Building Resiliency: Art therapy as a treatment for a child with suicidal ideation

by Nicole Gabrielle LeBihan

This thesis explores how art therapy functions as a valuable treatment for childhood suicide. A retrospective case study of a nine-year old boy is presented using a hermeneutic phenomenological framework to analyze the data. The themes that emerge in the case study are integrated with art therapy theory and current guidelines for intervention in childhood suicide. The research demonstrates how the art therapy functions in two ways. The art therapy provides valuable insight into understanding the client's motivation for suicide and it strengthens the client's resilience by increasing protective factors.