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

Paige Asawa


In this study, 5 women with co-occurring DSM-IV-TR diagnoses in a residential treatment center for homeless veterans and their families received group mindfulness oriented art therapy during an 8-week intervention. Two of the participants were utilized in this case study research to explore how a mindfulness can be implemented in group art therapy and what impact this may have for the female veterans. The study included a qualitative analysis of the veteran’s artwork and the participants’ account of their own behavior. The findings revealed that participants used the art process to express a developing awareness of avoidance and denial often associated with both substance abuse and PTSD. The participants’ artwork and self-reports indicated enhanced flexibility in focus of attention, self-awareness, and self-regulation. The study demonstrated the potential of mindfulness oriented art therapy for enhancing healthy coping strategies.