Date of Award


Access Restriction

Research Projects

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Marital and Family Therapy

School or College

College of Communication and Fine Arts

First Advisor

Joy Yip Green


Empathy within law enforcement has not been examined in the art therapy literature. This qualitative study provides insight into how empathy is perceived and experienced by retired law enforcement officers in San Diego, CA. Fourteen participants responded to a brief questionnaire, created an art piece and a written response about how empathy is experienced within law enforcement. The results illuminated common themes within the art and written responses including interactions, witnessing of a traumatic situation, intersection of roles within law enforcement, understanding of feelings, and communication. Future research in this area is recommended to also include current officers as well as retired law enforcement officers in order to attain a broader scope of data.