Date of Award

Spring 4-13-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Dr. Elizabeth Kellogg


Compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD) is a newly recognized disorder mired in a history of terminological and diagnostic controversy. Emerging research into the disorder has pointed to shame as an intrinsic motivator of the compulsive cycle, which provides potential for therapeutic intervention. Although most empirically-based treatments approach CSBD through a behavioral, abstinence-based model, an integrated expressive arts-existential therapy approach may provide opportunity for effective, person-centered treatment which mitigates the risk of reinforcing the shame cycle. For this capstone thesis, I developed and implemented a three-session treatment method which uses expressive arts therapy to investigate existential themes of guilt, non-being, isolation, freedom, and responsibility in treatment for a client presenting with CSBD. The client responded well to the use of intermodal artistic intervention and was able to process existential anxieties/themes; consider alternative perspectives; take a compassionate understanding of their challenges; and envision a values-based, meaningful future away from his compulsive behaviors through this method. The success of this method supports the potential benefit of integrating expressive arts therapy into existential treatment for CSBD and may offer additional future direction for the treatment of addictions and compulsive behaviors in general.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.




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