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Dissertation Oral Defenses


Candidate: Kathleen Taylor Date: August 30, 2016 Time: 11:00 am

This interpretive phenomenological analysis research study articulates the experiences of three Christians who manifest secure attachment to God characteristics. Human infant attachment theory and subsequent attachment to God conceptualizations were the perspectives used in order to explore the phenomenon. Analysis of the data led to four emergent themes focused on the psychological implications of having…


Candidate: Charles T. Eckhart Date: August 28, 2016 Time: 1:00 pm

This dissertation investigated the use of personal therapy in the training of psychologists and clinical psychology students from two distinct theoretical orientations: cognitive behavioral and psychoanalytic. Qualitative case study methodology was used to explicate the experiences of eight participants. The study findings suggested that psychoanalytic psychologists view personal therapy as a vital component of clinical…


Candidate: Jacquelyn Ane Rinaldi Date: August 23, 2016 Time: 11:00 am

Compassion is often misunderstood. To live with compassion does not mean to give up one’s own well-being or to jeopardize the well-being of her family in order to serve the needs of others. Compassion means one must first take care of oneself before she is able to tend to another. True compassion can only exist…


Candidate: Justin Matthew Weiss Date: August 21, 2016 Time: 1:00 pm

This dissertation explored resilience and the ability to overcome adversity and thrive. Using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, six resilient participants were interviewed to analyze resilience, where resilience derives, and how to access resilience. The six participants included a Holocaust survivor, a NASA rocket-scientist raised in poverty, a university professor diagnosed quadriplegic as a teenager after a…


Candidate: Christina Martinez Date: August 18, 2016 Time: 5:15 pm

This qualitative case study explored songwriters and therapists’ engagement with their creative capacity as part of their respective professional experiences. The results showed that the creative process may allow for elements important to their work to rise, fall and integrate in a natural way while rejecting linear and rigid pathways toward creative outcomes. This research…


Candidate: Jason Andrew Groves-Stephens Date: August 12, 2016 Time: 2:00 pm

According to C. G. Jung, the individuation process requires a reflective turn inward toward the voice of psyche, or said differently the inner voice. The inner voice can only be heard by the individual, but that does not mean the individual must discover it alone. A Quaker practice termed the clearness committee brings a small…


Candidate: N. Leigh Nicholson Date: August 9, 2016 Time: 12:30 pm

Loss of a child is the most complex death a person can experience. This event is multifaceted containing intricate layers of mourning woven throughout the bereaved parent’s lifetime. Despite considerable attention emphasizing grief reactions of the bereaved, relatively few studies have recognized the unique mourning of bereaved parents including dreams related to their child. This…


Candidate: Lynlee Ann Lyckberg Date: July 24, 2016 Time: 12:30 pm

This theoretical and interdisciplinary dissertation explores the role that the visual image plays in emerging consciousness along with the importance of creativity as an essential component in the founding and recreation of the world. Creative activity can be understood as part of a larger pattern of on-going growth and transformation in human consciousness that seeks…


Candidate: Ingrid Joy Brown Date: July 23, 2016 Time: 1:00 pm

This qualitative inquiry takes place within a growing body of interdisciplinary work dedicated to reimagining community, one’s relationship to it, and ultimately one’s place within the global community. The study is rooted in depth psychology’s recognition that the psyche is independently real and everything has meaning. Community is an ongoing story: a living myth. One…


Candidate: April Frances Miletich Rasmussen Date: July 18, 2016 Time: 11:00 am

Home is much more than a profane house, but a deeply meaningful and abstract concept. The ancient Greeks, as well as many other cultures, used mythological imagery to symbolize home, specifically the image of a glowing hearth which was also represented and worshipped as the goddess Hestia. The mythological figure of Hestia is underrepresented in…


Candidate: Fizura Barker Date: July 11, 2016 Time: 12:00 pm

This phenomenological study investigates the “lived” experiences of four therapists who work with patients who have been traumatized emotionally, sexually, or physically. The study focuses on the therapists’ experiences, which may include transference, countertransference, vicarious traumatization, and factors that lead to resiliency in therapists. The therapists’ subjective and personal experiences when working with patients who…


Candidate: Jacqueline Williams Date: June 29, 2016 Time: 11:00 am

This study explores the psychological dynamics associated with labor and birth in order to better understand the role these experiences play in women’s psychological development. This research study utilized interpretative phenomenological analysis as a research methodology and sought to address the following questions through the theoretical perspective of psychoanalysis and social constructionism: How does the…


Candidate: Darlene Marguerite Dowdy Date: June 28, 2016 Time: 2:00 pm

This dissertation explores the archetypal harbinger and the means by which the harbinger connects with the human psyche to communicate an imminent event. Examination of human psycho-physical response to its message is approached from an interdisciplinary method that includes mythology, depth and archetypal psychology, C. G. Jung’s synchronicity principle, biology, ecocriticism, and recent studies in…


Candidate: Raquel Yossiffon Date: June 28, 2016 Time: 11:00 am

This theoretical dissertation is concerned with the suppression and especially the silencing of women in the Western world. In order to unearth the root of this oppression, it focuses on the civic and political institution of the ancient Greek city, in particular Athens. Ancient Athens constituted a self-worshipping male society where the supremacy of the…


Candidate: Jaclyn Lafer Date: June 27, 2016 Time: 9:00 am

In The Soul’s Code (1996), Archetypal Psychologist James Hillman wrote about the acorn theory, the idea that each of us has a unique destiny that is announced in childhood and which we seek to fulfill over the course of a lifetime. Child development experts have offered many definitions of children and childhood, and, often, those…


Candidate: Michael Louis Grubb Date: June 18, 2016 Time: 12:45 pm

This qualitative study examines the situation when an individual is in psychotherapy and twelve-step recovery for compulsive overeating at the same time. Although both are common approaches, controversy exists concerning the relationship between compulsive overeating and addiction, the optimal treatment approaches for compulsive overeating, and the widespread use of twelve-step recovery by consumers and clinicians.…


Candidate: Robert Beridha Date: June 16, 2016 Time: 1:00 pm

This study is an inquiry into the development, imagination, and embodiment of gender in six people who have identified themselves as gender variant in some way. Gender variant means gender identities which are outside cultural norms at various levels of social interaction. This study is focused within the context of the Western cultural matrix and…


Candidate: Melvin Lloyd Allen Date: June 7, 2016 Time: 12:45 pm

This study assesses the unconscious impact of Motown music on the psyche of two generations of African-American women: mothers who gave birth during the Motown era from 1959 to 1972 when the company was located in Detroit and their daughters. The dissertation applies a combination of hermeneutic phenomenology methodologies based on narrative, imaginal, archetypal, transference…


Candidate: Kara Swedlow Date: June 4, 2016 Time: 12:45 pm

Paradoxes inherent in the work of psychoanalysis challenge a practitioner’s sense of identity and clinical capacities at all levels of experience. In particular, there is an insoluble tension between the analyst’s role as a highly trained, specialized professional and an emotional participant in an enigmatic and unpredictable process, engendering narcissistic vulnerabilities and their associated defenses,…


Candidate: Maria Luz Martinez Date: May 13, 2016 Time: 1:00 pm

This study examined a cohort of 55 students at risk for Targeted School Violence (TSV) in Los Angeles County. Demographic and individual characteristics including gender, ethnicity, academic performance, family composition, bullying, target site and selection, socialization pattern, and pre-attack and planning strategies were examined in relation to TSV. The data gathered for this study was…