Thesis Title

Art Therapy and Movimeiento with Hispanic Youth

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

Amy Backos, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC


The purpose of this grant proposal is to request funding for an Art Therapy based mental health group program called Mover y Gozer for Medical clients of La Familia Counseling Center, Inc. (LFCC). This group is designed for Hispanic Youth between the ages of 13 and 21. This program is designed to meet the needs of the current mental health clientele of LFCC and merge the integration of building healthy communities and lifestyles into their current mental health treatment plans. A total of four groups will meet for eight weeks. The clients will meet once a week, and the weekly schedule will alternate between art therapy and the Let's Move curriculum. Lesson plans and activities focused on building, promoting, and teaching healthy living and healthy lifestyle practices are main components of the Mover y Gozer groups. In addition, the groups are designed to decrease anxiety and depression in the group participants, as well increase the group’s education and increase implementation of healthy choices such as exercise and healthy coping strategies into their daily lives. The long-term goal of the Let’s Move program is to develop “healthy communities”. Integrating Art Therapy techniques with the Let’s Move program would take on important first step in teaching mental and physical health psyhoeducation. A review of literature will examine how obesity/overweight problems impact Hispanic children with mental illness, and their ability to cope with the stigmas associated with the two areas of concern. Art therapy has shown to be an effective treatment modality when working with children, adolescents and groups. Therefore, it is considered a valuable tool in developing a therapeutic treatment specifically designed to address the needs of this primarily Hispanic population.