God Images: A Graphic Documentary

Graduation Date

Summer 2005

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


Lizbeth Martin, PhD

First Reader

Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Doris Arrington, EdD, ATR-BC


This research is based on a survey of 107 graphically represented images of God collected from a relatively diverse population of individuals in 3 shopping centers. This writer hypothesized the existence of commonalities and patterns of similarity between God images across genders, ages, preferred appellations or names of “God,” and religious affiliations. This hypothesis was based on the archetypal origin of all individual’s personal God images, and the universal quality of the image to access the unconscious. In fact, a number of common symbolic motifs were identified from the collection of images. In addition, patterns with regards to gender did emerge in relation to specific graphic elements in the collection of God images. Implications of this research for verbal and art therapists are discussed. Due to an inadequate sample size for the other demographics analyzed, results for these demographics are potentially less valid. Nevertheless, the overall diversity of God images documented by the results of this survey may reflect the diversity of religious and spiritual experiences and practices, as well as the diverse manifestations of the God image archetype in individual’s lives.

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