Pilot Art Therapy Program for Emotionally Disturbed Adolescents at Maryhurst

Graduation Date

Fall 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 at Maryhurst in Louisville, KY. Maryhurst is a non-profit residential treatment program for adolescent girls. Currently, the treatment program offers individual and group therapy within a behaviorally oriented mileu. Maryhurst does not have an art therapist on staff despite their desire to employ such a clinician.

Maryhurst offers services to adolescents who have failed in numerous previous placements and continue to display emotional and behavioral disturbances. Art therapy is a therapeutic technique which is successful with individuals such as these who are resistant or cognitively unable to utilize traditional therapies. The goal of the proposed program is to enable the Maryhurst residents to benefit from the services offered to them by developing their ability to express themselves (verbally and non-verbally), their self- awareness and their self-esteem through art therapy. This approach has proven to be beneficial with adolescents who are reluctant to engage in therapy and is sensitive to their developmental needs and behaviors (Riley, 1987).

The proposed program is projected to cost approximately $17,200 for 50 weeks of adjunctive therapy. The art therapist will work alongside the clinical staff to meet the treatment goals of the Maryhurst residents. The program will supplement the services already provided in order to maximize therapeutic results in the shortest amount of time. The program will focus on building the skills needed by the adolescents in order to make use of the services offered to them at Maryhurst. Additionally, it will increase self-­esteem, self-awareness and build self-image. It will also help the individuals explore and express their problems in a non-verbal way. The proposed art therapy program would greatly benefit the adolescents treated at Maryhurst.

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