Date of Award

Spring April 2015

Access Restriction

Research Projects

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Marital and Family Therapy

School or College

College of Communication and Fine Arts

First Advisor

Anthony Bodlovic

Second Advisor

Debra Linesch


The purpose of this study is to examine the attitudes and beliefs of art therapists towards Evidence-Based Practices (EBP). EBP is a rising trend in healthcare that refers to the process of using empirically validated research to make clinical decisions that best meet the needs of each client (Patterson, Miller, Carnes & Wilson, 2004).The investigators used a mixed methods approach to the research topic. Part A consists of a survey distributed to graduates of the Department of Marital and Family Therapy (MFT) at Loyola Marymount University (LMU). In addition to answering questions, survey participants were asked to create an art response depicting their perspective on the relationship between art therapy and EBP. In the second phase (Part B), the researchers used an arts-based methodology to further explore the findings from Part A. Part B involved the creation of key idea cards pulled from the literature review and the findings, individual art responses by each investigator, and verbal and written analyses of the content and process. The idea that art therapists are already integrating EBP and art therapy in their practices emerged as the major finding of the research. This realization that clinicians are already at the intersection of EBP and art therapy was a contrast to the cautious divided attitudes that were discovered in the literature review. Further research could not only strengthen the evidence base of art therapy, but also illuminate how exactly therapists have managed to bridge the gap between EBP and art therapy.