Thesis Title

Men in Art Therapy: Exploring a Minority

Graduation Date

Summer 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 study is an exploration of the minority of males in the art therapy profession. To find out about motivations and personal backgrounds for studying art therapy, interviews with five male art therapists were conducted. In order to assess the participants" sex-role orientation, they were tested with the Bern Sex-Role Inventory. Visual input was provided by spontaneous mandala drawings in reflection of the interviews. Results of this study indicate a predominantly feminine to androgynous sex-role orientation on the side of the participants and a major impact of art therapy on their development towards a psychological completeness integrating masculinity and femininity. It is concluded that the lack of males in art therapy reveals a twofold aspect of psychological gender-roles. The distribution of masculinity and femininity influences the of male art therapists as well as the psychological profiles of male art therapists as well as the methodologies end flexibility in professional roles within the field of art therapy. Therefore this study is viewed as a first step in the exploration of the research questions.