A Pilot Study for Art Therapy and the Wilderness Challenge: A Dual Modality in Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment

Graduation Date

Summer 1995

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 paper reviews a pilot study in which art therapy and the wilderness challenge were used as a bimodal approach to treatment with adolescent substance abusers. It is a pilot study because the researcher plans to introduce a revised version of this intervention to members of a similar treatment program based on the results of this study. The study focuses on the researcher's observation of five adolescent substance abusers involved in a three day "art in the wilderness-" experiential, as well as the adolescents expressions of the directives given by the researcher. The researcher used a qualitative and phenomenological research design to obtain a heuristic understanding of the subject's experience. The researcher examined the adolescent substance abusers responses to this bimodal approach to increase the body oi knowledge in this new and innovative "art in the wilderness treatment modality.

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