Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


Art Education

Committee Chair

Terese Giobbia

Committee Co-Chair

Alison Helm

Committee Member

Joseph Lupo


Now more than ever American adolescents are suffering from severe anxiety (Lewis, 2017). In the past, over-achieving students were those parents least worried about when it came to experiencing anxiety but now studies show these students are just as likely to experience anxiety as those learners considered to be underachievers. The purpose of this paper is to inform the reader how art therapy approaches embedded into daily lesson plans could be used in alternative learning school settings to help students deal with anxiety. Through my own experiences as a practicing art teacher in both general education art classrooms and alternative learning school settings, this paper explores how using specific art therapy approaches may help students deal with some of the social stressors they face every day in these classrooms. While more research is needed to identify lessons that will engage students in creating meaningful and purposeful art, which will help to reduce stress among this group, this paper is a starting point to help students deal with their stress caused by many outside factors from family and social life to feelings of failure and inadequacy.