Date of Award

Spring May 2011

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


This research is a qualitative case study of a client in art therapy treatment with a history addiction and complex trauma symptoms. The study explores the clients artwork and themes emerge in the analysis process that include splitting, diminutive figures, preoccupation with death, abuse and violence. The study explores the client’s dissociative thinking and self-injurious behaviors, within the context of cultural stigmas attached to being labeled an addict. The findings suggest that art therapy treatment can address the client’s addiction while providing a space to explore early childhood and adolescent traumatic experiences.