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Dissertation Oral Defenses


Candidate: Colleen C. Salomon Date: March 30, 2021 Time: 11:00 am

This dissertation analyzes “The Robber Bridegroom,” as it appears in the 1819 edition of the Grimms’ collection of fairy tales, Kinder- und Hausmärchen. Questioning the assertion of some scholars that it is a “Bluebeard tale,” a close comparison of the two stories reveals that key elements present in “Bluebeard” are absent from “The Robber Bridegroom.”…


Candidate: Heidi Mezzatesta Date: March 26, 2021 Time: 11:00 am

When the archetype of the witch is activated within the cultural complex of prevailing sociopolitical and economic constructs, history has shown that people, particularly women, die. However, in today’s very divisive social, political, and economic discourse, the witch arrives once again as a figure of empowerment, while still used by authoritarian power systems to marginalize…


Candidate: Mansoor Hassan Abidi Date: March 25, 2021 Time: 2:00 pm

This study explores symbols of a religious ritual called Ashura in Twelver Shi’ite Islam. It provides a look into these symbol’s unconscious power at work in the suffering of the participants. The ritual’s ceremonial rites are compared with the three stages of alchemy: the nigredo, the albedo, and the rubedo. Through these processes, using hermeneutical…


Candidate: Annie Jordan Date: March 23, 2021 Time: 9:00 am

Alchemical art is a study in how people can keep their own council for psychological sustenance and in times of crisis. This arts-based research investigated the relationship between art practices and healing for psychological transformation seen through the depth psychological notion of the alchemical process. The methodological approaches were heuristic and auto-ethnographic, as the researcher…


Candidate: Tori Zengel Mora Date: March 19, 2021 Time: 4:00 pm

Fatherlessness is an omnipresent and continually growing problem in the United States. The existing research has primarily focused on males. Variables to examine this problem have been imprecise. First, nonresident fathers have been combined with absent fathers. Second, the developmental stages of the abandoned children at the time of the loss have been grouped together.…


Candidate: Linda Schaefer Date: March 18, 2021 Time: 1:00 pm

Psychotherapists today practice a wide range of integrative clinical techniques to support the holistic well-being of individuals, families, and communities. From techniques of meditation, ego integration, dreamwork, expressive arts therapy, and story reframing, practitioners may draw from a variety of tools to facilitate their clients’ goals. Depth psychological perspectives of healing show an active interest…


Candidate: Eric Hanley Date: March 10, 2021 Time: 9:00 am

This archetypal inquiry examines the cultural phenomenon of Mars colonization as it appears in popular culture as a frontier fantasy. To ascertain the common frontier narrative, multivalent bases of Mars colonization are explored and interpreted following hermeneutic philosophy. Once the common Mars frontier narrative was determined, the research moved to contain and describe the mind…


Candidate: Hillary Williamson Perez Date: March 8, 2021 Time: 10:00 am

This study investigates the female agency present or developed within the Sumerian narratives of “The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi” and “Inanna’s Descent into the Underworld,” the Akkadian narratives of “Ishtar’s Descent into the Underworld” and “Ereshkigal and Nergal,” and the Greek myth of “Persephone and Hades” found within the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. This…


Candidate: Alisa Orduna Date: February 26, 2021 Time: 4:00 pm

This qualitative research ceremony inquired into the meaning of the phenomenon of Black people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. It was performed within an Afro-feminine indigenous approach integrating principles from the Yoruba-Ifá spiritual cosmology. Within this framework, the phenomenon of Black people experiencing homelessness was privileged as the subject of the research inquiry, pivoting the…


Candidate: Joey Paynter Date: February 26, 2021 Time: 11:00 am

The purpose of this study was to explore the image of the hidden, the invisible, and the unknown through an encounter with the mythic figures of Kore/Persephone, Demeter, Hekate, Hades, and Zeus in the Homeric “Hymn to Demeter.” This art-based research project culminated in an expressive arts video that engages the living images and subsequently…


Candidate: Douglas S. Medgyesi Date: February 25, 2021 Time: 3:30 pm

Numinous experiences (defined in this study as direct, unwilled experiences which evoke a sense of being gripped or seized by a powerful affective state of trembling fascination in relation to a mysterious non-ego ‘other’) are described as having both fragmenting and healing effects. Due to the prevalence of stigma, these encounters are often marginalized and…


Candidate: Sarah Imhoff-Jones Date: February 24, 2021 Time: 10:00 am

This dissertation examines the Jungian concept of holding the tension of the opposites. Weaving together literature related to dance, somatic theory, yoga therapy, and depth psychology this study offers an embodied access point to create a deeper understanding of this theory. Case studies and heuristic research methods are employed, including interviews and personal experiences, in…


Candidate: Samantha Wilson Date: February 22, 2021 Time: 12:00 pm

What are the roles of White people in disrupting White supremacy? A long lineage of White, antiracist action exists in solidarity with coalitions of People of Color, in which White people are called to educate and organize other White people as part of challenging White supremacy and building antiracist White identity. What praxes are most…


Candidate: Peter Benedict Date: February 16, 2021 Time: 2:00 pm

Arising in the context of growing interest in mindfulness and the intersections of community psychology and somatic psychology, this study examined dynamic, transient, and dialectical aspects of the shared emotional connection dimension of psychological sense of community (SOC) in the phenomenon of experiencing simultaneously the tensions of feeling both sense of community and lack of…


Candidate: Lisa Fladager Date: January 29, 2021 Time:

This heuristic self-inquiry explored the impact of betrayal trauma on the bodysoul. Using Authentic Movement and active imagination, the author tracked and recorded details of her animate, embodied experience of suffering following betrayal trauma and noted how those details were catalysts to healing and progression on an individuation path as described by C. G. Jung.…


Candidate: Brandon LeRoy Lott Date: January 29, 2021 Time:

The Alice Griffith community is embedded in an unresolved historical relationship with systemic racism. After decades of deliberate marginalization in San Francisco and centuries of systemic violence in the United States, to correctly address the alienation and the psychiatric implications of serial forced displacement community-led initiatives, grounded in professional support that center dialogue, participatory citizenship,…


Candidate: Carole Standish Mora Date: January 27, 2021 Time:

This study explores, develops, describes and engages with the concept of archaic pilgrimage as it is mythopoetically enacted in W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn (1998). This text is mined for the archetypal aspects of trauma as it surfaces within melancholy. Particular attention is given to the way memory engages us with history, facilitating…


Candidate: Fabienne L. E. Abt Date: January 15, 2021 Time:

Adopting a phenomenological approach within an ecopsychological setting, this study delved into participants’ experiences of agency in equine-assisted counseling (EAC). Audiovisually recorded experiences and testimonies of 27 participants were examined. The findings confirm that agency is embodied: All agentic processes, including deliberate choosing and acting, encompass somatic responses or bodily wisdom. Moreover, this research has…


Candidate: Lorraine May Levy Date: January 13, 2021 Time:

This research focuses on the parallels between the Underworld journey of Persephone, from the Greek text the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, and the journey through the Underworld of sexual assault, with its own path of return and recovery. This project highlights the mission of The Grateful Garments Project and local sexual assault response teams (SART)…


Candidate: Holly Suzanne Greenberg Date: December 21, 2020 Time:

A transformation in O is Wilfred Bion’s most esoteric concept. O stretches contemporary psychoanalytic thought out of object relations and into the numinous. Much has been written in attempts to understand O, and to understand Bion’s shift into what some consider to be more mystical realms. Pages have been written regarding the philosophical origins of…