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A theoretical exploration of feminist perspectives and art therapy for body image issues in adolescent females

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A theoretical exploration of feminist perspectives and art therapy for body image issues in adolescent females

Alati, Christina S. (2019) A theoretical exploration of feminist perspectives and art therapy for body image issues in adolescent females. [Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This research paper presents a theoretical exploration of the construct of body image through a feminist perspective. Feminist theory views body image dissatisfaction as a product of internalizing a set of cultural standards which include an ideal image of beauty. Sociocultural sources such as the media, family, and peers are key factors in body image development, particularly for adolescent females. When adolescents identifying as female internalize the message that their appearance is the primary source of their value and worth, they are at risk for a variety of physical and mental health concerns, including body shame, body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, and eating disorders. Feminist approaches in the prevention and treatment of body image issues with girls and women involve a holistic approach that focuses on developing strengths and re-establishing the connection between their bodies and their senses of self, referred to in the literature as embodiment. Art therapy is a form of therapy which requires the involvement of the body and fits naturally into a holistic treatment plan for body image issues, offering a gentle and non-intrusive format to explore deep-seated emotions. This research paper explores art therapy theory, art therapy research for body image issues, and some of the specific art therapy techniques used to work with body image issues with adolescent girls. The discussion analyzes how the feminist perspective and art therapy are compatible for incorporating work with body image issues for adolescent females. Generalized body image-themed groups offered to adolescent girls within a school setting are suggested, along with recommended areas for future art therapy research.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Creative Arts Therapies
Item Type:Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)
Authors:Alati, Christina S.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Creative Arts Therapies (Art Therapy Option)
Date:14 April 2019
Keywords:body image, art therapy, adolescents, feminist theory, objectification, self-objectification, embodiment
ID Code:985281
Deposited By: CHRISTINA ALATI
Deposited On:24 Apr 2019 20:09
Last Modified:24 Apr 2019 20:09
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