Books of Grace: Participatory Action Research, Narrative Art Therapy, and Altered Book Making With Adult Members of Gracious Community Center, Creating Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Development and Change
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
Degree Granting Institution
Notre Dame de Namur University
John Lemmon, PhD
Amy Backos, PhD, ATR-BC
Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC
This paper examines how narrative therapy in the form of altered book making can be used in art therapy with adults with developmental and mental disorders/diagnosis. Books of Grace is a community art therapy based research project, the goal of which is to guide our understanding of the adult mentally ill by using visual art making as the induction to their experiences and stories. Participatory Action Research (PAR) sets the stage for doing research as a collaborative process utilizing the researchers, members and the staff of Gracious Community Center (GCC) in downtown San Jose, California. This project involves art therapy from a narrative model using altered book making as the vehicle. As an outcome of this study, through the analysis of observation and patients statements, five key themes emerged: self-esteem, coping with a mental illness diagnosis, friendship and family closeness or loneliness, art and creativity as a therapeutic process, and perseveration. Beginning to ask the right questions pertaining to the needs of adults with mental and developmental disabilities is the first step in improving quality of life, self-esteem, and societal focus for this population.
Reser, Isa, "Books of Grace: Participatory Action Research, Narrative Art Therapy, and Altered Book Making With Adult Members of Gracious Community Center, Creating Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Development and Change" (2012). Art Therapy | Master's Theses in Print. 216.