Date of Award

Spring May 2012

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


The research objective of this qualitative case study was to explore how art interventions could be useful to teach at-risk adolescents how to identify with and develop, personal strengths and resilient qualities. The subjects in this study were receiving treatment in an outpatient mental health clinic for a variety of diagnoses and participated in a ten-week resiliency building art- therapy group. During the weekly sessions participants followed a specific protocol including psycho-education, art therapy interventions and processing of the art products. The art interventions were based on the literature and designed to develop personal strengths, self- reliance, self-discovery and communication, problem solving, flexibility, compassion and empathy, future planning and teamwork. The results indicate that at-risk adolescents are able to identify, discuss and develop solutions to their challenges using the art interventions and psycho- education and that the group art-therapy modality provides a unique tool to accelerate positive outcomes and resilience in an outpatient mental health setting.