Edinboro graduate art therapy students present final projects


Art Therapy

Students in Edinboro University School of Graduate Studies – studying in the Art Therapy program – will present their final projects this week as a requirement for graduation. All are welcome to attend.

“The Benefits of Art Therapy in Pet Bereavement”

By Jean Taras

Wednesday, Dec. 1 | 11 a.m. EST


My research project examines how losing a pet can be as devastating as losing a human loved one, the stigma attached to those grieving, and how attachment theory plays a part in the process. The project is a memorial piece that pet owners can personalize to keep as a remembrance, paying homage to their beloved pet.

“Art-Making for Families: A Foster Care Art Therapy Curriculum”

By Michaela L. Meeter

Wednesday, Dec. 1 | 1 p.m. EST


I decided to create an art therapy workbook to be utilized within the foster care system to help build and increase family attachment for youth and their families (both biological and/or foster), This curriculum was also intended to assist in the reduction of maladaptive behaviors and adverse effects of trauma that can limit healthy attachments if left unaddressed therapeutically. The curriculum includes both art therapy interventions for sessions, as well as take-home family art activities as methods to improve healthy attachments and decrease adverse effects of trauma and maladaptive behaviors.

“Addressing Sibling Needs Through Medical Art Therapy Interventions”

By Selena A. Sandruck

Wednesday, Dec. 1 | 5 p.m. EST


This paper provides insight into the need for art therapy with siblings of medically compromised patients. This population is overlooked when it comes to children with chronic illnesses and this population faces vicarious trauma and challenges with identifying formation and adjusting to a change in family dynamics due to loss or continuous sibling care within a hospital. This project explores these areas as well as the need to have education on common illnesses to apply within-session to educate those who are unknowing of their sibling's medical condition. 

“Art Therapy with Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth: Gender Affirming Considerations”

By Kaitlyn Rice-Folino

Thursday, Dec. 2 | 11 a.m. EST


This project proposes a gender affirming approach to art therapy with transgender and gender diverse youth. The research explores the history of erasure, discrimination, and stigmatization of the trans and gender diverse community in civil rights, medical, and mental health care. Furthermore, this paper examines the impact these issues have on the mental health and well-being of the transgender and gender diverse community. An 8-week art therapy program is proposed as a stepping-stone to gender affirming art therapy, addressing community needs.

“Group Art Therapy for Palliative Care”

By Cristina Longetti

Thursday, Dec. 2 | Noon EST


This project provides a curriculum for family and/or support members to create art together with their loved ones with a terminal illness in palliative care. The primary focus is to reminisce loving, fond memories shared together and to use those memories as inspiration in the art making process for their chosen intervention. 

“Art Therapy for Pain and Anxiety Management in Hospitalized Adolescents”

By Karen Bardavid

Thursday, Dec. 2 | 1 p.m. EST


This research project looks at the issues of anxiety and pain in hospitalized children and adults. It explores the impact that pain and anxiety have on the body, mind and spirit, the results of which may be a slower recovery and extended hospitalizations. The purpose of the research project was to develop a resource that could be used to assist children and adolescents in gaining coping skills for better self-regulation of their anxiety, and thereby reduce their pain and distress.


“Art Wellness: An Art Therapy Program for Healthy Adolescents”

By Nora Cottely LeBourgeois

Thursday, Dec. 2 | 2 p.m. EST


The AWA program has been developed for healthy adolescents. The program is offering the combination of art therapy, relaxation, visual journaling, and psychoeducation in a group setting which can contribute to adolescent stress management and identity development, and improvement of social skills.  The curriculum includes a ten-week long program designed to occur at multiple Hungarian Metropolitan Pedagogic Services (MPS) locations in Budapest. The program consists of ten 120 minutes group sessions held on consecutive weeks. The goal is to make the adolescents learn how to use art therapy as a self-care tool.

“Art Therapy Interventions for Bereaved Gifted Youth”

By Michele Ranelli

Thursday, Dec. 2 | 3 p.m. EST


This paper explores the needs of bereaved gifted and talented youth populations and provides insight to determine which art therapy interventions may be effective to support their needs during bereavement.

“The National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Grant Program: Art Unites Project – Bringing Grove City and George Junior Republic together Through Creative Placemaking”

By Glen Sanders

Thursday, Dec. 2 | 4 p.m. EST


The National Endowment for the Arts has provided and promoted the Our Town Creative Placemaking Grant Program to lay the groundwork for systems changes that sustain integration of arts, design, and cultural activities into local strategies to strengthen communities (NAEA2021). George Junior Republic is a residential treatment center located in Grove City, Pennsylvania. It has an art program that has collaborated with various partners throughout the Grove City community. Outside of art projects, George Junior Republic and Grove City have functioned independently for over a century. It is time to partner together and bring a better quality of life to the people that live and work in both communities.

This unique opportunity of partnering with the local government of Grove City and a residential treatment center through the sustainable integration of art, culture, and design is exactly what the Our Town Program was designed for. The collaboration of local government, George Junior Republic's services, and community working together allows system changes to happen through the arts.

“The Integration and Application of Art Therapy in K-12 School Counseling Programs and the Relationship to the ASCA National Model”

By Angela Kambic

Thursday, Dec. 2 | 5:30 p.m. EST


This paper and project provide the rationale for an integrated art therapy program in k-12 schools, school counseling, and provides examples.  This paper and project explores the needs, challenges, and perceptions of school counselors such as high caseloads, increased demands, professional development, and professional identity. It highlights the postive impacts of an integrated art therapy program such as student outcomes, school climate, culture, and professional development.  It explores professional identity, the occupational outlook of art therapy in schools, and challenges art therapists experience in educational settings.  This paper examines previous research which explored the interdisciplinary relationship between art therapy and the American School Counselor (ASCA) National Model.  This paper affirms art therapy is applicable to a variety of brief-counseling approaches utilized by school counselors and art therapy is a natural fit for a robust school counseling program.  The project is a website/ toolkit for integrating and applying art therapy in schools.  

“Art as Therapy and Childcare”

By Loren Sykes 

Friday, Dec. 3 | 5 p.m.


The purpose of this project was to create an art as therapy resource to support appropriate emotional and behavioral development in preschool students. By using an art as therapy resource, children can explore and learn how to handle their emotions and behaviors through sensory integration and emotional regulation practices. Having the opportunities to talk about and express one’s emotions early on in a daycare setting can lead to better social emotional skills that can help in calming oneself down, problem solve and build better relationships. These are the skills that the child can carry on throughout their lives.

“Visual Journaling: A School Art Therapist’s Resource in Middle School Social and Emotional Learning”

 By Lydia Shively

Saturday, Dec. 4 | 10:00 a.m.


Mental health among adolescents has been an increasing concern. Social and emotional learning (SEL) programs are gradually becoming more prevalent in schools to help combat mental health challenges youth face. Providing regular SEL sessions in the form of art therapy visual journaling groups to middle school students could provide multiple benefits. I have created a 9-week art therapy visual journaling curriculum for middle school-aged students including a variety of media and important topics.

“Development of a Postcard Exchange Art Therapy Program: Improving the Emotional Wellbeing and Hospitalization Experience for Pediatric Patients”

By Lauren Chapman

Saturday, Dec. 4 | 11:00 a.m.


A postcard exchange art therapy program was developed to improve the emotional wellbeing and hospitalization experience for pediatric patients. The literature was reviewed to explore the central themes of the pediatric patient hospitalization experience; art therapy within the medical setting; positive psychology and positive art therapy; and mail art, art exchange, and connectivity. The research suggests a growing need to continue to find effective ways to provide additional emotional support to children in these difficult circumstances. Through a positive psychology and positive art therapy framework that focuses on strengths and positive functioning, the development of a postcard exchange art therapy program fostered five components of wellbeing. These components of wellbeing informed the art therapy curriculum and included positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment. By developing program resources that combine these aspects, art therapists may offer additional support to enhance holistic wellness and the hospitalization experience for pediatric patients.  

“Males Trafficked into Sexual Exploitation: An Art Therapy Directive”

By Jessica Cabrera

Saturday, Dec. 4 | 1 p.m.


Males who are victims of sex trafficking are hesitant in reporting the traumatic event. The purpose of the project is to focus on enabling them to express and share their traumatic experience. The curriculum was created for art therapists to provide support and healing for males who have overcome sex trafficking.

“Using Water in an Art Therapy Curriculum to Heal from Trauma”

By Paula Jo Lynch

Saturday, Dec. 4 | 3 p.m.


This paper was written to support the creation of a curriculum designed to assist in releasing and processing trauma with fluid materials and water as media.