Pacifica continues to respond to COVID-19 - Click here to read updates on campus access and course delivery for upcoming quarters. (Click here for FAQs.)

Dissertation Oral Defenses


Candidate: Julia J. Lanham Date: July 20, 2015 Time: 2:00 pm

It began disguised as the personal myth Julia had concocted for herself. Let me press this further. What it was, what it is, and the idea of what the inquiry will become along the way back into our world is a response to the specific questions life has addressed to Julia and her “houses of…


Candidate: Crystal C. Ramirez Date: July 17, 2015 Time: 2:00 pm

Two of the hallmark symptoms for psychoses are hallucinations and delusions, indicating to mental health practitioners that the person is experiencing a form of nonconsensual reality. These patients are not given the same opportunities to collaborate in the planning for their treatment as those who are being treated for other conditions. Psychosis is a condition…


Candidate: Nancy Marshall Date: July 16, 2015 Time: 12:00 pm

Earthly paradise and its lost have fascinated humanity from the dawn of time. Indeed, the myth of earthly paradise is found throughout the world, and the longing for life in paradise is basic to every human being. The term paradise was first used in ancient Persia where it meant a walled garden. Thus paradise is…


Candidate: Henriette van Eck Date: July 15, 2015 Time: 10:00 am

Peace psychology was recognized by the American Psychological Association (APA) as a specialty area of psychology in 1990. This research study analyses the past 25 years of peace psychologists’ efforts as the Society of Peace, Conflict, and Violence: Peace Psychology Division 48 of the APA (Division 48). Today the field has grown to include an…


Candidate: Carolina A. Van Stone Date: July 8, 2015 Time: 5:30 pm

Treatment of addictive processes is one of the specialties of clinical psychology. Practitioners hone their skills to relieve the suffering and ill effects of substance use. This dissertation explored sugar use, as an addictive process, through the lens of emotional regulation, addressing the research question: What is the lived experience of emotional regulation through sugar…


Candidate: Gina Copeland Edwards Date: June 25, 2015 Time: 2:00 pm

This hermeneutic study explores the literary landscapes of epic myth and depth psychology to illuminate the Greek Gorgon Medusa as an autonomous figure of myth. Her archetypal symbolism represents a foundational substrate for the West’s relation to and understanding of the feminine. This study asks what aspects of the archetypal feminine are denigrated and demonized…


Candidate: Katherine A. Greenwood Date: June 21, 2015 Time: 6:00 pm

This dissertation provides a theoretical, archetypal, and imaginal approach to integrating psyche and soma through the development and design of a distinctive movement praxis rooted in mythology, the Mythic Movement Practice. This proposed movement model is composed of eight Signature Moves that are based on the eight Effort Actions of Rudolf Laban’s Action Drive, as…


Candidate: Leanne Whitney Date: June 19, 2015 Time: 2:00 pm

In our contemporary scientific exploration of reality there is heated debate on the nature of consciousness. Comparing the representations of consciousness in the depth psychology of Carl Jung and the Classical Yoga of Patañjali contributes to the argument on whether consciousness arises from psychic process or whether consciousness is the ground of Being. In Patañjali’s…


Candidate: Maxine Blanche Langdon Starr Date: June 18, 2015 Time: 2:00 pm

Adolescents and therapist professional development are two areas in psychological literature that have remained relatively untouched for more than 20 years. Research provides evidence that many adolescents suffer from mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety; yet there is a lack of appropriate care. Much of the research on adolescents and therapists who work…


Candidate: Evija Volfa Vestergaard Date: June 17, 2015 Time: 9:00 am

This hermeneutic study with a depth psychological perspective explores Latvian traditional mythological legends using a close reading/active imagination methodology. It interprets the supernatural beings of the legends as images of the Shadow archetype that concern the legend tellers’ challenging experiences with material wealth and their sense of worthiness. The study is an important contribution to…


Candidate: Irene Goikolea Uriarte Date: June 9, 2015 Time: 12:00 pm

This dissertation explores the impact of awakening to the sacred feminine both in the researcher and in the members of Amalurra, an intentional community in the Basque Country of Spain. The intention of awakening to the sacred feminine triggered a process of descent into the depths of the participants’ personal unconscious through which they made…


Candidate: Angela Megan Sells Date: June 4, 2015 Time: 3:00 pm

Who was Sabina Spielrein? Clearly, with the release of the recent (2011) film, A Dangerous Method, the story of Sabina Spielrein is still stirring in collective consciousness, though the scope has been greatly limited. Outside of the current cultural trend of presenting Spielrein solely as C. G. Jung’s patient and/or mistress, relatively little is written…


Candidate: Susanne Beth Stockman Date: June 4, 2015 Time: 3:00 pm

From a reading of the Hebrew Bible itself it would be difficult to determine that a goddess culture existed for thousands of years prior to the appearance of the monotheistic Father God of Hebrew Scripture. As such, the repression of the Goddess during the Iron Age and the implications of this repression in our own…


Candidate: Stacey Jill Zackin Date: May 29, 2015 Time: 12:30 pm

The purpose of this hermeneutic dissertation is to explore the transformative potential and practical application of traditional hospitality in contemporary life. Through the examination and interpretation of literature pertaining to the evolution of hospitality and theories of depth psychology, this research deconstructs the basic perception of what it means to be hospitable and re-envisions hospitality…


Candidate: Jordan Shapiro Date: May 12, 2015 Time: 12:45 pm

This research explores edges, boundaries and borders. Presuming that modern experience is mediated through the negotiation of boundaries that are constructed unconsciously, this work compares, contrasts, employs, and encounters the writings of Carl Jung and Martin Heidegger. It gives attention to the way each thinker deals with the limitations that subject-object metaphysics impose on conceptions…


Candidate: William Michael Linn II Date: May 7, 2015 Time: 1:00 pm

Classical, scientific, and Abrahamic origin stories of knowledge establish grounds. Upon excavating these grounds, this dissertation has found repeated and entangled emphases on isolation related to a materially grounded cosmology. The core evidence for this position comes from their comparable displays of the psyche/mind/soul/spirit’s entry into and/or imprisonment within body, the symbolic restraint of Classical…


Candidate: Daisy Obetsanov Date: May 6, 2015 Time: 2:00 pm

This study examined women’s experiences before, during and after having bariatric surgery. By conducting an in-depth qualitative examination of the lived experiences of women who have had bariatric surgery, this dissertation sought to provide a framework for psychotherapists to assist patients with pre-surgical assessment, as well as with the provision of psychotherapy to bariatric patients…


Candidate: Sherrie Sims Allen Date: May 4, 2015 Time: 3:00 pm

This research study offers a revisioning of Black women’s rage, which is typically viewed as a destructive emotion offering no value to modern society. Through the use of multiple methodologies—alchemical hermeneutics, literary textual analysis, and a focus group—and examined through the theoretical lenses of depth psychology, mythology, Black feminism, and Black women’s literature, this dissertation…


Candidate: Agnes M. Regeczkey Date: May 3, 2015 Time: 4:00 pm

The purpose of this research is to better understand the birth of psychoanalytic theories in the context of collaboratory and adversarial relationships. From the 1920’s, there were seminal papers that revealed theoretical variances which impacted collegial relationships and vice versa. Melanie Klein’s theoretical identity attracted attention as she transformed her observations of child play into…


Candidate: Katherine Marsai Date: April 27, 2015 Time: 1:00 pm

Hidden within the many distractions of our modern day culture are people who have faced some of the darkest aspects of life and its unthinkable circumstances.  These same people have also triumphed over their difficulties in extraordinary ways.  This qualitative research dissertation explores the deep structure of numinous events in times of crisis and how…