The Effect of Keeping a 30 Day Creative Journal by Art Therapy Students and Interns

Graduation Date

Spring 2005

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

Gwen Sanders, MFT, ART-BC


This qualitative study documented the experience of art therapy students and interns who kept a creative art journal for 30 days. Art making is an important component of art therapy yet students and interns often become disconnected from their art through lack of time, discipline, and commitment. Keeping a creative art journal provides a connection between artist and therapist for self-reflection through journaling. Self care from academic and practicum stressors help to resolve personal and therapeutic problems, gain insight, and grow as a therapist.

Twenty students and/or graduates from the Art Therapy Program at Notre Dame de Namur University volunteered to use journals for self-reflection and exploration. Results support the hypothesis that keeping a creative art journal will serve as a connection to art making. Inconsistent personal art making habits appear related to inconsistent journaling. Lack of time and personal life were the most common reasons for lack of journal entries. Overall responses to the experience were positive. Participants welcomed the excuse to make art and for some this led to other forms of creativity.

Only available in print