Thesis Title

Decreasing Anxiety and Depression Through Art Therapy with Self-Identified Adult Lesbians

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


Arnell Etherington, PhD, MFT, ATR-BC

First Reader

Laury Rappaport, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

David Nylund, PhD, LCSW


This grant proposal is written for the purpose of requesting funding to support an art therapy group for self-identified adult lesbians at the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center designed to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression, known to be associated with internalized homophobia. Often, when an individual is working toward integrating their sexual identity with their present identity, the stigma surrounding the minority sexual identity can cause internalized homophobia. Internalized homophobia can be defined as a person disliking or hating their sexual identity because it is not widely accepted by society (Kort, 2008). Symptoms of this internalization can include depression, anxiety, drug use and abuse, and suicidality, among others. To address internalized homophobia, this research grant proposes a 6-week art therapy group with self-identified lesbians. It is hypothesized that there will be a decrease in symptoms known to be caused by internalized homophobia, such as anxiety and depression, in self-identified lesbian women after completing a six week art therapy program.