Combining Art Therapy and Ecopsychology: An Art and Wilderness Experience
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
Degree Granting Institution
Notre Dame de Namur University
Lizbeth Martin, PhD
Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC
Carolee Stabno, PsyD, MFT
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).