Thesis Title

A Historical Survey of the Angel Archetype: Convergence of Psychology, Art Therapy and Soul

Graduation Date

Fall 1999

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


Elaine L. Cohen, EdD

First Reader

Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Roseanne Murphy, SND, PhD


This thesis presents a historical review of the archetype of the angel, with specific focus on the symbol in the Western world during the last 4,000 years. The recent and historical popularity of the angel suggests that humankind requires the angel’s messages of love, guidance, healing, change and protection. The angel is an ancient and powerful symbol that holds personal and collective meaning for all individuals and whose meaning and purpose is relevant to the fields of psychology and art therapy. The angel is also a symbol with significant links to the soul. Knowledge of the relationship between the angel and the soul allows one to understand the plane on which the angel symbol, soul, psychology and art therapy converge. Attending to the symbol through the use of art therapy may provide a link to these messages and a link to caring for one’s soul. Data sources include angelology, mythology, theology, psychology and history.