Thesis Title

Art and recovery: Utilizing art therapy to promote progression within a 12-step porgram for adults recovering from alcoholism and alcohol abuse disorder

Graduation Date

Spring 2016

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


This research examines how art therapy can better assist recovering individuals through their recovery from alcoholism or alcohol use using a 12-step recovery model. The researcher created a 12-step art guideline using principles of existential theory to assist in this process. The population studied included fifteen adults in the greater San Francisco Bay area who were currently in recovery from alcoholism or alcohol use disorder. The study, which was conducted entirely online, measured how art directives assist the recovering individual in their progression using a 12-step recovery model. The outcome of this two month research study revealed that individuals in the first and last steps were more likely to progress to the next step, and felt that the art therapy experience gave them self-awareness and empowerment.