Thesis Title

Art with Heart's Chill & Spill Journal: A Cognitive-Behavioral and Narrative Approach to Art Therapy to Reduce Anxiety in Adolescent Siblings of Children with Cancer

Graduation Date

Fall 2010

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


Lisa Bjerknes, MD, MBA

First Reader

Laury Rappaport, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Gwen Sanders, MFT, ART-BC


Despite major advances in treatment methods and supportive care, cancer remains the leading cause of death from disease in children younger than fifteen years old. Childhood cancer affects all family members involved. For the siblings, it is likely that the diagnosis of childhood cancer will result in the development of anxiety symptoms. This grant seeks to discover if Art with Heart’s Chill & Spill journal, utilizing a cognitive-behavioral and narrative approach to art therapy, will reduce anxiety in adolescent siblings of pediatric oncology patients. The sponsoring agency for this grant is Circle of Care (CoC) located in Oakland, CA. CoC assists children and families coping with life-threatening illness, loss, bereavement, or trauma through support groups, crisis intervention services, and counseling and support services.