Date of Award

Summer 8-31-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Lee Ann Thill


This community engagement thesis examines the use of group art therapy to encourage empowerment, collaboration, and peer relations with students in grades 6-12, with and without intellectual disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A literature review was done, examining current theories on empowerment, school-based art therapy, inclusion, and display of art, thus aiding in the formulation of the group purpose. After the 6-week program, completed artwork was showcased in a community wide art show at a local candy store that employs individuals with intellectual disabilities. Using group art therapy and community engagement, participants were able to create relationships, practice social skills, increase confidence and encourage both participants and the community to include and interact with one another.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
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