Thesis Title

Collage Art Therapy and Grief: How Art Therapy Can Improve Grief Symptoms and the Quality of Life for Adults in Bereavement

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

Amy Backos, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Arnell Etherington-Reader, PhD, ART-BC, MFT


The intent of this thesis grant proposal is to secure funding for an eight week art psychotherapy bereavement program for adults who recently experienced loss of a significant other. The proposed art therapy support group will serve as an adjunct to an existing hospice bereavement program located at Memorial Hospice in Santa Rosa, California. The participants’ grief issues will be addressed using the following modalities: therapeutic, creative process of art psychotherapy, basic theories of existentialist therapy, grief and bereavement education and normalization, and group therapeutic interactions. The program will be evaluated for reduction in negative grief symptoms, an increase in positive coping skills, and an improvement in quality of life.