Thesis Title

The Use of Photo Art Therapy to Increase Self-Esteem in Hispanic Adolescents

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 fund a program at The Boys and Girls Club to provide phototherapy with Latino adolescents in order to improve their self-esteem. There is a strong association between adolescents' emotional well-being and positive environments (including family and school environments) that provide them with a sense of belonging, acceptance, and support for autonomy (Brides, Margie, and Zaff, 2001). Talk therapy, along with photographs, can be a powerful, complementary tool for the advancement of adolescent self-esteem.

Art Therapy, in the form of Phototherapy, can assist to increase self-esteem (Nunez, C., 2009).

This research grant proposes a five week group in phototherapy to enhance self-esteem in Latino adolescents. The Art Therapy researcher will conduct art therapy as well as technical photography lessons. The research grant will allow the MFT Intern to evaluate self-esteem through quantitative and qualitative methods. Implementing both a quantitative self-esteem scale and qualitative questionnaires, Ms. Siegel will evaluate how Phototherapy can work to increase self-esteem.