The Creative Arts Personal Growth Group for Eating Disorder Recovery: An Embodiment-Focused Feminist Phenomenological Study
School of Behavioral Sciences
Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (PhD)
Creative Arts Personal Growth Group, Eating Disorders, Embodiment, Shame, Self-compassion, Group Counseling
Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Noble, Sandra Dena, "The Creative Arts Personal Growth Group for Eating Disorder Recovery: An Embodiment-Focused Feminist Phenomenological Study" (2021). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2941.
Eating disorders are complex mental and physical health disorders that impact every area of one’s life, and standard treatment protocols often fail to meet the multifaceted needs of eating disorder recovery. Studies indicate that relapse rates remain high following standard treatment and demonstrates that treatment often reinforces the body-centric and behavioral values of the disorder. Using the theoretical framework of feminist phenomenological lens and the hermeneutic phenomenological approach for data analysis, this study explored the use of the Creative Arts Personal Growth Group for Eating Disorder Recovery (CAPG-E), a group counseling protocol for eating disorder treatment that focuses on decreasing the impact of shame and fear while increasing positive experiences of embodiment. The eight-week protocol incorporates creative arts interventions with grounding skills, psychoeducation, self-compassion, and shame exposures in a setting that promotes safety and acceptance. This study explored the lived experiences of the six group members who served as co-researchers in exploring the CAPG-E components and processes that co-researchers identified as helpful and meaningful, reducing fear and shame, and contributing to positive changes in the experience of embodiment. Results indicated that the components and processes of the pilot CAPG-E group were effective in meeting these goals. Findings were discussed in light of the extant literature. Implications for social change and recommendations for further study were identified.