Thesis Title

Eco-Art therapy's Effect on Existential Well-Being and Connectedness to Nature with Families Experiencing Bereavement

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

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


The intent of this thesis grant proposal is to secure funding for a six week art psychotherapy bereavement program incorporating nature-based art making for families who have recently experience loss of a family member. The proposed ecopsychology art therapy group will serve as an adjunct to an existing hospice bereavement program through VITAS hospice services. The goal of this study is to identify individual grief reactions, level of existential well-being and connectedness to nature as it relates to the grief process before and after nature-based art directives in a family group setting. The program will be evaluated for decrease in grief reaction symptoms, increase in existential well-being, and connectedness to nature using the Hogan Grief Reaction Checklist, the Existential Well-Being Scale, and the Connectedness to Nature Scale.