Thesis Title

Young and Old Together: An Intergenerational Art Therapy Handbook

Graduation Date

Fall 1998

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


This research paper attempts to evaluate intergenerational relationships today and “the generation gap”, which appears to be deepening with each passing year. The very young and the very old are growing further apart and learning less from one another than as opposed to our earlier historical, multi-generational families and lifestyles. This paper will attempt to address this change and suggest ways in which health care professionals can reverse this trend.

There are activities and techniques that can be used as tools to bring these two generations closer together so once again they can reap the benefits of learning from one another. One of these tools is art therapy. Both age groups can share feelings (both good and bad) in a positive and healthy manner. Those less able to verbalize can express themselves through this media on a personal level. The art process can enhance socialization, creativity and self awareness with support from across the generations. Additionally, the focus of this paper is to develop a handbook on art therapy activities for the young and old based on the authors own intern experiences and art therapy sessions with both generations.