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

Richard Carolan, PhD, ATR-BC

First Reader

Erin Partridge, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Sarah Kremer, PhD, LPCC, ATR-BC


This study was a qualitative exploration of friendships facilitated through the internet and online video games. The goal was to investigate how online friendships compare to in-person friendships in terms of quality. Three English-speaking participants who played an online video game and had an online friendship provided unique case studies describing the differences between an online and in-person friendship. The Bird Nest Drawing art assessment by Kaiser (1996; 2016) revealed themes of attachment security which helped explain the variations in the friendships. The findings of this study opened the topic of online friendships for further exploration in the field of art therapy, both in research and in a therapy setting.