Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Project Type

Qualitative Study

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy


Art Therapy

Program Director

Amy Backos, PhD, ATR-BC

First Reader

Amy Backos, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Amy Backos, PhD, ATR-BC


The present study investigated if experienced co-presence, psychological involvement, and behavioral engagement impact the effectiveness of art therapy sessions to individuals who have experienced an ABI with persistent impairments due to an acquired brain injury. The participants include seven adult women, aged between 41 and 77, with mild to medium chronic stage ABI. Previous research has asserted that there are few options to meet psychosocial and mental health needs for individuals with an ABI in the chronic stages. Telemental health, specifically Acceptance and Commitment Art Therapy, is one way to meet the needs of this underserved population. The researcher used qualitative methods with quantitative features to understand participants' experiences. The use of multiple data collection methods measured levels of engagement, social presence, attendance /attrition rates, and the degree of satisfaction the participants reported. The Net-worked Minds measure of social-presence, an observation log, participant comments and feedback in session, sharing the art in the discussion, documentation of participant's artwork, and a Workshop Evaluation Survey provided comprehensive results. Data suggests the participants demonstrated that they experienced engagement and social presence. Sessions delivered via video conferencing were well tolerated and effective; individuals in this study created meaningful social connections with each other and gained therapeutic insights over the online platform. Further research is needed to pinpoint best practices to cultivate psychological and emotional connection online that specifically targets the needs of the ABI population.