Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Raquel Stephenson


This paper addresses how art therapy methods can improve life quality, empowerment, and well-being for immigrant elders in the US. Participants were first generation immigrants aged 71-86 years old (birth years ranging from 1935 to 1950) who moved to the USA 20-30 years ago. Art groups were held weekly in one-hour long sessions. Data included observation notes of the participants throughout the sessions, a review and discussion of the participants’ art responses, as well as closing interviews. This thesis found art therapy can a) allow immigrant elders to engage with peers and communities, relieving social isolation and loneliness, b) support them in sharing their emotions symbolically without eliciting an extreme emotional response, c) offer a chance to review their lifespan and view their strengths and resilience, and d) provide an appropriate space to discuss life-death education. This thesis sheds light on the importance of art therapy in immigrant populations and offers recommendations for future research like this should be explored further in the future.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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