Thesis Title

Research Proposal to Study Sandplay Therapy as a Modlaity to Enhance Self-Esteem in SED Adolescents: Part II

Graduation Date

Summer 1993

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


Self-esteem is defined as the perceived capacity for self-mastery, individuation, empowerment, assertiveness, and participation with social support systems. It is considered to be a major factor in determining behavioral and attitudinal development.

Abused adolescents exhibit a general air of depression, hopelessness, and learned helplessness. As such, they manifest behavior consistent with significantly lowered self-concepts, and reduced ambition, and they have fewer friends, poor self-esteem and an internalized sense of shame than non-abused adolescents.

An adolescent in outpatient, full or partial day treatment is usually AB3632 court-ordered or school- referred. As such, they often feel that they have been forced into treatment against their will and, therefore, may lack the motivation and degree of investment necessary for open discussion of their problems.

This proposal is to conduct a single-subject, multi­element study to determine the relative outcome of three therapeutic modalities in evaluating and improving the self-esteem of adolescent clients of New Directions Adolescent Services, Inc., located in Santa Rosa, California.

It will develop and evaluate a pilot program which uses the unique qualities of sandplay therapy to enhance self­esteem. This study will test a specific technique known as sandplay therapy as an adjunct intervention in a milieu. It is hypothesized that outcome expectancies and self-efficacy of emotionally disturbed adolescents, associated with self-esteem, will improve more significantly with this therapy than with other modalities. The study is designed to run for 12 weeks, beginning in August, 1993 and running through October, 1993. The projected cost of the research is $5675.61.