Increasing Optimism in Adolescents: An Integrative Intervention of Positive Psychology, The Mindup Program, Mindfulness, Yoga, and Art Therapy

Graduation Date

Spring 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

Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Carolee Stabno, PsyD, MFT


Mental health professionals primarily focus on the 20% of adolescents with dysfunctional mental health issues, largely ignoring the mental health needs of the majority of the adolescent population. Current conventional psychotherapy and pharmaceutical therapies typically do not incorporate the needs of the whole being - emotionally, physically and spiritually (Serlin et al., 2007). Psychologists, medical doctors and researchers are beginning to recognize the need to offer wellness education to all adolescents. These wellness approaches include positive psychology, the study of happiness, neuroscience education, and mind/body practices. This grant proposes to evaluate the efficacy of integrating positive psychology, neuroscience education and mindfulness using the MindUP Program with the practice of hatha yoga and art therapy directives into one holistic intervention to increase optimism and overall well-being in adolescents.


The complementary and whole person healthcare literature uses the concept and terminology of mind, body and spirit or healing from a whole-being perspective. The term spirituality can mean different things to different individuals. The term spirituality in this holistic intervention refers to the MindUP curriculum, which incorporates positive psychology elements that contribute to increased optimism, gratitude and helping others in the community.

Only available in print