Dissertation Oral Defenses


Candidate: Robert C. Skidmore Date: October 13, 2017 Time: 12:30 pm

The purpose of this hermeneutical study is to examine the shadow of Christianity as it appears in culture and in therapeutic settings. Western culture has been dominated by Christianity as its cultural perspective for two thousand years. Acknowledging this opens possibilities for analysis of this culture’s shadow, and the conscious-unconscious synthesis that might seek to…


Candidate: Crystal Prung Date: September 29, 2017 Time: 12:00 pm

To date, there are limited studies on the relational components of couples therapy for adults with eating disorders. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of countertransference experiences and attachment dynamics of therapists who facilitate couples therapy with eating disorders. A qualitative method, interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA), was used. A total of…


Candidate: Katrina A. Echtinaw-Lewis Date: September 28, 2017 Time: 12:00 pm

This dissertation study addressed the impacts of therapeutic failures and lack of Evidence Based Best Practices that are normed for use with the Native American (NA) population. This dissertation explored the use of NA Medicine Wheel (MW) techniques and cultural interventions in Substance use Disorder (SUD) treatment interventions. The research undertaken used grounded theoretical concepts…


Candidate: Anthony A. P. Bonavita Date: September 19, 2017 Time: 11:00 am

This research was focused on understanding the relationship between Carl Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious and the Tibetan Buddhist view of emptiness. The research utilized the Tibetan Book of the Dead, subsequent commentaries, and Jung’s psychological commentary as the textual participant to understand these two concepts. Jung’s Psychological Commentary of the Tibetan Book of…


Candidate: Shalee Horstman Date: September 14, 2017 Time: 11:00 am

The purpose of this alchemical hermeneutics study is to explore how working with personal and archetypal images impacts the ability to self-regulate. The more notable texts analyzed are from the works of Carl Jung and his descendants, Allan Schore, and Marion Woodman. Other texts analyzed include dream images, active imagination images, and images manifested from…


Candidate: Shara Denise Knight Date: September 7, 2017 Time: 12:00 pm

This hermeneutic study with a depth psychological perspective explores the creative, inner images of filmmakers and their sublime expression using close reading of interview contents as process methodology. It describes archetypal representations and potentials germane to filmmakers’ experiences with psychological image or vision and the eventual expressions in onscreen visuals. Responding to the question “what…


Candidate: Danielle Jackson Date: September 7, 2017 Time: 9:00 am

The persona is an essential part of personality development that allows individuals to exhibit conventionally acceptable behaviors and to adapt them as necessary in social situations. The Jungian concept of the persona is underrepresented in depth psychological studies and so merits more development. This research aims to answer how the persona affects character development and…


Candidate: Elizabeth Ruth Wolterink Date: September 5, 2017 Time: 1:30 pm

This dissertation asserts that myths of the journey to the underworld in which the protagonist is female have been marginalized in favor of stories in which the descender is male. In laying out the historical basis of the scholarship on the journey to the underworld (the nekyia), the study attributes this prejudice to a Christological…


Candidate: Jacqueline Hirk Date: August 29, 2017 Time: 10:00 am

This dissertation provides a depth psychological understanding of women choosing to remain in unfulfilling relationships. This research examines the lived experience of women who encountered romantic love, experienced unhappiness in the relationships and continued to stay in the relationships. Based on an interpretative phenomenological approach (IPA) to the research, the findings suggest that a heterosexual…


Candidate: Christian Vincent Date: August 22, 2017 Time: 12:00 pm

When a daughter loses her father before she has achieved a necessary degree of psychological separation from him, her capacity to mourn his literal death may become complicated. Circumstances such as the ambivalent nature of their relationship while he was living or that she has was an adolescent girl at the time of his death…


Candidate: Rebecka Dawn Pearson Date: August 21, 2017 Time: 2:00 pm

This hermeneutic and heuristic study explores how the horse–human relationship, when viewed through the lens of depth psychology, can be applied to healing and transforming trauma. The study is an attempt to provide an understanding of the potential for a horse–human relationship to be instructive and invaluable in teaching clinicians in practice and clinical training…


Candidate: Shanna E. Butler Date: July 22, 2017 Time: 2:00 pm

Postmodern discourse regarding gender identity calls upon the field of depth psychology, and primarily Jungian psychology, to reexamine its traditional dualistic constructs pertaining to gender so as to be open to including the experiences of queer, genderqueer, and transgender individuals. This research is particularly interested in honoring the personal narratives that define one’s self-understanding. Using…


Candidate: Monica von Eggers Date: July 22, 2017 Time: 11:00 am

This phenomenological study used a qualitative, hermeneutic analysis to explore the lived experiences of the moments of psychological change in five women and one man recovering from alcoholism. Interviews with the participants were coded thematically and analyzed in relation to a psychic movement that initiated sobriety. The data were compared to the process of transformation…


Candidate: Nitsa M. Dimitrakos Date: July 18, 2017 Time: 12:15 pm

This theoretical research utilizes an imaginal approach to explore the transformational experience of empowering a hitherto silenced female voice. Archetypal and symbolic images of the mermaid and her myth are engaged to make visible the intersection between conscious and unconscious dynamics of the self-silencing. This brings into view the deeply rooted psychological themes of loss…


Candidate: Leslie Camille Harper Date: July 10, 2017 Time: 12:50 pm

The purpose of the study was to explore the experience of aging and approaching elderhood for five members of the Baby Boom generation with an emphasis on community, imaginal ways of knowing, and contemplative journaling practices. The research problem noted that Baby Boomers are attempting to transition into elderhood during a particularly challenging economic, environmental,…


Candidate: Charles Walton Date: June 29, 2017 Time: 4:00 pm

This hermeneutic theoretical dissertation examined Stanley Cavell’s (2003) interpretation of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s work and its implications for clinical psychology. Cavell (2003) interpreted Emerson’s philosophy as an epistemology of moods that anticipated Martin Heidegger’s fundamental ontology. In this context, Emerson is seen as incorporating skepticism into his philosophy as an inescapable condition of human existence.…


Candidate: Evan Fisher Date: June 16, 2017 Time: 12:45 pm

This dissertation explores three fundamental ideas: (1) there is no self—self, and all of its trappings, are an illusion; (2) all people, on some level, know this to be true, and all people, on some level, perpetuate this illusion; and (3) anxiety is the engine that drives this illusion, that makes the self experience possible.…


Candidate: Jaffa Vernon Frank Date: June 8, 2017 Time: 3:30 pm

This dissertation explores links between stories and well-being or dis-ease. Focusing on the symbolic meaning of the experience of endometriosis, the project develops a mythopoesis of feminine creative and destructive power as expressed through the mythology of Medusa and the text of an afflicted body. The study employs a hermeneutic phenomenology—an interpretation of experience validating…


Candidate: Elizabeth Selena Zinda Date: June 6, 2017 Time: 12:45 pm

Dogs categorized as pit bulls are entangled with American sociocultural and psychological dynamics, and alternately imagined as noble, vicious, and sweet.  Depth psychology holds that untended unconscious dynamics overwhelm situations and manifest in undesired ways such as violence and oppression.  This research explored the unconscious dynamics in pit bull phenomena and asked whether archetypal understandings…


Candidate: Virginia Subia Belton Date: June 5, 2017 Time: 12:45 pm

This exploratory research conceived as ceremony makes an effort to rupture dominant narratives oppressing our exploration and meaning making of the universal lived experience that is called death.  In modern society, hegemony, commodification of the sacred, and the medicalization of an otherwise organic human unfolding contribute to the perception of a false separation in our…