Dissertation Oral Defenses


Candidate: Helen Slater Date: October 9, 2023 Time: 10:00 am

In this dissertation, a contemplative and depth psychological lens is used to examine motifs of refuge in myth, fairytale, and sacred text. Refuge speaks to the collective need for quiet and retreat that ultimately helps one abide in the present moment. The awakened heart implies a counter intuitive move whereby we are asked to become…


Candidate: DeAnna Crosby Date: October 6, 2023 Time: 1:00 pm

The purpose of this study is to understand the patterns and signs of vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue among clinicians who counsel sex trafficking victims. Specifically, this qualitative study seeks to understand the lived experience of clinicians by examining phenomenological patterns and signs of trauma and compassion fatigue that commonly arise when working with victims…


Candidate: DeAnna Crosby Date: October 6, 2023 Time: 1:00 pm

The purpose of this study is to understand the patterns and signs of vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue among clinicians who counsel sex trafficking victims. Specifically, this qualitative study seeks to understand the lived experience of clinicians by examining phenomenological patterns and signs of trauma and compassion fatigue that commonly arise when working with victims…


Candidate: Samuel C. Hinds Date: October 5, 2023 Time: 10:00 am

Cultural philosopher Jean Gebser (1985) posited that humanity is presently in the throes of a critical historical process that, hinging upon our successful participation, may result in a mutation of consciousness whereby the presently dominant mental-rational structure of consciousness will transmute into what he called the integral structure. Gebser’s vision holds profound implications for the…


Candidate: Dennis Hall Date: September 26, 2023 Time: 10:00 am

This dissertation examines the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur in the labyrinth as an exemplar for an active, agential labyrinth meditation practice. The myth’s applicability for meditative practice is ascertained through three psychological interpretations of the myth. A collective meaning and two interdependent individual psychological meanings are produced through use of Marie-Louise von Franz’s…


Candidate: Dennis Hall Date: September 26, 2023 Time: 10:00 am

This dissertation examines the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur in the labyrinth as an exemplar for an active, agential labyrinth meditation practice. The myth’s applicability for meditative practice is ascertained through three psychological interpretations of the myth. A collective meaning and two interdependent individual psychological meanings are produced through use of Marie-Louise von Franz’s…


Candidate: Kristina Sanders Date: September 21, 2023 Time: 11:00 am

In the United States, millions of athletic injuries are sustained through recreational exercise and sports every year, causing physical distress and psychological instability. Injured athletes often experience depression, anxiety, anger, fear, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Few studies have explored athletes’ psychological states post-injury or how to assist injured athletes in understanding the symbolic dimensions and…


Candidate: Heather McMillen Date: September 16, 2023 Time: 12:00 pm

Using a phenomenological hermeneutic methodology, this dissertation engages the ideas of C. G. Jung and James Hillman to approach color theory from a depth psychological perspective. The question framing this inquiry is: “How might depth psychology benefit from a psyche-centered examination of color and color theory?” The investigative portions of the research name instances where…


Candidate: Akasa Tseng Date: September 15, 2023 Time: 10:00 am

This depth psychological exploration of life events as stories of the soul restores the soul‘s method of knowing and fosters a new relationship with the psyche. It utilizes a hybrid methodology combining hermeneutics and alchemical hermeneutics with autoethnography to explore the soul’s unfinished business in the personal, ancestral, and cultural psyche. The dissertation gathers multiple…


Candidate: Lisa Bostian Date: September 7, 2023 Time: 2:00 pm

American canonical writer Ernest Hemingway created fictional portrayals of war and masculine themes.  His lifelong battle with depression and family history of suicide has led to a fascination with the author’s personal life.  This inherited psychological legacy could be considered a curse.  However, this study suggests that the curse can be understood as the cultural…


Candidate: Leyla Salmassian Bell Date: August 14, 2023 Time: 10:00 am

Depth psychology holds that the individual’s inner images are potent mediums of knowing and experiencing. Manifest with their own spontaneity, affective qualities, and temporality, inner images bridge the connection between the internal and external worlds of experiencing and being. Explored papers in depth psychology, somatics, phenomenology, and expressive arts therapy, reflect the interrelationship and interconnection…


Candidate: Edgar Garcia Date: August 10, 2023 Time: 10:00 am

The purpose of this study was to explore and understand the clinical relevance of ancient Mesoamerican healing practices with the overall aim of creating a hybrid model of psychotherapy. This study utilized Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to interview three Toltec healing practitioners about their lived experiences, including their perspectives on healing, illness, spirituality, and psychological…


Candidate: Jesse Carsten Date: July 25, 2023 Time: 3:00 pm

Despite the abundance of research that has been done on the cosmic, philosopher- musician Sun Ra there has not yet been a full study attending to the primacy of mythology in his life, thought, and music. This dissertation explores this mythic aspect and the multifarious stories that Ra told, as woven into the kaleidoscopic body…


Candidate: Chanda L. Williams Date: July 18, 2023 Time: 11:00 am

Research indicates an association between trauma and the perpetration of crime. Many incarcerated people have experienced trauma at some point in their lifetime, prior to incarceration. Yoga therapy is an integrative healthcare practice found to be effective in treating the effects of trauma while improving interoceptive awareness and overall well-being. Although studies on long-term yoga…


Candidate: John R. Schairer Date: July 17, 2023 Time: 1:00 pm

In popular culture, the hero’s journey is often considered to be a journey of adventure and exploration. But on a deeper, depth psychological level, it is an inward journey to higher levels of consciousness and individuation. A Vajrayana Buddhist sacred biography, Lady of the Lotus Born: The Life and Enlightenment of Yeshe Tsogyal, provides such…


Candidate: Caroline Helene Schairer Date: July 17, 2023 Time: 11:00 am

Although meditation is a contemplative practice that can engender individuation, spirituality, and enlightenment, it also lowers the threshold to the unconscious and allows unconscious contents to enter consciousness. With the lowering of the threshold to the unconscious, there is the potential to encounter the demons of the unknown, hidden or shadow aspects of ourselves. Through…


Candidate: Rosalyn Anita Batey Carlos-Bustamante Date: July 11, 2023 Time: 2:00 pm

This dissertation explores how assumptions about reality and the super natural can affect the ways in which both experiencers and non-experiencers approach the paranormal and super natural. Using written accounts of paranormal encounters at specific locations, this dissertation unpacks how time, location, and culture can influence how a person may or may not experience the…


Candidate: Linda Anita Turner Date: July 8, 2023 Time: 12:30 pm

This inquiry, using a narrative methodology, depicts the embodied experience of five women who handle and ride horses (horsewomen) through narrative and cameo vignettes. Embodiment is understood as the totality of the experience: sensations occurring in the structure of the body, energies flowing in and around the body, and images that arise in the mind.…


Candidate: Laura Maneates Date: June 29, 2023 Time: 3:00 pm

This dissertation examines the problem of substance addiction from a depth psychological perspective. It explores how sustainable recovery can be initiated in the treatment of substance addiction through the excavation of soul as a vehicle for healing trauma, loss of meaning, and connection with spirit. Using hermeneutic methodology, the study examines the conundrum of a…


Candidate: Shannon Sharee Calder Date: June 29, 2023 Time: 10:00 am

Research has shown that writing personal stories or memoir has psychological impact on the individual author and may guide them on a path to healing through the process of crafting and reimagining their story. This study used Clark Moustakas’s qualitative heuristic methodology to analyze the co-researcher’s experiential data that was gathered through interview, the study…