Thesis Title

Proposal for the Establishment of a Psychological Rehabilitative Art Therapy Program for Adults with Serious Mental Illness and Their Families

Graduation Date

Spring 1996

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 proposal requests funding for the establishment of an art therapy based program for seriously mentally ill adults and their families in collaboration with Nikki's Place Day Rehabilitation program, a satellite of Permahousing, Inc. The purpose for this request is that this population has numerous abilities and potentials often overlooked or never allowed the opportunity to develop. The literature presented in this proposal clearly defines the need for art therapy with individuals suffering from serious mental illness and its invaluable influence toward higher levels of functioning. The literature also supports the argument that the day rehabilitation model demonstrates a clear cost effectiveness in relapse prevention over other means of rehabilitation from providers who utilize more intensive and costly services. The proposal presents how an art therapy component can work as an asset to the day rehabilitation program in that it will provide an alternate method of communication for those with limited capacity in verbal expression. Individuals with mental illness often lack motivational skills needed to advance in the community.

This is addressed through art therapy projects and activities developed to support a sense of accomplishment, daily structure, and satisfaction with self generated tasks. The proposal delineates how the art therapy component will work collaboratively with an existing day rehabilitation program with the assistance of art therapy trainees, and community volunteers. Further, the art therapy program will offer individual and group therapy five days per week, including monthly community events and will serve Santa Clara County mental health consumers at three sites within the community. This proposal seeks $53,637.37 to find the art therapy program. This money will ensure costs of supplies, educational resources, community events, program director salary and cost of appropriate supervision. Permahousing Inc. will provide working space, furnishings, administrative support, office supplies, trainees, assistants, and accessibility to use of transportation.