Despite the increasing use of art therapy over the past two decades, questions remain about its' effectiveness as a therapeutic tool. Art therapy is discussed as it relates to Symbolic Interactionist theories, Goffman's Impression Management theory, Silver's Cognitive approach, Oster and Gould's Group Treatment approach, and ALfred Adler's theory of art therapy. Empirical studies reviewed indicate that art therapy, in combination with psychoanalysis, is an effective means of enhancing an individual's psychological well-being, particularly those experiencing depress, psychosis, and low self-esteem. Since the effectiveness of art therapy is assumed but largely intested, a study is proposed that will determine the effectiveness of art therapy independent of the effect of psychoanalysis. It is recommended that future research in art therapy employ more rigorous experimental controls, including the use of pre- and post-test designs and the measurement of long-term effects, to assess the eficacy of art therapy.


Hurst, Charles


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150



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