Thesis Title

Photo Art Therapy for the Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient Program at McAuley Behavioral Health Services

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


The Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient Program at McAuley Behavioral Health Services of St.Mary's Hospital and Medical Center is seeking support to establish an innovative photo art therapy program under the direction of art therapist Carolyn Donnay. McAuley Behavioral Health Services has earned a national reputation offering San Francisco and surrounding communities comprehensive and divergent mental health services.

escent Psychiatric Inpatient Program at McAuley provides an inclusive, secure, educatlonal and therapeutic treatment program and comprehensive evaluation for teens between the ages of twelve and eighteen years.

Creative art therapies (art, music and drama), piay an integral role in the multi-disciplinary approach with adolescents in the acute treatment program. Patients participate in daily art therapy sessions and their process is discussed in rounds (daily meeting attended by the psychiatric team). The proposed photo art therapy program is therefore designed to enhance the psychodynamic behavioral therapeutic approach and the creative art

rapies utilized at McAuley.

Today's world is cluttered with visual images ranging from printed advertisements to flashy rock videos which adolescents seem to revere to gauge their lives with images to elicit fashionable fads and popular trends. Using

the contemporary medium of photography as a therapeutic tool can effectively bring together art, drama and group therapy techniques.

This proposal is designed to introduce and investigate the impact of the photography and art process as a therapeutic intervention with adolescents in the acute treatment program at McAuley. The program will integrate the use of Polariod cameras and film along with a variety of art materials. The six month project is targeted to begin in the fall of 1996. The program is budgeted at $4,080.00 (four thousand eighty dollars) and an additional Product Donation of five Polariod cameras and fifty packages of 600 speed Polariod film.