Thesis Title

Defining Self Through Symbol: A Psychological Analysis of the Cinderella Fairy Tale

Graduation Date

Summer 2003

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

Carolee Stabno, PsyD, MFT


This historical research paper focuses on the metaphoric material in the Cinderella fairytale as a representation of the individuation process which parallels the symbolic work of art therapy.

Both art therapy and fairy tales utilize imagery, the language of the unconscious, to integrate the unconscious with the conscious, the ultimate goal of psychological maturation.

Through a synthesis of Jungian theory and Object Relations theory, the fairytale will be analyzed in an effort to bridge collective symbolic material to individual understanding and maturation, the purpose and value of art therapy.

This study adds to the field of art therapy, the relevance of symbolic work as a means to achieve self-realization.