Thesis Title

Decreasing Postpartum Depression Using Process Oriented 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

Shoshana Bennett, PhD


Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious public health problem affecting 9% to 15% of women during the first year after delivery. The World Health Organization recognizes that maternal mental health poses a human, social and economic burden on women and is a major public health risk. If new mothers develop PPD, they become 300 times more likely to suffer from PPD with future pregnancies and are twice as likely to acknowledge future depressive episodes over a five-year period after birth. Accompanying the diagnoses of PPD. are severe consequences for mother, infant, and partner. PPD affects all things related to everyday functioning including, executive functioning, decision making, marital satisfaction, infant distress, mother and infant attachment, and overall quality of life for mother, infant and partner. Children of depressed mothers have shown significant behavior problems throughout their childhood and therefore early intervention is important. I here is a need for evidence-based interventions to treat this disorder and help through the transition in to motherhood. The aim of this grant proposal is to thoroughly review current literature for the proposed treatment modalities, CBT and Group Art therapy for women diagnosed with PPD.