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Dissertation Oral Defenses


Candidate: Maryam Sayyad Date: July 26, 2022 Time: 1:00 pm

This dissertation is an inquiry into the problem of death. It begins with the premise that death alone is not a problem. Rather, it takes love to transform the cool fact of death into the heated psychological event of loss. Death would have no sting and nowhere near the meaning it has in our lives…


Candidate: Zachary Kampf Date: July 26, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

The 27 Club is a cultural meme, encompassing the collective fascination with and mythologization of famous musicians who died at age 27. To investigate its underlying archetypal factors, this hermeneutical study analyzes the textual material of four of its six most prominent artists (Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse), utilizing the interpretive…


Candidate: Winsome Alston Date: July 23, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

The purpose of this research was to give voice to a population that is rarely heard from, they are, the Jamaican elders. This research further set out to record the lived experiences of the elders during the colonialism (1928-1962) period and determine how the role of spirituality, religion, and the numinous shaped their lives. The…


Candidate: Randall Ulyate Date: July 21, 2022 Time: 11:00 am

This theoretical dissertation aims to decolonize the voluntourism industry through a critical, depth psychologically-informed lens. By addressing the cultural complexes founded in white supremacy that inform the voluntourism industry, this dissertation explores how young American adults engage in neocolonial practices through performative voluntourism programs disguised as legitimate humanitarian efforts. The thesis asserts that the voluntourism…


Candidate: James Lichtenstein Date: July 14, 2022 Time: 11:00 am

The purpose of this study was to discover how the creation or adaptation of a ritual practice can affect suicide survivors’ ability to adapt to the experience of the suicide of an important person in their life. Using a methodology of narrative inquiry this research examined ten participants’ stories. Participants were chosen from among persons…


Candidate: Adam Schneider Date: July 5, 2022 Time: 4:00 pm

This qualitative study analyzes and describes the experiences of licensed psychologists at inpatient psychiatric facilities engaging with people with psychosis. The study used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to address the research question: How do licensed clinical psychologists describe and understand their experiences working with patients with psychosis at inpatient psychiatric facilities? The researcher conducted and transcribed…


Candidate: Myka Kelly Hanson Date: July 2, 2022 Time: 1:30 pm

Horror fiction and depth psychology seem to run parallel to one another among scholars and readers, rarely intersecting. Yet horror fiction regularly deals with elements of depth psychology, including the soul, archetype, and the shadow. Depth psychology finds rich territory within the fictional world of horror in extrapolation of the shadow, pathologies, and nightmares. An…


Candidate: Selena Madden Date: June 27, 2022 Time: 1:00 pm

Archetypal psychology is a version of Jungian depth psychology that emphasizes the importance of myths and archetypes for understanding the self and one’s relationship with others. This dissertation examines how the archetypes of the feminine warrior and the feminine lover may be integrated within those who identify as female or are female-embodied. The strengths and…


Candidate: Barbara Park Date: June 24, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

This project studies numinous phenomenon in performance to discover new ways to language and understand numinous encounters as ineffable and embodied lived experiences. Felt as “real” or concrete they significantly contribute insight toward potentializing personal and cultural transformation. Intangible, numinous experiences exist on a horizon of mystery in the “in-between-ness” between the known and the…


Candidate: Eva Pastalkova Date: June 16, 2022 Time: 4:00 pm

The impact of narcissistic parenting on children has received relatively little attention in the literature. The purpose of this interpretive phenomenological analysis study was to explore the effect that growing up with a narcissistic father has on the psychology of a daughter. Specifically, the author examined how such upbringing affected the daughter’s feminine psychological aspects,…


Candidate: Viktoria Byczkiewicz Date: June 7, 2022 Time: 4:00 pm

This depth-psychological study examines suicide and suicidality from historical and various theoretical perspectives including the existential, interpersonal, and integrated psychodynamic to demonstrate the overall congruencies and relatedness in their understandings and their compatibility with an archetypal view of suicide. Two textual cases of suicidality in women pathologized for or by their sexuality from the text…


Candidate: Stephanie Steiner Date: June 2, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

We are currently experiencing a crisis that is characterized, according to anthropologist Arturo Escobar, by the world-making practices of Western modernity. This crisis can also be described as a struggle between coloniality and decoloniality. Educational institutions shape how we see ourselves, our place in the world, our values, and our actions, and as such, contribute…


Candidate: Elizabeth Martin Date: June 1, 2022 Time: 2:00 pm

While claiming to be cultural necessities, corporations in 21st century America are recipients of both privilege and disdain, attracting immense negative criticism. They also enjoy unprecedented constitutional protections as “citizens” given the 2010 United States Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. While analytical psychological theory by C. G. Jung might find cultural,…


Candidate: Julia Grant Date: May 26, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

This hermeneutic study utilizes an archetypal and mythopoetic lens to examine the phenomenon of adolescent labiaplasty, a plastic surgery procedure that has been increasing in recent years. The analysis applies the notion of shame that arises from developmental impingement, manifesting in intrapsychic judgmental eyes of a Terrible Mother complex, to an adolescent female’s motivation to…


Candidate: Daniel Siuba Date: May 20, 2022 Time: 1:00 pm

This hermeneutic study explored depictions of the body, subtle body, and matter in the work of Canadian Jungian analyst Marion Woodman (1928–2018) by interpreting five of Woodman’s books: The Owl Was a Baker’s Daughter, Addiction to Perfection, The Pregnant Virgin, The Ravaged Bridegroom, and Leaving My Father’s House. The interpretation process yielded 46 significant themes…


Candidate: Marissa Aro Date: May 4, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

Through the lenses of depth psychology and mythology, this dissertation focuses on what fictional safe spaces are, their role in the individuation process and how fictional safe spaces benefit marginalized adolescents as well as the masses. Paired with the text is a performance piece in the form of a young adult novel titled Mixed Magic.…


Candidate: Pamela Hancock Date: May 2, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

Trauma affects over 50% of the population. From sexual abuse to domestic violence, a terrifying number of people in the West will go through some sort of turning point that changes their lives forever. As a rape survivor and having suffered debilitating postpartum depression, the author of this dissertation knows this firsthand. C. G. Jung…


Candidate: Nichole Fowler Date: April 29, 2022 Time: 1:00 pm

This study was an investigation into how curiosity can be viewed from an archetypal perspective in the fields of marketing and depth psychology. The question addressed in this dissertation was, How might a depth psychological analysis of the archetypal function of curiosity reveal the unconscious dynamics enacted in branding and advertising? The answers were informed…


Candidate: Deborah Maroulis Date: April 22, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

This dissertation explores how the sibling archetype and, more specifically, the twin archetype plays a symbolic role in the process of individuation, especially by expanding the Self/Other relationship to include a horizontal dimension. It includes a depth psychological exploration of the stories associated with Castor and Pollux, twins who play a central role in classical…


Candidate: Noah Kramer Date: April 15, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

Relational ontologies have been prioritized within the discourses of community, liberation, eco, and indigenous psychologies. How do relational ways of knowing and being come to be felt within the context of Euro-American modernity? This qualitative research study explored whether a relational-participatory form of communal psychedelic healing ceremony, as practiced by an intergenerational Washington D.C. community,…