Thesis Title

The Triple Spiral at Newgrange: Historical Research of its Signifigance and Implications for Art Therapy

Graduation Date

Spring 2011

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


Lisa Bjerknes, MD, MBA

First Reader

Laury Rappaport, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC


The Irish are a people of symbols. This work of historical research sought to answer the following questions: 1). What is the significance and meaning of the image of the triple spiral at Newgrange and 2). What are the implications of the meaning of the triple spiral for art therapy? Research showed the significance of the triple spiral to the Irish people and of the symbol to psychology and Art Therapy. The triple spiral is a symbol of both death and rebirth within the Irish culture. Further study is needed to understand and utilize the symbol in psychology and Art Therapy.