Community Art Therapy Group Intervention for Adolescents Battling Eating Disorders

Graduation Date

Spring 2006

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


Lizbeth Martin, PhD

First Reader

Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Margaret Hunter, MA, ATR


The current project aims to demonstrate the efficacy of the art therapy group intervention in the treatment of Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. Incidence of eating disorders has drastically increased in the recent years, yet the research consistently shows that with the best treatment options available today, as many as 60% of all treated individuals remain symptomatic. The present study investigates the clinical portrait of the eating disorders and seeks to address the symptoms associated with these illnesses through the use of creative expression and activities. The targeted population is female and male adolescents treated at the Meghan’s Place, an agency which serves Stanislaus, San Joaquin, and other surrounding counties. The proposed program will consist of weekly sessions that will run for the duration of three months. Each session will consist of an art-based activity as well as the discussion addressing individual issues associated with the eating-disordered pathology. The intervention will be evaluated using quantitative scales as well as qualitative measures such as journal entries and a brief interview conducted at the end of the program.

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