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Second-Year Art Therapy Master’s Students’ Thesis & Final Projects

Published June 8, 2017

As the second-year FSU Art Therapy Master’s students prepare for the Summer 2017 Commencement Ceremony, one of their remaining academic requirements is to complete a Master’s Thesis or Project. To highlight some, described below is a brief overview of the focus and purpose of the thesis and final projects of students from the FSU Art Therapy program.


Rebecca Allen

“For my thesis, I conducted mindfulness-based art therapy groups with FSU medical students and masters students to determine the efficacy of art therapy in regards to stress reduction. I worked in conjunction with the FSU medical school to analyze the levels of cortisol, a biomarker of stress, in the participants before and after their art therapy experience. This research was conducted in the lab of Dr. Gregg Stanwood, Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Neuroscience. In addition, stress was also measured through participant perception of their stress, and their feedback of their experience in the 4-week mindfulness-based art therapy group.”

Final Projects


Altered Book

Altered book created by Brittany Osborn

Brittany Osborn

“My Master’s Project is a six-week workshop using the Group Narrative Art Therapy approach. The group consists of women who are survivors of domestic violence and they share their stories through altered books. The altered books are intended for the group to gain a better understanding of themselves and others.”


Mia Ulmer & April Fitzpatrick

“As advocates for social change and addressing the needs of underserved populations, we are interested in creating an intensive art therapy program for high risk youth that focuses on some of the key challenges encountered by this population. Vulnerable youth in the city of Apalachicola, FL, have limited access to social services and resources, and face issues like high levels of poverty, trauma, abuse, drugs, and parental incarceration. In an effort to address these and other concerns, the purpose of our project is to provide an expressive form of therapy and extracurricular activity for high risk youth to have an outlet to express themselves, strengthen their sense of self, improve their self-perception, and recognize that their future can be brighter than their present situation(s). For our project, we will be working with students in Apalachicola, FL, in grades K-4 from Project Impact’s ABC and CMC site. The students will be divided into small groups of 5-6 and will participate in 40 minute art therapy groups for 3 days a week over the course of 3 weeks. Due to the common themes experienced by these students, sessions will focus on aiding the students develop coping skills, manage anger, increase self-esteem and confidence, improve body image, and explore home issues that may impact their overall quality of life and sense of well-being.”


Example PPAT Assessment

Example PPAT Assessment

Franchesca Lastra Vicente

“The focus of my project will explore the effectiveness of the FEATS scale as it has been used in art therapy with the Person Picking an Apple from a Tree (PPAT) assessment. I will aid in the development of research generating questions concerning the effectiveness of the FEATS scale and how it has been used with the PPAT assessment. I will research the background history of the FEATS scale, and identify some of the strengths and weaknesses for this scale. Through this research I will also help identify whether the FEATS can be applicable to other groups and populations that have not already been considered. With this project I hope to accomplish a better understanding of how to use this assessment in my own art therapy practice, integrate myself among other art therapy professionals that conduct research, learn how to come up with research questions that could potentially be used for publication, understand the implications of using an assessment with different populations and learn about the process of creating an assessment tool. Ultimately I would like to complete this project to further my knowledge about art therapy assessments and be a part of something that could potentially benefit the wider professional world.”


Madisen Hansen

“My final project provides adolescents in an intensive outpatient program for substance abuse the opportunity to practice an art therapy based approach to the Japanese art of Kintsugi. My aim for this project is to improve the adolescents’ positive self regard and improved self image in effort to influence them to view themselves with increased positivity and self acceptance. I had a couple of reasons why I felt compelled to do such a project. My 2nd practicum of the program was at Turn About, Inc., a local nonprofit that provides mental health services to children, adolescents, and young adults in both school and on-site sessions. During my time at Turn About, I provided group art therapy sessions to the adolescents in the intensive outpatient program. I saw how many of them had poor self image and were negative and hypercritical of themselves, some to a very damaging extent. I also did some research and saw the correlation between substance use and self image, which is that someone with higher self image will be less likely to abuse substances, and less likely to go back to abusing substances if they increase their self image during treatment. For these reasons, I felt that going back to this site and providing such a project to this population may be beneficial to their overall progression in their treatment, and potentially later in life. I began my time at Turn About for my project on May 15th, have 6 of the 9 clients in IOP participating in my project, and am very excited to see how each client’s individual journey with Kintsugi turns out.”


Olivia Clear

“Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based practice which is used to treat trauma.  Although EMDR may be effective as a trauma treatment, art therapy may be able to address trauma on levels that EMDR cannot.  By combining EMDR and art therapy into a synthesized treatment, a trauma protocol that works with the client’s non-verbal memories and, later, verbal memories could be formed and both could be targeted during treatment.  I would like to experience EMDR training based on the work of Shaprio (2001) and draw from an extant art therapy trauma protocol by taking elements from the protocol of Brown (2010) and combining them with the work of Shapiro (2001) into a single protocol. This combination would involve the development of art directives for this protocol.  I would like to complete a heuristic experiential exploration of the new protocol on myself. This is something I am deeply interested in using in treatment post-training and as a potential source of future research.”


Jeanette Bullock

“For my final project this summer, my goal is to create a dialogue and understanding between disciplines.  I would like to bridge the gap between the Fine Arts community, particularly on college campuses, and the Art Therapy community. To do so I will be providing a brief overview of Art therapy and demonstrating a mock group for various college level Art classes, predominately at University of South Florida.”

Carla Clymo

“I am facilitating a community mosaic mural in Colorado through a local organization, FIRC, which aims to assist families in need with resources such as parenting and cooking classes and help for finding housing. A majority of these families are Mexican immigrants. As a result, the theme of the mosaic revolved around identity and cultural background. The first session consisted of introducing the project and tools and helping families brainstorm and visually represent ideas for the design. I reproduced the design on a larger scale on the wood panel. During the following sessions, I provided ceramic dishes and tiles as materials and participants learned to break them and shape them into smaller pieces using tools such as hammers and tile nippers. Toddlers, children, adolescents, mothers and fathers have all gathered for three weeks to work on the mural. Once the mural is finished, it will be exhibited in the FIRC office.”