Thesis Title

Art Therapy and the Pathological Child

Graduation Date

Spring 1985

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 research presents a case study of an individual, an eleven year old boy, whom I interacted with during my internship at an outpatient clinic.

Explaining a personal history and the boy's present personality through the application of art therapy will be the main focus of this research. A diagnosis of depression, opposition to authority figures, and borderline intelligence had placed this child in psychotherapy. He is in a latency age group setting.

Other areas of therapy applied during this patient's treatment ! will also be discussed. Through the presentation of this individual's art process and product, the importance of art as a viable means of therapy, communication and analysis becomes evident. By direct observation, hands-on art process, and analysis of finished product, the structure of art as therapy becomes a definitive, positive means of communication for the child being studied. Art, and its various Approaches, strengthens many facets of the child s personality and behavior. Art therapy as a tool for eliciting inner feelings and emotions became the means for the child to express himself and cope with his personal dilemmas.