Physical Campus Closure - Institute has transitioned to operating remotely (see further details)

Dissertation Oral Defenses


Candidate: Michael Comlish Date: May 1, 2021 Time: 9:30 am

This hermeneutic study reconsiders the Œdipus complex in relation to the extended Œdipus myth, which contains homoerotic themes that Sophocles did not include in the Greek tragedy that inspired Freud. Another aim of this study is to understand and reaffirm male homoeros from a depth psychological perspective, which entails an examination of male homoeros in…


Candidate: Danél Lombard Date: April 26, 2021 Time: 10:00 am

The prevalence of recurrent low back pain in American society is extensive, greatly impacting the function of individuals on both personal and community levels. Disability caused by low back pain (LBP) is widespread, and traditional physical therapy approaches often yield temporary benefit only. This study investigated the correlations between recurrent LBP and several psychosomatic phenomena.…


Candidate: Kimberly Christensen Date: April 21, 2021 Time: 1:00 pm

This research study explored the lived experience of participants in a group based on the author’s community-healing dreamwork model, a process of engaging the imagination in the embodiment of dream symbols and images with the aim of furthering the individuation of the participants and the collective. The research was conducted from a somatic perspective informed…


Candidate: Andrew Winegarner Date: April 14, 2021 Time: 3:00 pm

The national psyche of Americans was on display during the 2016 presidential election. Perspectives of mythology and Jungian and archetypal forms of depth psychology are utilized to interpret the social and historical forces that were at play in the complex dynamics that led to the surprising election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President…


Candidate: Norma Moreno Date: April 14, 2021 Time: 11:00 am

Long before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in Mexico, Coatlicue was considered a major deity in the Aztec pantheon and one of the primary representations of the feminine aspect of Ometeotl—the Supreme Duality.  The Spanish conquest led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Aztecs.  Along with the Catholic church, the conquistadores also…


Candidate: Rebecca Morgan Date: April 13, 2021 Time: 9:00 am

This dissertation details a study in which a group of mothers participated in interviews that included the use of imagery, myth, and movement to explore loss as an aspect of the Mother archetype and thereby a ubiquitous feature of the many images of Mother. The research investigates loss as a guiding current that flows within…


Candidate: Jeni Ambrose Date: April 12, 2021 Time: 11:00 am

This study sought to understand whether and in what ways imaginal engagement in body-oriented psychotherapy supports transformative sexual trauma recovery. Participants included six well-experienced body-oriented psychotherapists who regularly support adult survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) and other forms of direct, corporeal sexual assault and whose approaches incorporate a form of unconscious imaginal engagement. Central…


Candidate: Patricia Ayala-Guzman Date: April 5, 2021 Time: 4:00 pm

The needs of Latino immigrants represent a dearth of literature in the mental health profession (Corrigan et al., 2017). The results of trauma are noted to possibly impact individuals well into adulthood (Garcini et al., 2018; Zayas et al., 2017). In this study, the researcher explored the lived experience of Mexican men 40 to 60…


Candidate: Robert Rivera Date: April 1, 2021 Time: 4:00 pm

The purpose of this phenomenological study is to investigate the original Star Wars trilogy (Kazanjian, 1983; Kurtz, 1977, 1980) as a modern-day fairy tale that meaningfully speaks to contemporary audiences about psychological issues. Throughout the trilogy, a powerful narrative thread between father and son is the continual physical and psychological conflict in which they exactly…


Candidate: Emily Ruch Date: April 1, 2021 Time: 12:00 pm

Different cultures have different conceptions of fate but share parallel metaphors for this phenomenon in the personified forms of goddesses (and mythic women) and the non-personified forms of cloth and thread. This study proposes that such common fate-metaphors are archetypal. The archetypal expressions of fate examined in this dissertation include crafters, wielders, and agents of…


Candidate: Colleen C. Salomon Date: March 30, 2021 Time: 11:00 am

This dissertation analyzes “The Robber Bridegroom,” as it appears in the 1819 edition of the Grimms’ collection of fairy tales, Kinder- und Hausmärchen. Questioning the assertion of some scholars that it is a “Bluebeard tale,” a close comparison of the two stories reveals that key elements present in “Bluebeard” are absent from “The Robber Bridegroom.”…


Candidate: Heidi Mezzatesta Date: March 26, 2021 Time: 11:00 am

When the archetype of the witch is activated within the cultural complex of prevailing sociopolitical and economic constructs, history has shown that people, particularly women, die. However, in today’s very divisive social, political, and economic discourse, the witch arrives once again as a figure of empowerment, while still used by authoritarian power systems to marginalize…


Candidate: Mansoor Hassan Abidi Date: March 25, 2021 Time: 2:00 pm

This study explores symbols of a religious ritual called Ashura in Twelver Shi’ite Islam. It provides a look into these symbol’s unconscious power at work in the suffering of the participants. The ritual’s ceremonial rites are compared with the three stages of alchemy: the nigredo, the albedo, and the rubedo. Through these processes, using hermeneutical…


Candidate: Annie Jordan Date: March 23, 2021 Time: 9:00 am

Alchemical art is a study in how people can keep their own council for psychological sustenance and in times of crisis. This arts-based research investigated the relationship between art practices and healing for psychological transformation seen through the depth psychological notion of the alchemical process. The methodological approaches were heuristic and auto-ethnographic, as the researcher…


Candidate: Tori Zengel Mora Date: March 19, 2021 Time: 4:00 pm

Fatherlessness is an omnipresent and continually growing problem in the United States. The existing research has primarily focused on males. Variables to examine this problem have been imprecise. First, nonresident fathers have been combined with absent fathers. Second, the developmental stages of the abandoned children at the time of the loss have been grouped together.…


Candidate: Linda Schaefer Date: March 18, 2021 Time: 1:00 pm

Psychotherapists today practice a wide range of integrative clinical techniques to support the holistic well-being of individuals, families, and communities. From techniques of meditation, ego integration, dreamwork, expressive arts therapy, and story reframing, practitioners may draw from a variety of tools to facilitate their clients’ goals. Depth psychological perspectives of healing show an active interest…


Candidate: Eric Hanley Date: March 10, 2021 Time: 9:00 am

This archetypal inquiry examines the cultural phenomenon of Mars colonization as it appears in popular culture as a frontier fantasy. To ascertain the common frontier narrative, multivalent bases of Mars colonization are explored and interpreted following hermeneutic philosophy. Once the common Mars frontier narrative was determined, the research moved to contain and describe the mind…


Candidate: Hillary Williamson Perez Date: March 8, 2021 Time: 10:00 am

This study investigates the female agency present or developed within the Sumerian narratives of “The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi” and “Inanna’s Descent into the Underworld,” the Akkadian narratives of “Ishtar’s Descent into the Underworld” and “Ereshkigal and Nergal,” and the Greek myth of “Persephone and Hades” found within the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. This…


Candidate: Alisa Orduna Date: February 26, 2021 Time: 4:00 pm

This qualitative research ceremony inquired into the meaning of the phenomenon of Black people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. It was performed within an Afro-feminine indigenous approach integrating principles from the Yoruba-Ifá spiritual cosmology. Within this framework, the phenomenon of Black people experiencing homelessness was privileged as the subject of the research inquiry, pivoting the…


Candidate: Joey Paynter Date: February 26, 2021 Time: 11:00 am

The purpose of this study was to explore the image of the hidden, the invisible, and the unknown through an encounter with the mythic figures of Kore/Persephone, Demeter, Hekate, Hades, and Zeus in the Homeric “Hymn to Demeter.” This art-based research project culminated in an expressive arts video that engages the living images and subsequently…