Thesis Title

Pro-Active Social Skills (PASS) Program: Using Art Therapy, Positive Psychology, Skillstreaming, and Values in Action to Develop Positive Social Skills

Graduation Date

Spring 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


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 obtain funding for a comprehensive guidance program that will meet the needs of the Mountain Laurel Waldorf School (MLWS). The Pro-Active Social Skills (PASS) Program is based on best practices of a variety of counseling programs aligned with goals of Waldorf education to meet the needs of their students, ranging from Pre-Kindergarten through Eighth-Grade, currently without any guidance or counseling programs. The grant hypothesizes that adding techniques from art therapy and positive psychology to methods from Skillstreaming and Values in Action will increase social skills and self-confidence. The Skillstreaming program teaches pro-active social skills by breaking them down into steps, demonstrating the steps, and practicing them as a group. The needs of the graduating Eighth- Grade class will be met by creating a group using the 24 “Character Strengths” presented by the Values in Action Institute. This pilot study will be evaluated for success using Social Skills Checklists and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. It is designed to be replicated for future study on a broad scale in other settings.