The Master of Arts in Art Therapy program balances the sensibilities and insights of the artist with the skills and training of the clinician. Both clinical and aesthetic understanding play a key role in assisting clients in gaining new insights or reaching higher levels of functioning through the art-making process. Whether in a psychiatric hospital, therapeutic school, residential facility or medical center, the role of the art therapist is to facilitate and nurture a creative engagement with art that is constructive and growth enhancing.

The curriculum combines learning experiences in the classroom, studio, and clinic to prepare graduates for work in a wide range of settings with a variety of clients. In addition to registered art therapists, the faculty includes experts from the fields of fine art, psychiatry, psychology, and counseling. While at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, students combine theoretical and experiential learning in the classrooms and studios with practical application of this learning in their fieldsite placements. The master's thesis is a natural extension of this learning and provides students with the opportunity to research, develop, and document their ideas in a formal, scholarly format.

Each year, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago celebrates the culmination and closure of students' studies at the masters level. In studio areas, the celebration takes place in the form of the thesis exhibitions, while the academic areas complement this with the thesis abstracts publication. This thesis abstract collection gathers and showcases thesis research undertaken in six programs: Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Policy; Master of Arts in Art Education; Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History; Master of Arts in Art Therapy; Master of Arts in Teaching; and Master of Science in Historic Preservation.


2013 Thesis Abstracts

Beatriz Alarcon
Treasuring : a process to facilitate termination

Cate Barrington-Ward
Group art therapy in a short-term psychiatric inpatient setting

Veronica Precious Bohanan
My Kind/a Ar(T)herapy = trauma-informed + culturally competent + integrated arts + positive youth development

Hayley J Brooks
Transforming space : cultivating agency through mural making in a community-based mental healthcare setting

Philip Griffin Cameron
Art-based strategies for visual rehabilitation using visual-to-auditory sensory substitution devices

Sofia Daneshyar
Working with the other : an art therapy intern's use of response art to gain insight

Caroline Even
Making time for culture change : art therapy as method for cultivating lived time in dementia care

Yesenia Fernandez Farr
Using animation with children in art therapy to improve self-expression and address individual social-emotional goals

Elissa R. Heckendorf
Strategies for developing programs for the arts, health & well-being across the military continuum

Hari Jang
Beyond language : communication and connection through puppetry for people with intellectual disabilities and verbal impairment

Samantha Kanelstein
A heuristic, art-based investigation of the benefits, challenges, and applicability of stone carving within art therapy

Jessica Miyu Magyar
Promoting meaningful experiences with art : a survey on art therapy in art museums

Lyndsie Jo Marsh
Storytelling and art therapy : an exploration of native American identity

Laura Anne Maruzzella
Art therapy programming for siblings of pediatric oncology patients : strategies for developing a grant proposal

Chantel R. Mcahren
Superheroes, hotdogs & presents : creating storybooks with children as an expression of their lives

Erika F. Molina
Installation art therapy : the development of an interactive art exhibition to foster adolescent expression

Johannil Napoleó?n
[Wo]mannequins : African American adolescent female survivors of sexual trauma re-discovering the body

Seyeon Jeanne Jung-Eun Park
The development of multi-sensory stimulus pictures (MSSP) application for tablets

Jeannette Rebecca Ehlert Perkal
Finding home in a body : disability justice and radical lessons for art therapy practice

Faren Jane Peterson
Storytelling in school : the introduction of an art based assessment

Jordan Lynn Pigott
Fragile feathers : containing and honoring client stories of trauma through response art

Chance Ramirez
Queer connections : the role of art in LGBTQ communities

Emily R. Segal
The open art studio as a tool to increase professional quality of life among direct support professional at an in-patient psychiatric hospital

Lindsay A. Sherman
Reconciliation : the art practice of the art therapist


2012 Thesis Abstracts

April Grace Abesamis
Woodcarving as an art therapy treatment for the cognitive and emotional symptoms of sports-related mild traumatic Brain Injury : a preliminary proposal for an empirical research study

Avery Blair-Wilson
Finding strength through shared stories : an autoethnographic exploration of vicarious resilience

Amy L. Cavazos
Resonance in relationship : an art-based inquiry of cultivating compassion through the ceramic process to support therapeutic work with people who have experienced trauma

Michelle Ettlinger
After the storm : a graphic novel of neurology, trauma, and art therapy

Katrina Ann Funk
Becoming visible, becoming brave : broadening the realm of art therapy practice

Joyce Garside
Art therapists' attitudes toward persons with obesity

GraceAnn Elizabeth Goll
Regaining humanity : an art therapy perspective on current disaster relief work as informed by the Holocaust experience in Terezin

Jae Hoon Kim
Acculturation : a container to understand clients

Charlotte Kimlick
Marks of identity : body art expression in art therapy with adolescent boys in residential treatment

Erendira Lopez
An investigation into the creative process/ artistic creativity

Emily L. MacArthur
Common threads : a case study of a hospice patient with dementia

Cass Magiera
Un-defining art therapy

Katherine A. Pfeiffer
Art therapy as anxiety reduction in pediatric patients preparing for surgery : descriptive report on designing an empirical art therapy research protocol

Rafaella Rosen
Tree of life : creating Jewish-centered interventions to increase self-expression and emotional exploration in young children

Hannah R. Shinozaki
Theatre as a therapeutic tool : utilizing an integrated arts approach to help adults with developmental disabilities build interpersonal skills


2011 Thesis Abstracts

Amy Kathleen Cronk
Creating visibility from invisibility : coping with the diagnosis of a chronic illness through book alteration

Theresa Reardon Dewey
Dollmaking with individuals who have advanced stage dementia : finding the person inside

Mónica B. Guzmán
Art and reconstruction : community-based art therapy as a response to natural disasters

Rachel J. Harrison
Creating community : art therapy with adolescents

Katharine Joy Houpt
She saw something different : using art therapy to build intergenerational relationships

Anikka A. Knick
Reading between the illustrations : writing and illustrating a picture book as a form of response art

Ling Cheun Bianca Lee
Mediating the cultural boundaries : a heuristic study of Chinese immigrants in artistic collaboration

Alisha Monypenny
Remnants : contemplating suicide survivorship through action, word, and image

Sangeetha Ravichandran
Examining empowerment with survivors of domestic violence in India : an intersectional analysis

Callie Rimmel
Community-based art therapy : art therapist as project manager

Emerald Smith
Hopes and dreams for the future : art therapy with adults living in permanent supportive housing

Jovana Irene Torres
Collaboration of music and art in hospice : a personal narrative on bringing music into art therapy


2010 Thesis Abstracts

Michal Angel
Trauma Enactment: A Link to Thinking of the Liminal Space in Art Therapy

Jackie L. Bousek
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes : revisiting art with adolescents

Rachel Elizabeth Brown
Deconstructing art therapy : seeking and discovering balance through lost polarities

Amy J. Burkholder
Empathic design : a collaboration between design students from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and outpatients from a rehabilitation facility in Chicago

Rawhide Rhie Cruz
Healing through clay : molding a new life

Danielle Eichner
Video diaries, adolescents with cancer, and social connections : a theoretical model

Rae C Fleagle
Examining the Functions and Interactions of Verbal and Nonverbal Languages in Art Therapy at a Multilingual Community Center

Richard Flynn
Story : tales from the art of critically ill children

Leah R. Gipson
Shoes as therapy : an art-based approach to trauma recovery with adult women survivors of sexual abuse and sexual assault

Anna Jo Gosses
A narrative approach to art therapy supervision : storytelling as artistic inquiry

Lindsey Buccina Hurrle
Integrating art therapy into an animal-assisted therapy program for adolescents

Lucy A. Jahns
Creating space : making art together to support non-clinical staff and build community at a residential therapeutic center for children

Iu-Luen Jeng
Create Your Own Identity: Photographic Self-portraiture Workshop with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth and Straight Allies

Katharine M. Kiehn
Second chance : an art therapy group using recycled materials as metaphor for transforming personal narratives

Juhee Kim
Action-first approach with Asian immigrants and refugees with mental illness

Sarah M. L'Heureux-Bel
Visual voice project : a social action pilot, involving a cross-cultural art exchange between U.S. and Haitian youth

Eileen A. McKee
Is a picture worth a thousand words? Illustrating the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders and exploring communication between mental health professionals

Erin Owens
Art Therapy Student Interns on the Impact of Response Art and Site Supervision

Robin Sheldon
Working from scribbles : giving form to response drawings made during group facilitation

Jiwon Shin
The effectiveness of art therapy with pregnant women

Jae Eun Song
Exploring the Possibilities: Defining Socially Responsible Art Therapy through the Process of Developing an Art Making Workshop in an Inner-City Neighborhood

Kristina E Vogt
Relationships and Resiliency: Art Therapy with Teen Mothers in Home-based Care

Aleksandra Weldon-Linne
The Use of Art Therapy to Strengthen Coping Skills of Refugee Adolescents and their Families: A Method for Negotiating the Process of Acculturation


2009 Thesis Abstracts

Lisa M. D'Innocenzo
Lighting a candle, cursing the darkness : integrating art making and Jewish mourning rituals in the aftermath of pregnancy loss

Shannon N. Kavanagh
Rendering visibility : art therapy and queer theory

Margaret T. Kaounis
By land and by sea : an art therapy intern's exploration of past and present experience through art making

Gina M. Portelli
Gender queer cabaret : how drag performance can be used as a therapeutic tool for social change

Elizabeth Ivy Enterkin
Making room to heal : the collaborative creation of an art therapy program for and with women who have experienced homelessness

Andrea G. Koch
Moving images : video in art therapy with children in residential treatment

Liz Aldag
Crying is okay here : supporting the siblings of children with special needs through group art therapy

Brian R. Rath
From conflict toward an eclectic education : an evaluation of art therapy graduate education

Crystal Smedley
Cognitive art therapy : exploring negative thoughts through image making


2008 Thesis Abstracts

Veronica Isabel Nava
Art therapy and the Latino culture : the shortage of bilingual therapists and its implications on the mental health community and Latinos

Cristiane Mohallem
Brief play and art therapy at in-patient units : helping physically ill patients to cope with emotional and psychological conflicts

Tingting Zhang
Community art therapy as a means of stigma reduction

Christine (Ling) Olaes
Cooking as art therapy with older adults : memories, metaphors, and meanings in the kitchen

Jaimie Peterson
Diner drawings : family, art, veterans, art therapy, coffee, and the Vietnam War

Michelle Kendrick
The impact of creation : an exploration of the value of commerce in the therapeutic "DIY" experience

M. Seeley Cardone
Visual narratives and art therapy : the comic format in adolescent substance abuse treatment


2007 Thesis Abstracts

Sara Bennett-Steele
Altering the environment on an Alzheimer's Special Care Unit : the creation of multi-sensory interactive art installations

Kolleen M. Bentivegna
Gardening the inner landscape : using natural materials and their associated metaphors with homeless and formerly homeless women through individual green house construction

Robert E. Caswell
Creativity + community mental health + art therapy : how we got together and started an art therapy program

Eunhye Chung
The empathic body : cultivating empathy through body awareness practice and art therapy for people with Schizophrenia

Seema Prakash Dhond
Personal narratives : art therapy with sexually abused children

Madelene B. Griffin
Art therapy and the outdoors : in search of a framework for practice

Rebecca Israilevich
The experience of finding my self : the heuristic study of a graduate art therapy student

Maria Lewis
Art therapy and the hospital environment : an ecological perspective

Julie M. Ludwick
Therapeutic riding and art therapy : working with children with special needs

Joseph J. McGrath
Exploring the characters within : the benefits of utilizing metaphor in art making with at-risk youth from a residential facility

Michael Ryan Noble
Don Seiden and the immaterial medium : the relational philosophy of the founder of the Masters of Art Therapy program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Laura Reed
An investigation of the experience of flow in art making for adults with mental illness

Ashley T. Samson
Healing the bleeding heart : Treating self-injury with art therapy

Tori Tinsley
Young refugee females in an art therapy after-school program : stories of transition

Andrea Ines Velazquez Dorgan
Promoting emotional intelligence through art therapy in a population of Latina adolescent mothers

Maia Marie Wheeler
Combining art therapy and Tomatis Listening therapy program : complementary treatment of Autism in school-aged children

Holly M. Wherry
An intern's perspective on international art therapy : a critical examination of the globalization of art therapy

Meg Wolf
Transforming memories : using clothing to create art in a bereavement workshop

Jave Gakumei Yoshimoto
Constructive destruction as art therapy : explaining the therapeutic benefits of breaking shit (objects)


2006 Thesis Abstracts

Kolleen Bentivegna
Gardening the inner landscape : using natural materials and their associated metaphors with homeless and formerly homeless women through individual green house construction

Cheeyon Cha
How does creativity promote mental health through art therapy

Alexandrea Clark
Something borrowed, something learned : how relational qualities of mentoring can inform the work of art therapists

Clair Daney
Art therapy and the dream : metaphors in motion

Holly A. DeRosa
Autism and affect recognition : connecting faces and feelings with art therapy

Zabrina Diaz
A cognitive-behavioral art therapy program proposal for the type-specific treatment of incarcerated adult male sex offenders

Mary Harrison
Help the medicine go down : art therapy with medically nonadherent adolescents

Jill Johnson-Brown
An art therapist's book of living and dying : a heuristic exploration of hospice experience

Carol Messing
Art therapy with children who mourn : the effectiveness of kinesthetic warm-up exercises in facilitating children's grief expression

Alyssa L. Millard
Art and environment as a means to transform the lives of bed-fast and chair-fast elders : mobilizing the immobile

Vickie Morgan
Therapeutic alliance, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and the role of art making : relationship as media and monument

Veronica Isabel Nava
Art therapy and the Latino culture : the shortage of bilingual therapists and its implications on the mental health community and Latinos

Jennifer Radil
Enhancing connection among art therapy students : a mail art exchange

Erin Redmond
Integration of spirituality and art therapy practice : examining therapists' avoidance and perceptions of obstacles

Mary Elizabeth Usdrowski
Hope and art therapy : working in Chicago public schools

Amy Voytilla
Flow states during art making


See also: 2004–05 Thesis Abstracts