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Dissertation Oral Defenses


Candidate: Susan Marie Chaney Date: January 5, 2016 Time: 11:00 am

This dissertation explores how desire is a motivator for individual change and growth. The conscious presence of material desires is often a driving force of tension between the mind and body. Examining how the body communicates biologically aids in our understanding of some of the conflicts that arise in the individual psyche. By understanding the…


Candidate: Alanna Kaivalya Date: December 22, 2015 Time: 12:00 pm

The practice of yoga is far more powerful than it is currently being given credit for in the West. It is seen as primarily a physical practice, but the benefits of yoga reach far beyond the body and mind. Yoga is capable of producing emotional, spiritual, and psychological wholeness—benefits that are not being fully explored…


Candidate: Patrice Alana Jacob Date: December 21, 2015 Time: 2:00 pm

The purpose of this hermeneutic study was to explore how concepts from the empirical turn in the philosophy of technology could be used to understand the expanding roles of technologies in clinical psychological issues. We live surrounded by advancing technologies with accelerating development. However, depth psychology has a notable lack of the vocabulary, frameworks, and…


Candidate: Rebecca Diggs Date: December 20, 2015 Time: 2:00 pm

Television, purveyor of episodic story and moving image, the glowing hearth of countless homes, is an undeniably powerful force in contemporary Western culture. It is a veritable god to many of us. When we invite Television into our living rooms and bed-rooms, we enter into relationship with a mythological sibling of the ancient Greek god…


Candidate: Deborah Elizabeth Cluff Date: December 19, 2015 Time: 3:00 pm

Links between shame and art making have been felt, intuited, and examined but have not been sufficiently documented in depth psychological studies. This research explores the relationship between creating assemblage art and shame; effectively asking: can assemblage art help to re-assemble the self? The study surveys depth psychological conceptions of shame, art, and the role…


Candidate: M. Tirzah Firestone Friedman Date: December 15, 2015 Time: 12:45 pm

Traumatic wounds do not simply disappear over time. The results of war, starvation, and racial abuses imprint themselves biologically and psychologically within individuals and entire cultures, carrying forward unwittingly to new generations. This dissertation studies the transgenerational effects of Jewish historical trauma in the wake of protracted anti-Semitic persecution culminating in the Nazi Holocaust. The…


Candidate: Karin Elizabeth Zirk Date: December 8, 2015 Time: 12:15 pm

The purpose of this participatory, mythologically oriented on-line study was to determine if working with mythic artifacts in an imaginal manner as a form of self-care results in enhanced well-being among long-term caregivers. The on-line workshop for adult women caring for a parent uses caregiving topics paired with mythic narratives and encourages journal writing to…


Candidate: Britta Jane Bushnell Date: December 6, 2015 Time: 2:00 pm

Current birthing practices in the United States focus on the outcome and location of birth: surgical or vaginal, medicated or un-medicated, hospital or home. Little focus is placed on the multivalent experience of body, mind, spirit and psyche. After an unwanted birth by cesarean, well-meaning nurses and friends often say, “Be happy! Your baby is…


Candidate: Haydeé Patricia Rovirosa Date: December 1, 2015 Time: 11:00 am

The introduction argues that our ability to reevaluate existing mythologies and worldviews requires a critical engagement with the world. War, global capitalism, climate change, toxic emissions, urbanization, and distribution of territory have triggered dramatically negative changes to the planet— changes that many artists are attempting to address. In chapter 2 the intention is to show…


Candidate: Joshua Tyler Noblin Date: November 22, 2015 Time: 12:30 pm

The purpose of this study is to better understand the impact of early relational trauma of individuals adopted during their toddler years, between 18 months and 36 months old. A phenomenological approach was employed to collect and analyze data from interviews with eight individuals adopted during toddlerhood. Each participant completed the Adult Attachment Interview, a…


Candidate: John Anthony Valenzuela Date: November 20, 2015 Time: 10:00 am

he purpose of this study was to describe the phenomenological experience of men who identify ethnically as Mexican American. In the research literature, group identification, microaggressions, cultural complexes, and archetypes were shown to influence the quality of the experience for individuals of this ethnic group. To identify these processes in individuals this qualitative study gathered…


Candidate: Gustavo Beck Urriolagoitia Date: November 9, 2015 Time: 12:45 pm

In 1975, James Hillman published Re-Visioning Psychology, which is perhaps his most important book, and certainly constitutes one of the main texts in archetypal psychology. This dissertation argues that the ideas presented by Hillman forty years ago have lost much of their psychological value, and are again in need of revisioning. In order to execute…


Candidate: Karen Lynne Peterson Date: October 25, 2015 Time: 2:30 pm

This depth-oriented study focuses on narratives shared by six women about their midlife transition experience and the evolution of their self-expression. Truth-telling is generally defined as a person’s willingness and dedication to speaking her own personal truth regardless of the consequences. The narratives of the six postmenopausal women, including the researcher, who participated in this…


Candidate: Elizabeth Anne Colistra Date: October 23, 2015 Time: 6:00 pm

The purpose of this study is to explore the meaning of the experience of real romantic love when it emerges mutually between analyst and analysand from the perspective of C. G. Jung’s concept of individuation. In this dissertation, the real romantic love relationship is defined as a romantic mutual love involving less projection and more…


Candidate: Ida Chi LaChiusa Date: October 10, 2015 Time: 12:30 pm

This mixed methods study explored whether body-work such as Ashtanga yoga can lead to improved affect regulation and body awareness among survivors of complex childhood trauma. It examined the prevalence of complex trauma among Ashtanga yoga practitioners to determine qualitatively whether their perceptions of emotions, their ability to manage affective states, and their body awareness…


Candidate: Kim Elyse Farber Date: October 9, 2015 Time: 12:30 pm

This hermeneutic study explores the phenomenon of love-suicide using Cleopatra VII as a case study. This research explores a variety of depth psychological perspectives of death and destruction, suicide, and romantic love in order to gain an understanding of the meaning of death for the psyche and the archetypal underpinnings of suicide in the context…


Candidate: Maristela de Salles Duarte Smith Date: September 22, 2015 Time: 12:00 pm

This study explores the lived experiences of Brazilian students of African descent (N=8) having to self-categorize racially as they enrolled into institutions of higher education through affirmative action policies. A phenomenological methodology was used for the establishment of eight essential constituents inherent in the experience of being Black: (1) racial socialization influencing sense of Blackness,…


Candidate: Rita Rispoli Porter Date: September 4, 2015 Time: 5:00 pm

This qualitative study examined the psychological construct of place attachment in Louisiana and Mississippi residents [N = 6] who experienced forced relocation in 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina and ensuing events. The purpose of this study was to understand the lived experiences related to place attachment of relocated individuals who returned home and those who…


Candidate: Bradford James White Date: September 4, 2015 Time: 2:00 pm

Psychologists across disciplines have examined narcissistic phenomena for over a century. Through the lenses of social constructivism and depth psychology, this dissertation illuminates the clinical psychological implications of narcissistic phenomena in American culture through an archival, phenomenological analysis of a specific cultural artifact: the lyrics of contemporary popular music. The importance of music and its…


Candidate: Nihal N. Makhyoun Date: September 2, 2015 Time: 5:30 pm

Until September 11, 2001, Arab Americans were a concealed minority that blended within America’s multicultural fabric making the acculturation and assimilation into their host country an individualized process. However, the events of 9/11 have influenced this personalized phenomenon. This qualitative phenomenological study explores the post September 11th experiences of five women from Arab, Muslim backgrounds…