Reducing Compulsive Eating Episodes Using Art Journaling and Self-Portraiture

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Faith, Mary
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
This research was a heuristic study that investigated visual journaling and self-portraiture directives to reduce compulsive eating. The daily six-week art journaling included rating compulsive eating impulses, self-portraiture, and gestalt responses for deeper reflection. Results of the study were based on thematic and symbol repetition found in the visual and written responses. Discussion of personal experiences with compulsive eating and trauma relating to the triggers was also included. Discussion on the discovery of the positive impacts of exercise and of neuro-transmitters in relation to increased positive mood, increased focus, and reduction of depression are included. Comparison of a pre-and post-study self-portraits provided data on the overall effectiveness of exploration of self-perception and integration of self.