Thesis Title

Grant Proposal for a Pilot Program to Increase Self-Esteem in Abused Severly Emotional Disturbed Adolescents

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


Self-esteem is associated with character traits such as honesty, responsibility, perseverance, kindness, and self-discipline, and is a primary factor affecting how well or how poorly an individual functions in society (Mecca et al, 1989).

This proposal is for a pilot program designed to evaluate and to improve the self- esteem of approximately 30 abused, severely emotionally disturbed adolescent clients of New Directions Adolescent Services, Inc., in Santa Rosa, California. The program is designed to run for 43 weeks, beginning in September 1991 and running through July 1992. The program's projected cost is $13,772.

Sonoma County's current population of 388,222 represents a 17% increase in population since 1985. This 17% increase in population compares to an 88% increase in investigated reports of child abuse since 1985. In 1990 there were a total of 8,417 investigated reports of child abuse in Sonoma County (See Appendix A). Kathy Baxter-Stone, Executive Director of the San Francisco Child Abuse Council in 1989, reports: "The Child Abuse Council has long been concerned about the low self-esteem many of our abused children show throughout their childhood and into their adulthood...self-esteem, the core of our inner strength, gives us the ability to feel good about ourselves. Child abuse robs one of that ability at a very early age (California, 1990, p. 48).

The funding of this proposal will allow for the addition of an art therapist to the staff of New Directions. Besides having a Master's degree from an accredited program in Art Therapy, an art therapist's education includes a 600 hour practicum which includes individual, group and family therapy at an approved facility. The art therapist will evaluate the level of self-esteem of the adolescent clientele, facilitate two art therapy groups per week, and offer 30 hours of individual art therapy sessions per month.