Thesis Title

An Art Therapy Program for Women Who are Experienceing Postpartum Depression at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco

Graduation Date

Spring 2002

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


Lizbeth Martin, PhD

First Reader

Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Doris Arrington, EdD, ATR-BC


This grant proposes that women experiencing postpartum depression and whose babies are delivered at California Pacific Medical Center would benefit from an art therapy program specifically designed for their needs. The program would include treatment for the population as well as education for the obstetricians, pediatricians, nurses, and all other health care professionals who might come into contact with mothers who are experiencing symptoms of this often undiagnosed form of depression. Individual and group therapy for women with PPD could help to raise self-esteem, improve self-image, increase positive feelings about mothering, decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety and provide a support network for these moms. As postpartum depression affects more than 10 percent of all mothers, this program would provide a community for these women to express themselves and improve their symptoms in a safe and caring environment.