Thesis Title

Decreasing Anxiety, Improving Social Behavioral Issues and Fostering Resiliency Through CBT-Oriented Art Therapy with Homeless Children

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

Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC


The purpose of this grant proposal is to request funding to support a CBT-oriented art therapy group for homeless children who reside at family shelters. This intervention is designed to decrease symptoms of anxiety, to improve social behavioral issues, and to foster resiliency. The psychological impacts of homelessness on children can have both short and long-term effects, which could require treatment. Resiliency is an important component for homeless children’s successful development. This research grant proposes 8 sessions of a CBT- oriented art therapy group with homeless children in homeless family shelters, which is hypothesized to decrease symptoms of anxiety, improve social behavioral problems, and increase resiliency.