Date of Award

Spring 2020

Access Restriction

Research Projects

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Marital and Family Therapy

School or College

College of Communication and Fine Arts

First Advisor

Jessica Bianchi


This research study is aimed at evaluating the artwork created by a woman who has experienced the trauma of domestic violence. A qualitative research approach was used to capture the phenomenological outcomes in the art created during art therapy sessions using the theoretical lens of narrative therapy to analyze the art. For this study the subject was a young woman from Central America who had come into therapy per court mandate to address the issues of domestic violence at a community-based mental health center where the researcher was conducting her second- year practicum. The data (art) was gathered after each art therapy session. Five sessions in total were conducted where the subject was given various art making directives. The subject created six total pieces of artwork during the five sessions. The researcher then analyzed the artwork created by the subject using a phenomenological approach while looking for common themes found in the artwork using a narrative therapy lens with which to view the artwork. Many themes uncovered in the artwork were parallel to narrative therapy theory such as resilience and empowerment and held the possibility of assisting the subject who experienced domestic violence in finding new outcomes.