Thesis Title

Using Sandplay in a Creative Arts Therapeutic Intervention Program for Depression in Elementary School Children

Graduation Date

Summer 2004

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


Lizbeth Martin, PhD

First Reader

Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Arnell Etherington, PhD, MFT, ATR-BC


Sunshine Gardens Elementary School in the South San Francisco Unified School District is interested in sponsoring a grant for a sandplay psychotherapy program for the academic year 2004-2005 to help children recover from acting out behaviors and other common symptoms of masked depression and depression. This program will be an adjunct to their on-site school-based counseling program, which includes art therapy and play therapy.

This grant discusses why and how sandplay therapy will aid in the reduction for these behaviors and improve the lives of these children. The results of sandplay therapy will be measured by two frequently used assessment tools: the Children’s Depression Inventory and the art-based assessment Draw a Person in the Rain. Post Intervention Surveys will be completed by the participants and their teachers. This grant proposal also discusses therapeutic goals of the program, and includes a projected annual budget for the first year of operation.