Thesis Title

An Analysis of the Feminist Perspective in Family Art Therapy Training

Graduation Date

Spring 1991

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 investigated the attitudes of family art therapy trainees toward gender role stereotypes which are often used in family therapy theory. The research was intended to determine whether or not the students are exposed to any of the feminist family therapy literature. It also sought to discover whether or not using art as a family assessment or treatment leads to a more creative approach. The subjects were students in family/art therapy graduate programs at the College of Notre Dame in Belmont/ California and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. A questionnaire was distributed to 37 students in both programs and 13 responded.

The results indicate that students have an idea of gender role stereotyping, and some have a sense that it may not work as a way to restore a family to healthy functioning, but they are unaware of gender as a central organizing force in today s society.

While the respondents are clear on the advantages of using art as an assessment and treatment modality, it was believed that family art therapists who write about and teach these techniques have not gone beyond early family systems theory in the development of family art therapy and family art therapy training.