Graduation Date

Spring 2007

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form

Print and Electronic

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


Gregory White, PhD

First Reader

Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Gwen Sanders, MFT, ART-BC


This thesis explored the personal experience of creating a stained glass window with five adolescents who had previously been identified as causing self-harm to themselves. The narratives of these five adolescents between the ages of thirteen to seventeen were collected in qualitative interviews. This study emphasized the importance of; self-object and transitional object, destructive and creative process, power and self-esteem. The literature illuminates; the history of self-mutilation, the current issues with self- mutilation, including the internet and cultures outside of the United States, the combination of narrative therapy with art therapy, the use of stained glass as an intervention, and the ethical considerations involved in the creation of a stained glass window. Furthermore, this study confirmed that creating a stained glass window had a positive effect on self-mutilating adolescents.