Thesis Title

Art Therapy and Lifebooks to Facilitate Foster Children's Grief Process

Graduation Date

Spring 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 for an art therapy and lifebook support group for foster children from the Lilliput Children’s Services non-profit agency. The impact of being in foster care has been shown to have traumatic and lasting effects. Children who have entered the foster care system not only endure the personal grief and trauma from the loss of their family, but also the events that brought them into foster care. Findings have shown that foster children who experience the trauma of the separation and loss of their families have higher rates of physical and mental health issues than the general population. There is a need for an intervention for foster children to heal from the grief of losing their family and the trauma that bought them into out of home care. This grant proposes a 10 week art therapy and lifebook support group designed to facilitate the grieving process in order to reduce symptoms of trauma in foster children.