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Dissertation Oral Defenses


Candidate: Sharon Goldman Date: January 31, 2022 Time: 1:00 pm

The myriad social and emotional challenges of midlife in contemporary American society are well documented both empirically and anecdotally. With more middle-aged individuals now confronting the complications involved in the extended lifespan of their parents’ generation, another question has become salient: How does caring for a declining parent enhance, detract from, or otherwise affect one’s…


Candidate: Elizabeth Flood Date: January 19, 2022 Time: 11:00 am

After experiencing shattering heartbreak, the author turned to bathing for comfort and restoration. The restorative outcome led to an intimate relationship with water and a curiosity about the depth of our relationship with water. Guided by the author’s both literal and metaphorical experiences of being in water, this autoethnographic dissertation seeks to understand the deeper…


Candidate: Amon Benavides Date: January 18, 2022 Time: 4:00 pm

This qualitative study explored the impact of social media discourse of political campaigns on Latino voters’ political views using an interpretative phenomenological design. The research questions were designed to draw out participants’ lived experiences as voters who are part of the Latino population related to the impact of social media discourse of political campaigns on…


Candidate: Thomas Martinez Date: January 18, 2022 Time: 12:00 pm

This community psychology project consisted of two virtual storytelling groups gathered to examine the impact of storytelling during a global pandemic. It used the public narrative methodology of Marshall Ganz placed within the context of community mental health. Each storytelling group met weekly for 8 weeks. The Sunday group had seven members drawn from Desert…


Candidate: Theresa Clearman Date: January 11, 2022 Time: 1:00 pm

Carl G. Jung theorized an underlying unified reality from which everything emerges and to which everything returns. He called this theory of a one-world reality Unus Mundus. Accordingly, the archetypal symbol formation he hypothesized would extend beyond the human psyche to the natural and technological worlds. With the ever-expanding reach of technological advancements and dependence…


Candidate: Jessica Pink Date: December 17, 2021 Time: 10:30 am

This study considers the dancer’s lived experience of work-life transition out of performance. Any passage out of the performing arts necessitates a shift in world-view resulting in unique identity challenges. The present inquiry creates a context for understanding and communicating the nature of the tensions that render this professional identity shift an existential challenge. Integrated…


Candidate: Maryam Tahmasebi Date: December 11, 2021 Time: 10:00 am

Climate change has reached the point of a global crisis. The need for new paradigms of thinking and conceptualizing the problems is more evident than ever. This dissertation takes a decolonial paradigm of thinking and prioritizes the experiences of indigenous women of Saman, Iran of climate change through their environmental knowledge systems. This study is…


Candidate: Kirsten Came Date: December 8, 2021 Time: 1:00 pm

Contained in the earliest human stories and into present day exist multiple references to hearing the “voice” of nature, usually expressed musically and/or through feeling, motion, or presence. Recent research shows that these experiences are quite common and only rarely associated with pathology. This dissertation asks what is at the core of these auditory experiences…


Candidate: Lori Kamee Abrahamian Date: December 7, 2021 Time: 10:00 am

This research illuminates legacies of relational ontologies and ethics of care through the experiences of women and queer folks from the South West Asian, North African (SWANA) diaspora and living in settler environments. Through performative ethnography, arts-based, and indigenous methodologies, the study will center their lived experiences and ancestral memory as expressed through ritual, relationality,…


Candidate: Mary Murphy Date: December 3, 2021 Time: 9:00 am

Mother Earth and humans’ relationship to her have been revered and widely recognized throughout time and across cultures. However, she and our relationship with her gradually became shrouded by reductionistic thinking and narrow mechanistic mindsets. C. G. Jung esteemed the natural world—deeply convinced of the psyche–nature kinship and its essentiality to individuation—yet he withheld asserting…


Candidate: Cacky Mellor Date: November 22, 2021 Time: 11:00 am

Hate speech, verbal abuse, and verbal microaggressions have wide reaching and long-lasting traumatic biopsychosocial impact. This research examined a facilitated embodied artistic exploration of word woundings, the negative felt sense of a word. It drew primarily on the fields of somatic studies, depth psychology, and expressive arts therapy to explore how the words of others—from…


Candidate: Lisa Skura Date: November 16, 2021 Time: 11:00 am

The Sola Busca tarot, composed of mostly male images, is based on thousands of years of Western androcentric philosophy and mythology. This has resulted in the tarot journey being viewed as a spiritual journey of individuation and transcendence for men, with females as the guides to men. Furthermore, the female figures found in most traditional…


Candidate: Linda Quennec Date: November 15, 2021 Time: 11:00 am

This qualitative study examined the effects of being raised in a cult or closed, high-demand community on an individual’s innate sense of purpose, character, and calling. The exploration was guided metaphorically by the ancient Greek concept of the daimon—referred to by James Hillman (1996) as a “soul-companion” or “carrier of [one’s] destiny.” Second-generation former cult…


Candidate: Donna Chapman Date: November 6, 2021 Time: 9:00 am

There has been an explosion of material written from the perspective of the trans identified (TI); however, little has been written about the lived experience of the remaining non-trans identified (NTI) partner. This dissertation was an exploration of the lived experience of partners who are not the transitioning partner as well as an attempt to…


Candidate: Shara Brun Date: November 1, 2021 Time: 9:00 am

A transdisciplinary study across the fields of depth psychology, somatic studies, arts-based research, ethnomusicology and music therapy, this research ultimately asks how listening to intentionally designed sound pieces might serve to stretch a listener’s windows of tolerance for hearing qualities perceived as Other.  The term sonic stretching is used in this research to refer to…


Candidate: James Perrin Date: October 28, 2021 Time: 10:00 am

his project proposes a means of rendering Jungian and post-Jungian anima and animus theories (animix theories) fully queer-compatible as a unified queer archetypal hermeneutic. It begins with a history of animix theory, focusing on previous efforts to make the anima and animus LGBTQ-compatible and those attempts’ shortcomings.  The unworkability of animix theories arises from their…


Candidate: Anna Derr Date: October 25, 2021 Time: 10:00 am

This dissertation identifies “the myth of menstrual danger” and its development in Western thought, and how this myth continues to contribute to internalized menstrual shame. In the West, female bodies, and particularly their menstrual bleeding, have long been sites of fearful patriarchal fantasies. Evidence suggests, however, that menstrual blood was revered as part of a Great…


Candidate: José Carlos Barreto Mattar Date: October 22, 2021 Time: 3:00 pm

Since its beginnings, the phenomenon of consciousness has been immersed in the ocean of the unconscious, which is reflected in a psychic existence that is experienced throughout and beyond the physical world. The creative impulse was thus born, as a desire to emulate the living creation and its perpetual shapeshifting, resulting in the emergence of…


Candidate: Kirsten Johnsen Date: October 21, 2021 Time: 10:00 am

Mythologies of place reveal our beliefs about Nature, self and Other. In this time of pandemic and climate change, the imperative to recognize the power of Nature grows daily. To respect Nature’s agency, we need to deconstruct the structures of meaning we impose upon it. The legend of the lover’s leap—the fabricated story of an…


Candidate: Marilyn Kleist Date: October 15, 2021 Time: 2:00 pm

This study explores the effect on therapy of positive and negative transferences experienced by Mexican American women during treatment to address their childhood sexual abuse. Individual interviews were conducted with six Mexican American women, all of whom received treatment for childhood sexual abuse. The resulting qualitative data was examined using interpretive phenomenological analysis. Positive transference…