Dissertation Oral Defenses


Candidate: Dawn Marie Loerch Date: October 12, 2018 Time: 11:00 am

Given the increasing acceptance of the whole person model and integrative health care over the past few decades, this research explored how practitioners who embody a holistic view refer clients to each other. Specifically, this research investigated how depth psychotherapists and somatic practitioners know and experience the limits of their respective roles and when they…


Candidate: Marni Winkel-Reeve Date: September 6, 2018 Time: 1:00 pm

This alchemical hermeneutic inquiry was conducted to explore the anadyomene motif, an image and gesture of rising from submersion toward renewal and transformation. The aim of this study was to pursue the role the female body may play in the psychological phenomenon of rebirth through the consideration of language, dreams, imagination, and various forms of…


Candidate: Jamie McLaren Date: August 31, 2018 Time: 3:00 pm

Utilizing the hermeneutic method, dissociation is interpreted as the consequence of the industrialized-West’s cultural adaptation to the self as a binary system (mind split from matter), and a fundamental mechanism of the mind imperative to the critical functioning of the faculty of imagination and the production of meaning. Dialoguing with depth psychological, transpersonal, existential, eco-psychological…


Candidate: Annika Linnea Andersson Date: August 30, 2018 Time: 11:00 am

Contemporary culture is flooded with visual images, challenging our capacity to engage such images in a deliberate and reflective manner. Yet careful engagement with photographic images in particular can offer a sense of soul and a healing potential. Through the language of photography, this theoretical study describes the healing potential that may be found in…


Candidate: Katherine W. Smith Date: August 28, 2018 Time: 1:00 pm

This Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) study explored the experiences of psychologists who treat suicidal patients. This study asked questions about how clinicians describe their experiences of treating suicidal patients and what meaning clinicians make of their experiences in treating suicidal patients. Participants included five psychologists licensed in the state of California, in practice for no…


Candidate: Michelle Catherine Bitting Date: August 27, 2018 Time: 11:00 am

The poet writes her way into the world and the self, an act that often requires dissolution of psychological, intellectual, and aesthetic constructs that no longer feel true or excite new vision. We can trace these impulses to mythopoetic forms manifest across epochs and creative genres. This dissertation integrates a variety of visionary and literary…


Candidate: Dina Zaki Date: August 26, 2018 Time: 12:30 pm

This research study used an interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) approach to explore the transgenerational impact of narcissistic parenting. Specifically, it aimed to examine the lived experiences of women raised by narcissistic mothers and explore their views on how that narcissistic parenting impacted their parenting of their own children. For purposes of this study, narcissistic parenting…


Candidate: Jennifer Warren Lentenbrink Date: August 24, 2018 Time: 1:00 pm

This dissertation explores the trend of desexualization in contemporary Anglo-Saxon psychoanalytic theory and practice. The study begins with revisiting Sigmund Freud’s (1905/1953) pioneering ideas, which considered sexuality central to the unconscious and therefore to psychoanalysis. It then examines post-Freudian developments in theory and observes shifts in what various theoretical orientations consider central to psychoanalysis, noting…


Candidate: Tamar Bat El Date: August 24, 2018 Time: 10:00 am

This study explored whether therapists with a personal trauma history view their experiences as positive, growth-promoting, and curative while engaged in treating traumatized clients. It challenged the notion of vicarious traumatization being unilaterally associated with long-term trauma work, as stipulated by existing research. The researcher examined whether formerly traumatized therapists view themselves as Wounded Healers,…


Candidate: Celena Allison Date: August 23, 2018 Time: 12:00 pm

Mass shootings perpetrated in public settings with forethought and planning have become a regular occurrence in the United States. This depth psychological hermeneutic study focuses on one specific tragedy, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, and seeks to understand its underlying cultural and archetypal implications. The study closely examines the Sandy Hook moment and its…


Candidate: Erik Thomas Jensen Date: August 23, 2018 Time: 9:00 am

This hermeneutic study employs the theoretical lens of James Hillman’s archetypal psychology to re-imagine Friedrich Nietzsche’s writings as a polytheistic odyssey, that is to say, as a daring journey into the unknown, informed by an array of archetypal perspectives, each represented by a specific Greek god or goddess. Nietzsche, it is argued, anticipated archetypal psychology,…


Candidate: Fiona Graham Macleod Date: August 8, 2018 Time: 3:00 pm

This hermeneutic theoretical dissertation addresses the concept of unconscious-to-unconscious communication within three psychoanalytic paradigms—classical psychoanalysis, object relations, and analytic field theory—and illustrates each of these paradigm’s tenets about the unconscious and the related topic of unconscious-to-unconscious communication. The dissertation shows the three psychoanalytic paradigmatic views through summaries of the theoretical perspectives of significant psychoanalysts along…


Candidate: Brian Falk Date: August 4, 2018 Time: 3:00 pm

This research investigates the role of meaningful aromas through a hermeneutical intersection of the natural sciences, philosophy, and depth psychology. Part 1 analyzes how fragrances can be constructed as psychic images. Following Jung, perceptual images are differentiated from memory images. Four qualities necessary for the formation of scent images are then identified: evocative, idiosyncratic, emotional,…


Candidate: Michelle Hansel Date: August 2, 2018 Time: 4:30 pm

Finding efficacious treatments for severe trauma and PTSD is an important endeavor in the field of clinical psychology. The present qualitative phenomenological study examines the experiences of clinicians (participants) and their patients, specifically veterans and soldiers suffering from severe trauma or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms. Giorgi and Moustakas’s phenomenological methods were employed in the…


Candidate: Allyson Kathleen Bell Date: August 1, 2018 Time: 3:30 pm

A trauma informed approach to mental health care is emerging as one of the forefront treatments in evidenced based practices. Trauma is not only directly or indirectly experienced but can also be transmitted generationally. This qualitative study focuses on the experiences shared by two third generation survivors of the Japanese American internment camps of World…


Candidate: Robert Antonacci Date: August 1, 2018 Time: 1:30 pm

Broaching the topic of age in the youth-and-beauty-obsessed American culture can often be a charged endeavor, laced with bias and prejudice. To provide insight into this delicate issue, this research study focuses on the lived experience of gay men as they age through their middle years. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, six men over the age…


Candidate: Laurie Sue Larsen Date: July 23, 2018 Time: 10:30 am

In searching for restorative stories that elevate understanding and engender the capacity for seeing through the cultural chaos and confusion of modern times, this dissertation turns to Egypt at the beginning of its recorded history, approximately 3100 BCE. The ancient Egyptians faced many of the same challenges facing the world today, and they learned to…


Candidate: Brian Damien Dietrich Date: July 19, 2018 Time: 11:30 am

This dissertation employs interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) to study the lived experience of 6 individuals engaged in relational guided imagery (RGI). Countervailing the Industrial Revolution’s spiritual alienation, and loss of symbolic perspective, a romantic current arose in German Idealism that elevated human imagination to a superordinate, world-making power. In this context, Jung’s analytical psychology compensated…


Candidate: Miles Graham Salisbury Date: July 18, 2018 Time: 9:00 am

The purpose of the study was to explore the vampire archetype and how it may present, be similar to, and contribute to an insecure attachment style. The aim of the study was to describe and understand the archetype of the vampire and examine how therapists’ exploration of this archetype with patients could provide, for both…


Candidate: Lori Gentilini Burri Date: July 16, 2018 Time: 11:00 am

This qualitative study addresses the lived experience of participants in a specific somatic psychotherapy practice, relational somatic psychotherapy (RSP). The RSP approach is a biologically based, interpersonal exploration of consciousness and self-awareness through authentic relationship (Hilton, 2007). Following an Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) methodology, this study analyzes interviews focused on how participants experienced the somatically…