Dissertation Oral Defenses


Candidate: Jennifer Knight Date: February 20, 2024 Time: 3:00 pm

This study explored the psychological impact of Western medical diagnosis, intervention, or interaction from the patient’s perspective. The history of Western medicine was critiqued and explored with special attention to the loss of the corporeal soul. Concepts of the medicalized body, medical gaze, and the social construction of Western medicine were presented. Six participants were…


Candidate: Jenny Gangloff Rain Date: February 10, 2024 Time: 1:00 pm

This dissertation joins the vibrant chorus of feminist voices agitating for reform in cisheteropatriarchal understandings of sacred biblical texts. Where these texts have remained intransigent to the winnowing of social change, they dislocate woman from the Divine Feminine and negate her holistic development into a sacred self. Three biblical texts are examined for clues to…


Candidate: Cai (Maria) Carvalhaes Date: February 2, 2024 Time: 2:00 pm

This study is an exploration, primarily in a therapeutic context, of the awakening of apparently dormant archetypal potentials through the anomalous phenomenon of past-life hypnotherapy in an attempt to heal trauma from present and past lives. Although past lives are now well documented in depth psychological literature, the topic remains a polemical subject in academia.…


Candidate: Heesun Kim Date: January 27, 2024 Time: 12:30 pm

This depth psychologically oriented ethnographic research has been conducted on Jeju Island in South Korea for twenty-eight months and explores how Jeju’s shamanic traditions have sought to heal intergenerational trauma surrounding the 4.3 Massacre, which killed 30,000 civilians from 1948 until 1954. This study examines human aggression and violence, spiritual connections with ancestors, and how…


Candidate: Emily Morales Date: January 22, 2024 Time: 11:00 am

The purpose of this study was to highlight the voices of women of color in the field of psychology. This study discovered common themes, common elements, and protective factors that are needed to encourage completion of licensure. The study utilized the voice-centered phenomenological method to understand the unique lived experiences of women of color who…


Candidate: Kathryn Held Date: January 15, 2024 Time: 11:00 am

Adolescent and young adult suicide is pervasive in the modern social landscape despite a multitude of efforts toward prevention. Although many studies have made in-depth attempts to understand the act, this study provides alternative ways of working with suicide, including depathologizing the discussion and utilizing novel methods to increase understanding of the language of suicide…


Candidate: Suzanne Elton Date: December 15, 2023 Time: 11:00 am

This study investigates the psychology of the warrior woman who is driven to be a part of military combat ground forces. Since 1970, U.S. military laws and policy have evolved, allowing women to fill a wider array of military occupations. Beginning in 2015, women have been advancing toward serving specifically in combat roles. The research…


Candidate: Roseli Ribeiro Date: December 14, 2023 Time: 2:15 pm

Creativity, distinct from artistic talent, reveals a relevant role during early development on subsequent adult experiences of creative living in this study, providing an original contribution to the field of clinical psychology.  The formulations about the nature of creativity, in the sense applied to this research, was developed by Donald Winnicott, who was a British…


Candidate: Holly B. Watson Date: December 8, 2023 Time: 11:00 am

Chronic pain is a complex, whole-being experience reflective of a multidimensional matrix of psychoemotional, neurodynamic, and physiological elements. Management of chronic pain has been confounded by its relationship with opioid misuse, leading to interest in nonpharmacological approaches to pain management. This uncontrolled, interventional mixed methods pilot study examined the impact of a program of somatic…


Candidate: Clarissa Knudson Date: December 7, 2023 Time: 2:00 pm

This study explored the experiences of three lesbian couples who used reciprocal in vitro fertilization (RIVF) to build their families. Semi-structured interviews provided the primary data, which was analyzed using the Listening Guide (LG) method. Although numerous voices emerged for each individual and within each couple, all informants, in one or more voices, expressed the…


Candidate: Trina Dye Date: December 6, 2023 Time: 1:00 pm

While childhood is crucial to psychoanalytical understandings of adulthood, developmental theory is neglected within the Daseinsanalytical literature. Given the historical and theoretical relation between Freud’s work and that of Medard Boss, the founder of Daseinsanalysis, the present research will reconsider psychoanalytic perspectives on childhood in terms of Daseinsanalysis. The task is to identify key elements…


Candidate: Anne Dearmore Date: December 2, 2023 Time: 10:00 am

Law enforcement officers have reported the difficulty they experience dealing with critical incidents, particularly with crimes against children. Officers using maladaptive coping mechanisms to manage emotional trauma may develop stress disorders. This study served to assess adaptive and maladaptive coping mechanisms in law enforcement officers working as first responders to crimes against children and to…


Candidate: Chantal Tacoronte-Perez Date: November 27, 2023 Time: 10:00 am

Wounding affects everyone, but what happens when the wounds are invisible, ancestral, or have been abandoned? Furthermore, when one accesses the wound, it can bring to the surface shameful feelings too painful to articulate. This art-based research examines the marginalized parts of the soul that have been repressed, overlooked, or abandoned—the wound. It suggests that…


Candidate: Mary Parrish Date: November 22, 2023 Time: 10:00 am

This research explored the psychological value of Vipassana practices in supporting African Americans’ well-being in the face of chronic and daily racism. Five African Americans who had attended a 10-day Vipassana course were interviewed to address the research question: What is the experience and perceptions of African American men and women who have completed a…


Candidate: Charlotte Watley Date: November 20, 2023 Time: 12:00 pm

The topic being studied is the effects of Whiteness on the mental health services of African Americans in the United States. It is unknown how white mental health clinicians adapt their professional practices when working with African American patients and what barriers they identify throughout the therapeutic journeys when attempting to promote culturally competent treatment…


Candidate: Aurora Lane Date: November 20, 2023 Time: 9:00 am

This hermeneutic study investigates the psychological impact and meaning of sound and considers what it may reveal about our relationship to the nature of reality. Sound’s influence on the psyche and its recurring characteristics are relatively unexplored in depth psychology. The new sciences, musicology, and cosmology help us better understand sound’s role in personal and…


Candidate: Karina Schwab Date: November 10, 2023 Time: 12:00 pm

Despite the vast literature available on the subject of anorexia nervosa, limited research has investigated anorexia among Mexican American women. Most of the research that has informed the diagnostic conceptualization of anorexia has been conducted with White Euro-American populations. Furthermore, the monopolization of Eurocentric epistemologies and empirical methodologies within the field of psychology has resulted…


Candidate: Loretta Brazil Date: November 6, 2023 Time: 10:00 am

Black women’s journeys to resilience are steeped in intergenerational experiences and multi-generational traumas, othering, racism, and environmental influences. In addition, each woman has her own lived experiences that shape her expressed energy in the world. The similarities of lived experiences of joy and pain does not diminish each woman’s individual and unique contribution to the…


Candidate: Darren Tempest Burtenshaw Date: November 3, 2023 Time: 1:00 pm

This study utilized Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to explore the meanings made from experiences of childhood and adolescent bullying. Five participants engaged in semi-structured interviews that were transcribed, coded, and analyzed. The analysis yielded 5 primary themes and 6 subthemes. The results indicated that experiences of childhood bullying significantly impacted all participants’ sense of self.…


Candidate: Cameron Green Date: November 2, 2023 Time: 10:00 am

This dissertation is a depth psychological inquiry into the shadow of social work. The methodology is a phenomenological hermeneutic reading of contemporary texts, including the best-selling memoirs of figures affiliated with the Democrat and Republican political parties—Michelle Obama’s Becoming and J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, respectively—and the foundational documents and recent publications of the National…