Thesis Title

"Flowers, Only Flowers" Art Therapy, The Elderly, and Depression A Case Study

Graduation Date

Spring 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


The elderly population in the United States is growing at a fast rate. Medical and psychological problems unique to the elderly are becoming more visible. Depression is one of the most prevalent illnesses in the elderly. Yet, attempts at alleviating depression through drugs and psychotherapy need more research. This thesis addressed art therapy as an effective therapy with an elderly depressed person. The literature review addressed background research in art therapy and found a positive effect on the elderly. In addition, the process of art therapy and its advantages were presented in a case study with an elderly (5 yrs.) Hispanic female. Art and life review were shown to be effective in addressing loss and manic-depressive illness. Cross-cultural issues as they related to art therapy were discussed.