Thesis Title

Using Artwork in a Multifamily Therapy Group

Graduation Date

Spring 1990

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


Multifamily therapy (MFT) is a relatively new treatment modality. No published research has been done on the effectiveness of using art within this mode of therapy. This study compares a multifamily art therapy group with a multifamily therapy group where art was not used. Subjects were drawn from hospitalized adolescents in a private psychiatric hospital, and their families. Results seem to suggest that using art tends to increase the relevance to each group member of issues discussed in the group. Families seemed able to experience, identify, and communicate their issues through the medium of art, and were able to use the experience in future sessions. Fewer than eight families per group is suggested for future work with MFT, so each can interact with the group in a reasonable time frame.