Dissertation Oral Defenses


Candidate: Ryan Robert Adamczyk Date: June 7, 2018 Time: 11:30 am

This theoretical hermeneutic study engages a Jungian psychological perspective to explore the experience of physical disability within the American cultural context. The ideal of bodily perfection within this cultural context and the resulting psycho-social impact on individuals with physical disability is discussed. It is argued this impact undermines personal validity and generates a perceived failure…


Candidate: Teresa Jeannette Rodriguez Date: June 6, 2018 Time: 1:30 pm

This somatic, depth psychological, intuitive inquiry explores the transformative and healing effects of the process of remembrance of blood ancestors in body, heart and mind as the Maya, the researcher’s paternal ancestors, understand na’b’al, blood memory, and the way ancestors are brought into present, living relationship through remembrance of ancestral story, culture, and ceremony. This…


Candidate: Debbie A. Holderle Date: June 2, 2018 Time: 12:45 pm

The phenomenon of hearing voices has been associated primarily with schizophrenia in Western cultures. Although auditory verbal hallucinations are considered debilitating symptoms of a mental illness, they appear to deserve serious attention only when they pose a threat to self or others. When not a threat, no one pays real attention except the individual living…


Candidate: Brandon Michael Chasse Date: May 7, 2018 Time: 10:00 am

Self-regulation is considered one of the most important operations of the human self and is correlated with multiple variables. The objective of this quantitative study was to explore the relationship between one’s capacity to generate vivid visual mental images and one’s capacity for both behavioral and physiological self-regulation. 53 participants completed three assessments for this…


Candidate: Brandon D. Short Date: May 4, 2018 Time: 10:00 am

Cartesian dualism is analyzed as a psychological image, instead of as a philosophical proposition. This is done by first arguing that elements of existing commentary are indicative of a psychological complex, acting unconsciously, in contemporary academic communities. As a hermeneutic study, these elements are then further interpreted through a Jungian lens, specifically cultural complex theory.…


Candidate: Vanya Stier-Van Essen Date: April 26, 2018 Time: 2:30 pm

The image of Eve leaning toward the serpent and reaching for the forbidden fruit lives at the heart of the predominant creation myth of the Western world and still reverberates in its psyche. At the same time, a singular and literal interpretation of Eve has dominated cultural discourse and psychological life: Eve is understood as…


Candidate: Jonathan Erickson Date: April 25, 2018 Time: 1:30 pm

This research explores the phenomenon of imagination through a hermeneutic integration of both humanistic and neuroscientific perspectives. Imagination is first looked at historically, philosophically and depth psychologically as understandings of the topic have developed throughout Western civilization, beginning in Ancient Greece and proceeding into the modern era. Imagination is then considered scientifically through the lens…


Candidate: Maryanne Comaroto Date: April 25, 2018 Time: 11:00 am

Concerned with the unconscious, embodied experience of heterosexual women affected by female sexual objectification (FSO), this research takes a depth psychological, somatic approach to addressing the Western cultural split between mind and body. This study explores the archetypal, thematic material constellating in the dynamics of FSO, its traumatogenic effects, and women’s internalization of FSO as…


Candidate: Mary Laird Lounsbury Date: April 24, 2018 Time: 11:00 am

This production dissertation examines the role of the creative process in balancing intellect and intuition in the individual; and the potential of collaborative creativity to support the integration of intuition and intellect on a social level. The mythos-sphere is given as a metaphor to conceptualize the human experience, which extends from the physical, but always…


Candidate: Debra Jean Sherk Date: April 19, 2018 Time: 3:00 pm

This archetypal-mythopoetic hermeneutic study explores the relationship between the historically underrepresented, ancient Greek goddess Hestia—the goddess of the hearth, the home, and the center—and the ubiquitous, modern phenomenon of digital connectivity, closely associated with Hermes—the ancient Greek god of communication, commerce, and exchange. Hermes is the connection-maker, the trickster, and psychopomp notorious for his cunning…


Candidate: Carmella D. Wiles Date: April 19, 2018 Time: 12:00 pm

Adolescence is widely recognized as a highly tumultuous period between childhood and adulthood in which the individual is tasked to forge an independent identity during potentially destabilizing biological, psychological, social, and cognitive expansion. This research explores the ego-self dynamic of the adolescent psyche as defined by the Developmental School of Analytical Psychology and depicted in…


Candidate: Diane Melissa Goodman Date: April 12, 2018 Time: 3:00 pm

Society tends to blame mothers for the behavior of their children. Yet, minimal research has been conducted on the experience of mothers of prisoners. Using the lens of depth psychology, this study examines the phenomenological experience of mothers who have, or had, an adult child in prison and how they found support from other mothers…


Candidate: John Allemand Date: April 11, 2018 Time: 11:00 am

This dissertation is a depth psychological analysis of the films of Pedro Almodóvar, with a particular focus on All About My Mother and Volver. The writer examines the stylistic, narrative, and thematic ties between these films and suggests that they represent a sustained meditation on the nature of loss, grief, memory, and desire, one whose…


Candidate: Margaret Ann Mendenhall Date: April 9, 2018 Time: 1:00 pm

This dissertation is a mythological analysis written from a feminist perspective, on the emergence of the theme of rescue stories, and specifically plots where a female heroine saves a male character, which arose in German-language opera during the roughly one hundred years that spanned the lifetimes of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Richard…


Candidate: by Bruce W. Selvage Jr Date: April 3, 2018 Time: 4:00 pm

This qualitative study explored the psychological experience of participants in the popular culture of Steampunk. Depth psychology, more specifically the work of C. G. Jung, provided the lens through which these experiences were examined. The intent was to explore how mythopoesis, or the story-making function of the psyche, can manifest through creative participation in an…


Candidate: Odette J. Springer Date: April 3, 2018 Time: 10:00 am

The Navajo deity, Changing Woman is not well known in the pantheon of goddesses, but she is everywhere. She is Earth, Feminine Creator, spirit, Feminine Spirit, Holy Spirit, breath, voice, the “Wisdom Feminine of the Old Testament, Ruach of Judaic thought, The Shekinah of the Cabbalists, Sophia of Gnosticism” (Moon, “Changing Woman” 164-165). She represents…


Candidate: Teresa Marie Fisher Date: March 30, 2018 Time: 1:00 pm

The underworld is traditionally the place where souls go upon death, but it can also be thought of as a kind of otherworld or altered reality. In this way, it can be compared to correctional institutions, which are also realities separate from that of most people. If prison is a type of underworld, then the…


Candidate: Robin Jean Ruth Date: March 30, 2018 Time: 10:00 am

The purpose of this theoretical study was to examine the therapeutic benefit of using photographic portraits in treating poor body image and eating disorders. It is known that disturbed body image is a consistent symptom of eating disorders, as well as being a prevalent phenomenon of modern day Western women. Through the application of neuroscience,…


Candidate: Cynthia Ann Caldwell Date: March 18, 2018 Time: 4:30 pm

Mary Magdalene is a dynamic expression of the divine feminine archetype. Her story has been changing and she has been transforming since the early years of Christianity. The discovery of the Gnostic Gospels and the subsequent study of those gospels, show a very different story regarding Magdalene than what the Orthodox teachings presumed. Magdalene was…


Candidate: Maria De Las Gertz Date: March 11, 2018 Time: 12:15 pm

The intention of this production dissertation is to study the ability of images to communicate as a language—perhaps the first language that humans learn. This language arises from the unconscious and accesses information that cannot be expressed in words alone. To express this language, this dissertation studies the work of four different artists across a…