Dissertation Oral Defenses


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…


Candidate: Rose Marie Rutherford Date: September 1, 2015 Time: 2:00 pm

Much has been written about shame and depression and its importance for affecting change in clinical work with clients. Recent literature has suggested the importance of clarifying the role of shame as a predictor of depressive symptoms. In light of this work, this investigation hypothesized that the participants with depression would score higher on the…


Candidate: Sharon Anne Wallace Date: September 1, 2015 Time: 10:00 am

This study explores the experience of soul connection through Irish music, from the comforts of feeling at home to the other-worldliness of metaphorically magical encounters. Previous psychological studies involving music have tended to focus on the listener’s experience and clinical applications, often emphasizing classical music or song lyrics. This inquiry focuses on the musician’s experience…


Candidate: Brandon Jacob Hill Date: August 30, 2015 Time: 1:30 pm

Objective: In this study the researcher examined the psychological mindset of men who have killed in combat and specifically the mental process that allowed them to do so. Additionally, this study examines killing from a Jungian perspective. Method: Grounded Theory Method provided the structure to examine ten written accounts of men who experienced combat and…


Candidate: Carol Ann Quinlivan Date: August 28, 2015 Time: 1:00 pm

Depth psychologist C.G. Jung bemoaned the loss of imagination within religion. Jung’s mystical experience was far too deep and intense to be captured in any language other than that of the soul. Rather than striving for an exact or literal meaning, the soul delights in plurality as well as multiple levels of understanding, and realizations.…


Candidate: Michael Petrow Date: August 27, 2015 Time: 5:00 pm

This study explores the exegetical methodology of the early Christian philosopher Origen of Alexandria, and re-introduces him as a vital guide for the interpretation of the ongoing personal myth written in the living human documents of every soul. Origen utilizes a three-tiered exegetical strategy, interpreting meaning first at the literal level—with both historical and religious…


Candidate: Michael J. Mullard Date: August 24, 2015 Time: 12:00 pm

This study utilized a Grounded Theory methodology to investigate the positive and negative impact of silence in the therapeutic dyad. Thirteen licensed psychotherapists of different theoretical traditions related their experiences of using silence as a clinical tool to increase patient contact with unconscious affect needing to be expressed and integrated. Investigation centered on both the…


Candidate: Omyda Heather Hernandez Date: August 20, 2015 Time: 11:30 am

This study sought to contribute to the body of cross-cultural and multicultural psychology literature by embarking on a qualitative exploration of how health and illness are conceptualized and treated from an Amerindian indigenous shamanic perspective. Utilizing Charmaz’s (2006) grounded theory methodology, a conceptual theory of indigenous shamanic healing interventions and their mechanisms of efficacy was…