Military Uniform to hand-Made Paper: Potential Benefits of the Combat Paper Project

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

Amy Backos, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Shilpa Reddy, PhD


The intent of this thesis grant proposal is to secure binding for Combat Paper Project (CPP) workshops for Post-9/11 veterans and their families in the northern California area to help with the transition from military to civilian life. CPP utilizes the military uniform through art making to transform the symbol of military life into handmade paper. The aim of this grant is to gather information related to veteran's thoughts and feelings of the uniform before, during and after the papermaking process. CPP provides veterans a forum to discuss and share military experiences with each other and their families as the uniform moves from cloth to pulp to paper. These issues will be addressed by using a narrative therapy approach that includes a self-reporting questionnaire, interviews and case studies. This paper presents current Veterans Administration approaches to the many issues that veterans face as they move back into civilian life and the current treatment models that are used, as well as the efficacy of therapeutic art making as a way of gaining understanding and insight into military service.