Thesis Title

Robert: A Case Study using Art Therapy to Facilitate Growth

Graduation Date

Spring 1990

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


This research documents a nine-month treatment period of a latency-age boy in twice-weekly milieu group therapy. Artwork produced at different periods during the therapy is presented, together with a narrative of the behavior of the child at the time the work was produced. The artwork produced by the child was submitted to evaluators to determine whether the personal growth perceived in the subject by staff members could be substantiated by a blind rating of the artwork.

Ratings of the artwork alone by independent evaluators did not support the growth trend shown in the narrative. Results indicate that art therapy can be useful as a clinical tool in treatment of children. A study of finished artwork accompanied by narrative of the process and changes that occurred during the time the art was produced can often furnish more information than the artwork alone.