Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. William Charland

Second Advisor

Christina Chin, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Adriane Little, M.F.A.


therapeutic tool, art, art therapy, art class, therapy

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This thesis will explore art education as a therapeutic tool in a public education system. This topic will serve as a continuation of research that I conducted previously but will bring more focus upon bringing a certified art therapist into public school districts in West Virginia. Data will be collected through student surveys, interviews of professional art therapists, and administrative officials. Data will also be collected through a review of the literature surrounding the benefits of art therapy to children and adolescents. Through these sources I will explore the attitudes, beliefs, and practices of educational professionals, art therapists, administrators and other school officials, and their thoughts and feelings toward incorporating art therapy into the K-12 art curriculum. Further areas of exploration in this thesis will include: a historical review of art as a therapeutic tool; a review of the benefits of art therapy; a review of the use of art therapy techniques with K-12 students; the effect on students of art therapy techniques in the classroom; a discussion of educators’, therapists’, and administrators’ thoughts on implementing art therapy in the public education system.