Reconstructing: The Benefits and Challenges of Integrating a Bi-weekly Art Therapy Program Into an Alternative Education Setting With Youth at Risk

by Zoe Armstrong

This thesis will explore the question: What are benefits and challenges of integrating a bi-weekly art therapy program into an alternative education setting with youth at risk? The researcher designed and facilitated an art therapy program where one had never existed. The researcher was interested in discovering how beneficial a program like this would be for youth at risk. As they face more barriers while negotiating this challenging period of adolescence. The researcher was also curious as to whether offering an art therapy program twice a week rather than once a week would be more beneficial. Using a qualitative research approach that combined action research and phenomenological inquiry, this thesis presents the growth of an art therapy group and how it became an integral part of an alternative education program. My hope is that this research will inspire educators to see the value of art therapy and use this thesis as a resource for when they implement a similar art therapy program in their own school.