Dissertation Oral Defenses


Candidate: Christa Marie Sacco Date: April 2, 2019 Time: 11:50 am

Today’s public conversation around prostitution forces people who work in the sex industry to identify as either powerless passive victims of sexual slavery with no agency or lifeworld of their own; or as empowered sex workers who enjoy their labor. I argue that sex workers’ life histories offer a counter-text and a voice of resistance…


Candidate: Michelle L. Evans Date: April 1, 2019 Time: 3:00 pm

The literature on new mothers speaks to the common experiences of women, including their personal reflections and interpersonal patterns as well as the collective influence of society on the experience of motherhood (Besser & Priel, 2001, 2003; Churchill & Davis, 2010; Coo, Milgrom, & Trinder, 2014). It suggests that surviving the vulnerability of motherhood is…


Candidate: Nicole Lee Vaeth Date: March 28, 2019 Time: 1:00 pm

As depth psychologists believe, regardless of the therapist’s theoretical orientation or the intervention employed, it is the therapeutic relationship itself that is responsible for change. Jungian analysts believe specifically that this process of transformation occurs for both the client and the therapist. This dissertation explores the notion that destiny is involved in the formation of…


Candidate: James Edgar Allison Date: March 27, 2019 Time: 9:30 am

Restricted by the dogma of many forms of Western religion and plagued by the spiritual emptiness of materialism pervading the current age, many seek direct, personal experience of the sacred. Following a hermeneutic methodology, this dissertation explores the relevance of the writings of Jung and others on synchronicity, as both phenomenon and principle, as a…


Candidate: Amber Michelle Lehning Date: March 25, 2019 Time: 1:00 pm

There are innumerable causes of today’s environmental crises, but at the root of many of them lie bad stories. These destructive modern myths create the kind of intellectual separation between humanity and the natural world which can end up justifying the worst of environmental excesses, and—unlike concrete, scientific problems with empirical ecological solutions—this separation cannot…


Candidate: Barbara Joy Laffey Date: March 25, 2019 Time: 12:45 pm

This phenomenological hermeneutic dissertation explores what it means to honor the feminine as a path to the conscious masculine and a direct experience of inner marriage. This study identifies characteristics and dynamics of the feminine and masculine aspects of our inner selves and the creative interplay between them, demonstrating how honoring the feminine in daily…


Candidate: Kathleen Ann Kirgin Date: March 21, 2019 Time: 9:30 am

Drawing on the theories of complexes, symbols, and the transcendent function, as set forth by C. G. Jung, and cultural complex theory, as developed by Singer and Kimbles, this dissertation seeks to understand the psychological dynamics of division and healing between the Unionists and the Republicans in Northern Ireland. The study undertakes a depth psychological…


Candidate: James Barron Meetze Date: March 18, 2019 Time: 1:00 pm

Robin Blaser describes “the foreignness, the outsideness, as a kind of metaphor for the sense…of the process that leads to a poem.” It is, he says, “akin to a translation, a word which in its parts holds the meaning of the word metaphor, the bringing over.” This dissertation expands on that notion of poetic process…


Candidate: William Brantley Anderson Date: March 14, 2019 Time: 4:00 pm

In spite of recent trends that have positively impacted gay men, the United States continues to be permeated by homophobia. This phenomenon often manifests in young gay men as internalized homophobia, which in turn can lead to psychological and physiological symptoms, including engaging in sexual practices that place them at risk for contracting human immunodeficiency…


Candidate: Shirin Vosough Gerayeli Date: March 9, 2019 Time: 12:00 pm

In depth psychology, the way to heal has mainly been through connection with patients’ minds in order to discover the unconscious roots of their problems and help them work on resolving their complexes or trauma. Underexplored in psychoanalysis is the relationship between the psyche and soma, in particular, the way emotions are carried in and…


Candidate: Kamisia Anna Staszewska Date: March 3, 2019 Time: 12:00 pm

This research through a dialog between Jungian psychology and process-oriented psychology explicates connections between psychology and physics in order to elucidate the relationship between psychic contents and the nature of health and well-being, as well as the relationship between nonmaterial processes and their empirical manifestations. The study applies the hermeneutic methodology supplemented by alchemical hermeneutics.…


Candidate: Emma Woods Date: March 1, 2019 Time: 12:00 pm

Brimming with razor sharp teeth, the Vagina Dentata presents a surreal fictional representation of the sexually dangerous woman. This image has been recorded almost globally and is often thought to be a manifestation of male sexual anxiety. Many of the studies focus on the male abject horror of this image and the psychological motivations behind…


Candidate: Ron N. Gad Date: March 1, 2019 Time: 9:00 am

This cultural–historical, hermeneutic dissertation delineates the way people have found meaning in their lives, explores the historical relevance stories have played in those searches for meaning, and illuminates the symbolic resonances that TV characters, images, and plotlines offer viewers as they connect to television programming, which has become the preferred storied medium. Nielsen (2018) reported…


Candidate: Corneliu Rusu Date: February 26, 2019 Time: 12:45 pm

This ethnographic study of ZEGG explores the challenges a radical intentional community faces when it rejects mainstream economic and social norms, creating a new culture governed by new norms. ZEGG, an intentional community in Germany, began as an experiment in community living in the 1970s and 1980s, under the leadership of Dieter Duhm, a German…


Candidate: Gary Thomas Bartlett Date: February 14, 2019 Time: 9:30 am

The pyramid is an iconic and ubiquitous form; the variations in the ostensible function remain debated, especially in light of the many physical, religious, and mythological similarities. Examples in the “Old” and “New” world civilizations, which historically had no contact before the 15th century, emphasize the mystery. Examples in Egypt, Mexico, and Peru illuminate the…


Candidate: Melissa Ann Depa Date: February 12, 2019 Time: 2:00 pm

Approximately 20-30% of single American women have been involved with a married man during the course of their lifetime (Lindquist & Negy, 2005; Oala, 2008; Perel, 2017; Richardson, 1988). Infidelity in Western society is perceived in a pejorative manner, and women are often negatively judged for their engagement in an extramarital affair. However, the prevalence…


Candidate: Dana Lynn Swain Date: February 9, 2019 Time: 4:30 pm

The majority of Jungian depth psychological analysis of kundalini has been hermeneutical in nature. Both C. G. Jung and James Hillman suggested that kundalini as an aspect of Eastern spiritual practice was not appropriate for Westerners. Yet experiences of kundalini appear to be occurring with increasing frequency for Westerners. This research explores how experiences of…


Candidate: Sarah J. Barnard-Moreland Date: February 8, 2019 Time: 12:45 pm

American middle-class widows in the midst of their conjugal bereavement raising dependent children are a demographic largely unrecognized in this country. Because of this, there is little research about their lived experience available to assist those looking for ways to support this group—whether it be the widows themselves, family and friends, or the academic community.…


Candidate: Laura Franklin Chisholm Date: February 1, 2019 Time: 12:45 pm

A case study conducted under the rubric of integral inquiry, this research explores the application of Jungian and archetypal psychology to the growth process of an organization. Drawing upon analysis of public documents using Corlett and Pearson’s Archetype of Organization model, it identifies the Hero, Ruler, and Sage as the archetypes most active within the…


Candidate: Devon Erin Deimler Date: January 30, 2019 Time: 11:00 am

This dissertation heeds archetypal psychologist James Hillman’s call for depth psychology to “also be a depth aesthetics” by considering Dionysos as an archetype of aesthetic experience. We respond affectively to the sensations of our interpenetrating everyday world of bodies, including our imaginal and ideational perceptions. Dionysos has been studied as an archetype of intoxication, indestructible…