Dissertation Oral Defenses


Candidate: Jonathan Rudow Date: October 1, 2022 Time: 11:00 am

This research explores variations in the experience of whiteness-as-lived within the narrative accounts of white Americans, focusing on how positionality affects the development of identities, sociopolitical beliefs, and conceptions of whiteness as a site of social power and privilege. Centered upon a framework of critical race theory and critical whiteness studies, the research posits the…


Candidate: Robin Beresford Date: September 2, 2022 Time: 11:00 am

Rarely have patients with a life-threatening blood cancer that has been treated with a potentially curative stem cell transplant been invited and allowed to describe the experience. This research study utilized a narrative inquiry methodology to explore the lived experience of 13 participants, who were either interviewed or asked to provide written or audio responses…


Candidate: Amber McZeal Date: August 26, 2022 Time: 12:00 pm

This research explores the phenomenon of maternal mortality in the United States and the racial health disparities embedded within it, with an emphasis on racism as the root cause. Among developed countries in the global north, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate, which affects Black women disproportionately. Black women die in childbirth…


Candidate: Denise Maratos Date: August 25, 2022 Time: 1:00 pm

Qualitative interpretive phenomenological analysis was used to explore the phenomena of extraordinary experiences, otherwise known as transpersonal, numinous, transcendent, alternate states of consciousness, mystical or spiritual experiences, peak experiences, extreme states, etc., and their emergence within the mental health system, often labeled as “psychosis” and/or other psychiatric diagnoses. The impact of pathologizing such experiences and…


Candidate: Sherry Marasse Date: August 19, 2022 Time: 11:00 am

The purpose of this study was to discover the common elements needed to sustain mutual love and devotion in long-term, committed partnerships. This study utilized a descriptive phenomenological method to understand the lived experiences of long term committed couples. Five couples in mutually satisfying, loving relationships for at least 20 years were interviewed to understand…


Candidate: Laura (Catherine) Roberts Date: August 12, 2022 Time: 1:00 pm

This study utilized Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis to explore ecopsychological perspectives of female patients with borderline traits. Six clinicians were interviewed to explore the lived experience of working with female patients with borderline traits from eco-informed perspectives. The analysis of the interview transcripts yielded five superordinate themes: Nature as a Resource; Addressing the Borderline Wound Through…


Candidate: Maryam Sayyad Date: July 26, 2022 Time: 1:00 pm

This dissertation is an inquiry into the problem of death. It begins with the premise that death alone is not a problem. Rather, it takes love to transform the cool fact of death into the heated psychological event of loss. Death would have no sting and nowhere near the meaning it has in our lives…


Candidate: Zachary Kampf Date: July 26, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

The 27 Club is a cultural meme, encompassing the collective fascination with and mythologization of famous musicians who died at age 27. To investigate its underlying archetypal factors, this hermeneutical study analyzes the textual material of four of its six most prominent artists (Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse), utilizing the interpretive…


Candidate: Winsome Alston Date: July 23, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

The purpose of this research was to give voice to a population that is rarely heard from, they are, the Jamaican elders. This research further set out to record the lived experiences of the elders during the colonialism (1928-1962) period and determine how the role of spirituality, religion, and the numinous shaped their lives. The…


Candidate: Randall Ulyate Date: July 21, 2022 Time: 11:00 am

This theoretical dissertation aims to decolonize the voluntourism industry through a critical, depth psychologically-informed lens. By addressing the cultural complexes founded in white supremacy that inform the voluntourism industry, this dissertation explores how young American adults engage in neocolonial practices through performative voluntourism programs disguised as legitimate humanitarian efforts. The thesis asserts that the voluntourism…


Candidate: James Lichtenstein Date: July 14, 2022 Time: 11:00 am

The purpose of this study was to discover how the creation or adaptation of a ritual practice can affect suicide survivors’ ability to adapt to the experience of the suicide of an important person in their life. Using a methodology of narrative inquiry this research examined ten participants’ stories. Participants were chosen from among persons…


Candidate: Adam Schneider Date: July 5, 2022 Time: 4:00 pm

This qualitative study analyzes and describes the experiences of licensed psychologists at inpatient psychiatric facilities engaging with people with psychosis. The study used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to address the research question: How do licensed clinical psychologists describe and understand their experiences working with patients with psychosis at inpatient psychiatric facilities? The researcher conducted and transcribed…


Candidate: Myka Kelly Hanson Date: July 2, 2022 Time: 1:30 pm

Horror fiction and depth psychology seem to run parallel to one another among scholars and readers, rarely intersecting. Yet horror fiction regularly deals with elements of depth psychology, including the soul, archetype, and the shadow. Depth psychology finds rich territory within the fictional world of horror in extrapolation of the shadow, pathologies, and nightmares. An…


Candidate: Selena Madden Date: June 27, 2022 Time: 1:00 pm

Archetypal psychology is a version of Jungian depth psychology that emphasizes the importance of myths and archetypes for understanding the self and one’s relationship with others. This dissertation examines how the archetypes of the feminine warrior and the feminine lover may be integrated within those who identify as female or are female-embodied. The strengths and…


Candidate: Barbara Park Date: June 24, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

This project studies numinous phenomenon in performance to discover new ways to language and understand numinous encounters as ineffable and embodied lived experiences. Felt as “real” or concrete they significantly contribute insight toward potentializing personal and cultural transformation. Intangible, numinous experiences exist on a horizon of mystery in the “in-between-ness” between the known and the…


Candidate: Eva Pastalkova Date: June 16, 2022 Time: 4:00 pm

The impact of narcissistic parenting on children has received relatively little attention in the literature. The purpose of this interpretive phenomenological analysis study was to explore the effect that growing up with a narcissistic father has on the psychology of a daughter. Specifically, the author examined how such upbringing affected the daughter’s feminine psychological aspects,…


Candidate: Viktoria Byczkiewicz Date: June 7, 2022 Time: 4:00 pm

This depth-psychological study examines suicide and suicidality from historical and various theoretical perspectives including the existential, interpersonal, and integrated psychodynamic to demonstrate the overall congruencies and relatedness in their understandings and their compatibility with an archetypal view of suicide. Two textual cases of suicidality in women pathologized for or by their sexuality from the text…


Candidate: Stephanie Steiner Date: June 2, 2022 Time: 10:00 am

We are currently experiencing a crisis that is characterized, according to anthropologist Arturo Escobar, by the world-making practices of Western modernity. This crisis can also be described as a struggle between coloniality and decoloniality. Educational institutions shape how we see ourselves, our place in the world, our values, and our actions, and as such, contribute…


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…