Effective Art Interventions for Adult Immigrants

Graduation Date

Winter 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


Many immigrants settle in the United States in search of a better future or to escape war, poverty, or trauma. The vast cultural dissimilarities between their country of origin and the host country, coupled with the lack of social support systems in their new environment, can severely impact an immigrant's mental health. This thesis is a proposal to use art therapy to help prevent and mitigate the mental health problems resulting from immigration. The first part of this thesis will examine the immigration-induced stressors: survival challenges, loss, and family conflicts. Then next section will describe the psychological problems these stressors induce. The thesis will then describe a means to evaluate the possible long-term psychological effects of the immigration process on members of the immigrant population and discuss the need for effective interventions and prevention programs. The thesis will then discuss how art therapy can help to reduce immigration- reduced stressors and provide specific details about the proposed program including methodology, budget, etc. as well as a review of the current literature in the field.

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