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Art therapy and eating disorders

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Art therapy and eating disorders

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Samenvatting

Art therapy is frequently prescribed for patients with eating disorders. Recent developments
in the field have led to a renewed interest in evidence of the effectiveness of art therapy.
This multicentre study examines whether patients evaluate art therapy to be effective in the
treatment of an eating disorder.

Methodology
The respondents received art therapy as usual. A total of 56 respondents then participated
in a mixed-methods study. All 56 clients participated in the qualitative part about art therapy
by filling in an art therapy questionnaire. Thirty-three of the 56 respondents participated in a
quantitative study on improvement with respect to the symptoms of alexithymia (TAS-20)
and the psychological aspects of eating behaviour (EDI-II). Data were assessed pre and
post treatment. The respondents were measured on the following themes: identifying,
describing and expressing feelings and emotions, body dissatisfaction, feelings of insecurity,
perfectionism, being able to relax and play, social insecurity and skills, self-image,
acceptance of personal limitations, and insight into the process. After treatment in the
qualitative part of the study, the respondents were asked if and which art therapy
assignments helped them to reach their treatment goals.

Results
Within a context of a multidisciplinary treatment, respondents consider art therapy as one of
the most useful therapies. Clients report to work mostly on awareness, expression and
sharing of feelings, self-image, diminishing perfectionism and learning to relax. Despite the
small sample size, the results show that, according to the respondents, art therapy results in
specific benefits with regard to motivation, interoceptive awareness, the expression of
feelings and insight into the therapy process. There were also indications that clients that
clients who work on identifying emotions in art therapy, do improve more then clients who do
not work on identifying emotions in art therapy, with a large effect size and correlation. There
is a statistically strong relation between working on self-esteem in art therapy and
improvement with respect to self-esteem, and the effect-size is high. Clients appreciate art
therapy because of its specific method of using art, the possibility to discover and express
themselves without words and the way they can give individual content to therapy.

Conclusion
The conclusion of this study is that within a multidisciplinary treatment, art therapy can be an
important component of the treatment of an eating disorder.

Toon meer
OrganisatieHogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen
OpleidingCreatieve Therapie
InstituutInstituut HAN Masterprogramma's
PartnersHAN University of Applied Science & Katholische Hochschule Freiburg
Gepubliceerd in
Datum2016-04-19
TypeMasterscriptie
ISBN978-90-8707-029-8
TaalNederlands

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