The Efficacy of Creating an Art Based Plant Terrarium as a "Living Altar" to Help Individuals Cope with the Loss of a Companion Animal
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
Degree Granting Institution
Notre Dame de Namur University
John Lemmon, PhD
Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC
Lisa Manthe, MFT, ATR-BC
Due to the short lifespan of animals and the increasing numbers of pet owners each year, many individuals will be faced with the loss of a companion animal at some point in his or her life. This research study hypothesized that creating an art based plant terrarium, as a “living altar” will help individuals cope with the loss of a pet. The researcher also hypothesized that participants with a stronger attachment to their pets will experience a greater benefit from the art process than participants with lower attachment. This study sought to answer the question: Will creating an art based plant terrarium as a “living altar” help individuals cope with the loss of a companion animal? The study entailed the use mixed qualitative and quantitative surveys with closed and open-ended questions and an art process to collect data. Common themes were explored from the loss stories, positive memories, and the imagery in the terrariums. The findings of this study revealed that all participants found the art process and group environment helpful. Also, the study showed a positive correlation between strength of attachment and the art process.
Pace, Sari, "The Efficacy of Creating an Art Based Plant Terrarium as a "Living Altar" to Help Individuals Cope with the Loss of a Companion Animal" (2013). Art Therapy | Master's Theses in Print. 249.