Thesis Title

Self-Concept Through Art Therapy: Using Therapeutic Creative Arts Techniques With Students With Learning Disabilities

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

Doris Arrington, EdD, ATR-BC


This grant proposes the development of "Creative Pride Studio", a 12-session art therapy/self-education program designed specifically for students aged 9 through 12, diagnosed with learning disabilities (LD).

This grant explores trends in the public educational system and discrepancies in defining academic success.

The program addresses needs for self-exploration and self-esteem building in its participants through using art therapy interventions.

Creation and review of art will be a powerful tool for each participant, and the group, to honor their unique abilities. Participants will practice verbalization and socialization skills relating to their life experiences and self-knowledge through art-making and discussion.

This program will be conducted at an elementary school within the Mountain View-Whisman School District, in collaboration with the Community Health Awareness Council counseling agency. "Creative Pride Studio" will provide an art studio setting equipped with various art materials. Its staff will include an art therapist, one co-facilitator, and their supervisor. Students will be referred by their teachers, parents or by self-referral.

Pre- and post-assessments administered by the facilitators will measure program progress and evaluate the program's fulfillment of goals and objectives.