Helping Sexually Abused Children by Supporting Their Parents

Graduation Date

Spring 2006

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

Antoinette Morley, LMFT, ATR


The support group outlined in this grant proposal proposes using cognitive-behavioral art therapy interventions for parents of sexually abused children in an open group setting. The goal of the support group is to help parents understand their own reactions to the sexual abuse and work through those reactions so they may best help their child heal with appropriate support.

Rape Trauma Services is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) status organization serving San Mateo County, California that has offered their support of this support group for parents. In-kind services of a room, utilities, volunteers when needed and support in securing additional funding will be provided.

The effectiveness of the group will be measured by a weekly questionnaire and a questionnaire every tenth week of the group. The art produced will be photographed, with permission, for proposed future research in art therapy and in the process of parents helping their child heal from sexual abuse. The ethical standards of CAMFT and AATA are addressed as well as the legal obligation of mandated reporting of sexual abuse in California within the proposal. Refusal to participate in any future research or withdrawal of consent will not affect any participant negatively in the group.

Only available in print