Gaining Insight Through Self-Portraiture: A Mixed Methods Study on Contour Mirror-Image Drawing

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Conner, Jordan
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
This study investigated the use of blind-contour line drawing in a population of adults struggling with mental illnesses. The study took place at a holistic treatment facility, using a volunteer participant population of adults of all gender identifications ranging from 19 to 61 years of age. The study interventions consisted of blind-contour still-life and blind-contour mirror-image drawings along with creative embellishment. Participants were asked to complete pre and posttest surveys, join in group discussion, and participate in individual interviews. Overarching themes of inquiry included brief changes in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and feelings of hopelessness, as well as mindfulness, insight, and affect change. It was anticipated that contour mirror-image drawing might refocus attention away from external stimuli, resulting in the participant’s authentic connection to perceptions of the self, or in some cases, lack of self. Further research was recommended to investigate the long-term effects of contour mirror-image drawing.