Thesis Title

Reminiscence Through Collage: Elders newly Transitioning into an Assisted Living Community

Graduation Date

Fall 2013

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

Amy Backos, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Carol Johnson, MA, LMFT, ATR


The intent of this thesis grant proposal is to secure funding for reminiscence based art therapy group for elders facing a major life transition. The goal is the integration of therapeutic art therapy services, as an integral part of coming to terms with ones circumstances at a particular stage of life, elder hood. Art therapy group sessions will provide elders with a creative and supportive environment that they are able to reflect back on various stages of their lives. This emotional expression will help make meaning during a time of major transition. In addition, the goal of this grant proposal is to assess and improve elders' sense of life satisfaction, as well as developing an increase of socialization within a new community. These issues will be addressed by using the therapeutic, creative process of art making, focusing on reminiscence of various stages of life. This paper presents the current increases of our elder population, internal issues that may be faced, and the analysis of the efficacy and value of a reminiscence based art therapy program during a time of a major life transition.