Dissertation Title:

Warrior/Shaman: Creative Praxis for Conflict Transformation


Cherlyn Heather Tee Jones

Date, Time & Place:

August 19, 2015 at 5:30 pm
Studio, Lambert Road campus


The purpose of this artistic self-case study is to explore how the role of the soldier might be transformed from service in war to service for community, via creative exploration of the archetypal figures, Warrior and Shaman. With this in mind, a creative and introspective method was tested for its efficacy in generating new images and stories to promote conflict transformation for our warrior class.

The strategy of inquiry employed is based on the case study model, modified to be a self-case study. Creation-based data was generated by the researcher to evoke intersubjective dialogue between academically rational and creatively non-rational data and processes in this research. In lieu of the traditional written chapters which comprise the body of a dissertation, “creative chapters” in the form of mixed media pictorial representations are presented. Data analysis was conducted using Abt’s (2005) articulation of Jungian picture interpretation, in order to discern meaning from each creative chapter—the titles of which served as a query for topics related to the research question.

A liberation paradigm was then utilized as a critical point of departure, to guide the issues examined (healing and community roles for our warrior class); the people for whom the study is relevant (the warrior class and practitioners working with them); the researcher’s role in the study (up front/personal; grounded in experience); and, how the research was presented in its final form (written text with supporting pictorial data; conclusions drawn from creative interpretation).

The combined chapter interpretations were reviewed and analyzed in the conclusive chapter for their implications in community praxis with returning soldiers and veterans. They revealed consistent themes of imbalanced masculine and feminine energies, and the need for development of an introspective, Shamanic aptitude by our Warriors in order for them to continue their duty of protection and care of their local communities.

Recommendations are then made for adapting this research model in community work with soldiers and veterans, along with suggestions for building greater levels of reliability, validity and generalizability into creative qualitative research.


*Please note: All defense attendees must shuttle to campus from the Best Western in Carpinteria. There is no public parking on campus*

  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology, Track K,
  • Chair: Dr. Alan Kilpatrick
  • Reader: Dr. Maurice Stevens
  • External Reader: Dr. Keiran McEvoy
  • Keywords: Warrior, Shaman, Trauma, Conflict Transformation, Resilient Communities, Jungian, Phronesis, Counterinsurgency, Initiation, Creative