Enhancing Self-Worth through Mindfulness-Based Art Therapy In Treatment for Women with Eating Disorders

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Root, Melissa
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
This research study investigated the effect of Mindfulness-Based Art Therapy (MBAT) on the self-worth of women with eating disorders. External contingencies of self-worth compared to internally based contingent self-worth and overall self-esteem were examined using a mixed-methods design. Two participants engaged in five, 60-minute individual sessions. Each session consisted of a mindfulness component and an art directive, as well as pre and posttests of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Contingencies of Self-Worth Scale, and the Body-Weight Contingency Scale. Participant 1 experienced a 6.8% increase in reported self-esteem, while Participant 2 experienced a 4.6% increase in reported self-esteem. A thematic analysis was used to determine five themes based on participants’ verbal statements during processing discussions and mindfulness-based art responses. The results suggested that MBAT may provide an effective intervention for women in eating disorder treatment to alter the basis of self-worth to more stable internal contingencies and increase overall self-esteem.