Dissertation Oral Defenses


Candidate: Elizabeth Martin Date: June 1, 2022 Time: 2:00 pm

While claiming to be cultural necessities, corporations in 21st century America are recipients of both privilege and disdain, attracting immense negative criticism. They also enjoy unprecedented constitutional protections as “citizens” given the 2010 United States Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. While analytical psychological theory by C. G. Jung might find cultural,…


Candidate: Julia Grant Date: May 26, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

This hermeneutic study utilizes an archetypal and mythopoetic lens to examine the phenomenon of adolescent labiaplasty, a plastic surgery procedure that has been increasing in recent years. The analysis applies the notion of shame that arises from developmental impingement, manifesting in intrapsychic judgmental eyes of a Terrible Mother complex, to an adolescent female’s motivation to…


Candidate: Daniel Siuba Date: May 20, 2022 Time: 1:00 pm

This hermeneutic study explored depictions of the body, subtle body, and matter in the work of Canadian Jungian analyst Marion Woodman (1928–2018) by interpreting five of Woodman’s books: The Owl Was a Baker’s Daughter, Addiction to Perfection, The Pregnant Virgin, The Ravaged Bridegroom, and Leaving My Father’s House. The interpretation process yielded 46 significant themes…


Candidate: Marissa Aro Date: May 4, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

Through the lenses of depth psychology and mythology, this dissertation focuses on what fictional safe spaces are, their role in the individuation process and how fictional safe spaces benefit marginalized adolescents as well as the masses. Paired with the text is a performance piece in the form of a young adult novel titled Mixed Magic.…


Candidate: Pamela Hancock Date: May 2, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

Trauma affects over 50% of the population. From sexual abuse to domestic violence, a terrifying number of people in the West will go through some sort of turning point that changes their lives forever. As a rape survivor and having suffered debilitating postpartum depression, the author of this dissertation knows this firsthand. C. G. Jung…


Candidate: Nichole Fowler Date: April 29, 2022 Time: 1:00 pm

This study was an investigation into how curiosity can be viewed from an archetypal perspective in the fields of marketing and depth psychology. The question addressed in this dissertation was, How might a depth psychological analysis of the archetypal function of curiosity reveal the unconscious dynamics enacted in branding and advertising? The answers were informed…


Candidate: Deborah Maroulis Date: April 22, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

This dissertation explores how the sibling archetype and, more specifically, the twin archetype plays a symbolic role in the process of individuation, especially by expanding the Self/Other relationship to include a horizontal dimension. It includes a depth psychological exploration of the stories associated with Castor and Pollux, twins who play a central role in classical…


Candidate: Noah Kramer Date: April 15, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

Relational ontologies have been prioritized within the discourses of community, liberation, eco, and indigenous psychologies. How do relational ways of knowing and being come to be felt within the context of Euro-American modernity? This qualitative research study explored whether a relational-participatory form of communal psychedelic healing ceremony, as practiced by an intergenerational Washington D.C. community,…


Candidate: Valerie Marvin Date: April 11, 2022 Time: 3:00 pm

The psychological wounds correlated to childhood sexual assault for the woman survivor are often delineated by unspeakable terror when initiating the journey toward wellness. The process of reintegrating the split-off aspects of the Self to re-establish a cohesively functioning ego may respond to a psychodynamic approach that amplifies salient imagery as representational patterns of behavior.…


Candidate: Jonathan Alvin Date: April 1, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

This study examined the 1080 serving Wise Emergency Survival Food Storage (WESFS). In 2009, the WESFS was marketed as an emergency food product with a 25-year shelf life capable of feeding an individual for a year. To understand the 1080 serving WESFS, this study utilized phenomenology, cultural historical analysis, and hermeneutic theories within philosophy and…


Candidate: Ashley Simons Date: March 26, 2022 Time: 9:30 am

The purpose of this depth psychological narrative inquiry study is to gather stories from individuals who have lost a loved one to death and analyze the narratives through the lenses of image and synchronicity. The research explores how individuals create or find meaning in grieving the death of a cherished person when they encounter evocative…


Candidate: Rachel Turetzky Date: March 25, 2022 Time: 1:00 pm

A hermeneutic phenomenological research approach using thematic analysis was used to explore the subjective experience of the psychedelic compound N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT).  The secondary archival data analyzed in this study included the participant bedside notes written by physician and researcher Rick Strassman, MD during his groundbreaking DMT research in the early 1990s (Strassman & Qualls, 1994;…


Candidate: Van Tuong Bui Date: March 19, 2022 Time: 11:00 am

This depth-oriented study explores the unique embodied experiences of parental expectations and biculturalism in second-generation Vietnamese immigrants. The research was conducted using a mixed-methods approach, primarily based on an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) methodology combined with a quantitative survey. Eighty-six people completed the online survey and 11 second-generation Vietnamese individuals were randomly selected for an…


Candidate: Daniel Ballin Date: March 15, 2022 Time: 9:00 am

This heuristic inquiry explores the therapist’s experience of a client’s suicide. Five clinician suicide loss survivors share their experiences, including how they responded to the initial news of the suicide, navigated workplace relationships, grieved the loss of the deceased, struggled with their professional narrative, and engaged in a healing process. Their experiences are presented in…


Candidate: Nicholas Literski Date: March 14, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

This study applies the depth psychological tool of active imagination in a novel manner to engage 36,000-year-old Paleolithic art images from Chauvet Cave, with an eye toward further understanding C. G. Jung’s concept of the religious instinct. Archeological and anthropological contexts are described in detail, after which three separate active imagination sessions are conducted with…


Candidate: Bernard Becker Date: March 7, 2022 Time: 9:00 am

In the face of the rekindling of scientific research on the use of psychedelics as adjuncts to psychotherapy, questions arise on the risks and benefits of this novel hybrid form of therapy.  In particular, psychedelics are known for their capacity to elicit non-ordinary states of consciousness and allow access to unconscious, archetypal or numinous psychological…


Candidate: Carl Chavez Date: March 4, 2022 Time: 2:00 pm

This dissertation explores the concept of personal identities in relation to social identities and social constructs. The research brings into focus long-standing patterns of identity suppression while analyzing these patterns through a multidisciplinary approach. Moreover, it validates the intersectionality of identity and the space of in-betweenness while recognizing that identity is in constant motion and…


Candidate: Samantha Kinkaid Date: February 22, 2022 Time: 9:00 am

The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential synergy between counter-trafficking programs and sustainable development by examining the impact of an existing solar energy program with groups of isolated girls and women in rural Nepal. Through a case study methodology, the intention was to understand the effect on participants’ quality of life, mental…


Candidate: Heather Beck Date: February 2, 2022 Time: 12:00 pm

This hermeneutical study explores the lived experience of embodied transition through the middle years into the second half of life, by engaging with depth psychological, somatic, and imaginal research approaches. By interacting with the literature and the literary imaginals through the depth psychological process of active imagination, supported by three somatic practices of Focusing®, embodied…


Candidate: Sharon Goldman Date: January 31, 2022 Time: 1:00 pm

The myriad social and emotional challenges of midlife in contemporary American society are well documented both empirically and anecdotally. With more middle-aged individuals now confronting the complications involved in the extended lifespan of their parents’ generation, another question has become salient: How does caring for a declining parent enhance, detract from, or otherwise affect one’s…