Thesis Title

Group Art Work with Chronic Schizophrenic Patients

Graduation Date

Fall 1986

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 presents twenty Art Therapy sessions with a chronic schizophrenic outpatient. The sessions describe the psychodynamic process that occurs during art therapy group, symbolized in the patient's drawings and verbal comments. The purpose of the study is to demonstrate that the themes, symbols and patterns of schizophrenic art are unique and that schizophrenic art therapy productions reflect the decompensations and improvements in their creators' psychological process.

These sessions were incorporated into this patient's individual treatment plan with the assumption that the art therapy would increase self esteem, increase appropriate verbalizations and reduce anxiety during the art therapy sessions. This study demonstrates that art therapy is therapeutic to the schizophrenic patient.

The subjective results of this case study indicate that each art production reflects themes, symbols and patterns unique to this schizophrenic patient. Decompensations and improvements are documented by each art therapy product and verbal comments.