Thesis Title

Dyadic Art Therapy and Stress Reduction

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 Harrision, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Carolee Stabno, PsyD, LMFT


The intent of this thesis grant is to secure funding for a dyadic art therapy program with foster children and their foster parents. The proposed art therapy support groups will serve as an adjunct to recruiting, training, and support services offered for at risk children in an existing organization. The goal is the integration of therapeutic art therapy services, as an integral part of stress reduction and healthy attachment. Dyadic art therapy sessions will provide children and their foster parents assistance in their transitional process. In addition, it will help develop healthy and positive coping skills, as well as enhance parenting skills and the foster parent-child relationship. These issues will be addressed by using the creative art process in a therapeutic manner, along with dyadic art therapy focusing on attachment theory. This paper represents the progression of foster care, incidence of foster care placement, analysis of efficacy of dyadic therapy, and the value of art therapy as a method of coping and healing.