Thesis Title

Pilot Art Therapy Program for SED Adolescents at the Institute for the Arts of Living

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 is a grant proposal for a pilot art therapy Program through Arriba Juntos for its mental health program, The Institute for the Arts of Living (IAL). There is currently an art therapy intern at IAL offering art therapy to groups, individuals, and families. This intern relationship will end 5/96 and what is needed is ongoing art therapy services.

Many severely emotionally disturbed (SED) adolescents Vent their emotions in aggressive, destructive ways due to their difficulty in identifying and expressing emotions appropriately. Many have low social skills which make it difficult for them to be accepted by peers. The pilot art therapy program will address needs of facilitating ego strength, developing coping skills, working out conflicts, and increasing self-esteem. Art therapy will address these needs through verbal and non-verbal interaction with peers and the art therapist. Art is used as an outlet for a wide range of emotions and the adolescents use the art to facilitate verbalizing these emotions.

The proposed pilot art therapy program is projected to cost $48,078.13. IAL is offering approximately $6,760.00 in in-kind services. Arriba Juntos requests $41,318.13 to Provide funding for a pilot art therapy program at IAL for a total of 50 weeks. This art program will provide therapeutic art programs to supplement services offered through IAL. Services will be provided for both crisis intervention and long term need. Art therapy provides assessment and addresses these special needs of the SED adolescent. It teaches them socialization skills and reduces acting out behavior. Furthermore, art therapy allows the adolescent to identify their feelings, to express their creativity, and is used for fun.