Thesis Title

Ecopsychology, Mindfulness, and Art Therapy Interventions to Reduce Emotional Dysregulation in the Nonsuicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) Population

Graduation Date

Spring 2014

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

Jennifer Harrison, PsyD, DAAETS, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Carolee Stabno, PsyD, MFT


This grant proposes a treatment intervention for individuals who engage in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) to increase mindful awareness and self-regulation of injurious behavior. This proposed eight-week outdoor therapy program consists of connection with nature, practice of mindfulness, and transitional art making. The program outcomes will be evaluated via the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), the Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills (KIMS) and the Inventory of Statements about Self- Injury (ISAS). Benefits of transitional art will be measured by qualitative means in the form of a post-study questionnaire. The program will take place at Notre Dame de Namur campus, with alternative locations that have both natural and man-made elements. The focus of the study is to find treatment options for the NSSI population and will exclude the Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) population as measured by the McLean Screening Instrument for Borderline Personality Disorder (MSI-BPD). This grant hope to provide additional information for the treatment of this high risk coping mechanism. The evaluation of this program will provide much needed research on the healing benefits of Ecopsychology and Art Therapy, as well as emotion regulation strategies and mindful awareness in the NSSI population.