Thesis Title

The Meaning of Art Therapy and Equine Assisted Therapy with Adolescents

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

Lisa Manthe, MFT, ATR-BC


The intent of this grant proposal is to secure funding to evaluate and document the efficacy of combining the unique qualities of Art Therapy and Equine Assisted Therapy for female adolescents. The combination of Art Therapy and Equine-Assisted Therapy has never been done before, and I believe it will add a quality to these two types of therapy that will be greater that the two modalities offered separately. The proposed outcomes for female adolescents utilizing this specific combination under a Gestalt Therapeutic lens arc to (1) improve overall personal self-esteem, (2) increase and build appropriate forms of social skills and communication, and (3) reduce levels of stress. To achieve these objectives, a twenty-four week group is proposed.

Art Therapy has demonstrated significant efficacy on its own. However, in conjunction with Equine Assisted Therapy, horses will be utilized a canvases, which will result in having the ability to instill the art with movement and unique placement and patterns, and to foster communication and dialogue with the participant and therapist. This grant serves as a well- needed first step in creating a new area of therapy able to reach troubled female adolescents within a therapeutic setting.