Thesis Title

The Application of Art Therapy's Scribble Drawing Art Directive in Grief Counseling With Adults

Graduation Date

Fall 2011

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


John Lemmon, PhD

First Reader

Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Gwen Sanders, MFT, ART-BC


This research study is about the application of art therapy’s scribble drawing art directive in grief counseling with adults. The research question: how is the scribble drawing art therapy directive useful in grief counseling with adults? Grief can be confusing, painful and complex (Kubler- Ross & Kessler, 2005). Traditionally, art therapy is used to “help people understand their emotions and recover from experiences of trauma, grief and loss” (Malchiodi, 2007, p. 135). Art therapists appreciate the Scribble Drawing because the basic scribble making draws “clients’ immediate response to the exercise” through the art making process (Betensky, 1995, p. 97). Scribble drawings is more than lines and circles for adults because many of them doodle as they scribble. The Scribble Drawing helps people to express outwardly their inner selves that they are often reluctant to share especially in a grieving state (Oster & Gould, 1987). This study analyzed the reports, notes, data, and the scribble drawings from an archival data of a hospice organization in Northern California. The results and benefits of using the scribble drawing with 15 adult cases as an entry art directive in grief counseling are presented in this study.