School of Communication and the Arts


Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design (MFA)


Diane Xu


Art Therapy, adolescents, anxiety, depression


Art and Design


The most inescapable part of the human condition is aging. One of the most challenging periods of growth involves the transformation of a person from a child into an adult. Every human being descended from Adam and Eve, has had to pass through the crucible known as adolescence. While some seem to thrive during this period of life, others can have an extremely difficult and overwhelming experience. Inaccurate self-image, peer pressure, lack of acceptance, confusion, awkwardness, bullying, perceived lack of agency, high sensitivity, and high expectations are all stress factors that consistently plague this age group to the point of feeling anxiety and depression. In our modern world. The around-the-world reach of technology can be both a blessing and a curse. Teens can now be influenced by individuals with no in person accountability. Mistakes that might have only been known locally before, can now be published globally. This can create a magnified world of failure from which teens feel they cannot escape. Some teens turn to self-destructive activities for relief, while others give up altogether. Art is a unique opportunity for adolescents to create and find relief from stress. Adolescents can be strengthened and renewed by the emotional, physical, and spiritual benefits of art. For the Christian adolescent, art can be an amazing opportunity to experience a unique connection to God. The realization that they were made in the image of their Creator, helps them know who they are.