Date of Award

Spring April 2013

Access Restriction

Campus Access only Research Projects

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Marital and Family Therapy

School or College

College of Communication and Fine Arts

First Advisor

Debra Linesch


This paper is an exploration of how art therapy informed by studio practices plays a role in addressing the challenges of immigration and acculturation, specifically looking at women from Latin America. This also investigates the mental health needs of immigrant Latina women particularly struggling with acculturation. The seven women participants were selected from Dolores Mission Parish in Los Angeles, California. The women created art on two Saturdays in response to the directive presented by the researcher, involving the exploration of their individual journey and experience of immigration and acculturation. The art was studied in a qualitative method with a presentation of the art, the analysis and the findings. The art demonstrates that the creative process can create a sense of community, a feeling of empowerment, and act as a catharsis, or “desahogo”, in relieving psychological distress from the acculturation process.