Thesis Title

Combining Art Therapy and Ecopaychology: An Art and Wilderness Experience

Graduation Date

Summer 2003

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form

Print

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy

Dean

Lizbeth Martin, PhD

First Reader

Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Carolee Stabno, PsyD, MFT

Abstract

Art Therapy and Ecopsychology are two emerging fields of psychotherapy. Both have proven to be effective healers, specifically by reawakening the senses, increasing sense of connectedness, sense of self, sense of empowerment and creativity. Due to the nature of these two fields, it is hypothesized that combining art therapy and ecopsychological principles may enhance healing potentials. This may be particularly true for adolescence, who, due to the vulnerable state of human development, may be particularly in need of and may especially benefit from, reawakening their senses, increasing their sense of connectedness, sense of self sense of empowerment and creativity.

The following is a proposal seeking funding for a three day Art and Wilderness Experience which combines ecopsychological and art therapy principles in adolescent therapy, designed for a group of ten at-risk adolescents. The Art and Wilderness Experience is sponsored by the Riekes Center for Human Enhancement, a Bay Area non­profit working with adolescents. If fonded, the Art and Wilderness Experience will be evaluated for its therapeutic effects, specifically, reawakening the senses, increasing sense of self sense of connectedness, sense of empowerment and creativity, in support of existing arguments that combining ecopsychological and art therapy principles increases healing potentials (Darwin, 1995; Dissanayke, 1988; Fording, 2001; Sweeney; 2002).

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