Thesis Title

Increasing Self-Awareness in Women with Substance Abuse Disorders Utilizing Mindfulness Based Knitting in Group Art Therapy

Graduation Date

Spring 2015

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

Amy Backos, PhD, ATR-BC


This grant proposes a pilot study of a substance abuse treatment that includes art therapy, knitting and mindfulness. It is hypothesized that a knitting art therapy group grounded in mindfulness will have the therapeutic benefit of increasing self-awareness in women who have been incarcerated and diagnosed with a substance use disorder. This grant reviews the current literature regarding previous research studies pertaining to substance abuse treatment and art therapy, the needs of women post-incarceration, a background of therapeutic knitting, as well as mindfulness and the concept of flow in art therapy.