Dissertation Topics In Counselling Psychology

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Recent Educational Psychology Dissertations

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Counseling & Student Personnel Psychology | Psychological Foundations of Education | Quantitative Methods in Education | School Psychology | Special Education | All Educational Psychology dissertations since 1981

Counseling & Student Personnel Psychology

  • Secondary traumatic stress and posttraumatic growth: Risk and protective factors among American Red Cross disaster responders and disaster mental health workers
    Sarah Beckman, 2015
    Advisor: John Romano
  • Research Study of the Lived Experience of Alopecia Areata for Women During Early Adulthood
    Bemmels, Heather Rae 2017
    Advisor: Patricia Veach
  • Supporting college students with autism spectrum disorder: College counselors’ perspectives
    Benson, Drew David 2017
    Advisors: Thomas Skovholt, Sherri Turner
  • Portrait of the master genetic counselor: A qualitative investigation of expertise in genetic counseling
    Cacy Jai Capel-Miranda, 2012
    Advisor: Patricia McCarthy Veach
  • What matters for black students? A question of sense of belonging, campus climate, perceived discrimination, gender, and institutional satisfaction
    Shari Dade, 2015
    Advisor: Sherri L. Turner
  • Relationship between Women's Empathy and Their Experience of Violent Intimate Relationships: An Exploratory Study
    Duffy, Cortney Del 2016
    Advisor: Patricia Veach
  • A mixed methods study of the impact of providing therapy to traumatized clients: Vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and vicarious posttraumatic growth in mental health therapists
    Monica Froman, 2014
    Advisor: John Romano
  • Delay discounting as a measure of impulsivity
    Lidan Gu, 2012
    Patricia McCarthy Veach
  • Key experiences in the adjustment of academically successful Chinese undergraduate international students at the University of Minnesota: A qualitative study
    Kangting Ji Heins, 2015
    Advisors: Patricia McCarthy Veach and Thomas M. Skovholt
  • Relationship between racial microaggression and psychological wellbeing of African American college students
    Charles Helm, 2013
    Advisor: Thomas M. Skovholt
  • The relationship between negative life events as measured by family experiences and the working alliance
    Kathleen Joachim, 2012
    Advisor: Thomas M. Skovholt
  • The mediating roles of fear of compassion from self and others, self-compassion, and perceptions of social support on the relationships between self-critcism and depressive symptoms
    Ju Ri Joeng, 2014
    Advisor: Sherri L. Turner
  • Grief counseling best practices at university counseling centers: Current preparedness and future directions
    Yang-Hyang Kim, 2015
    Advisor: Sherri L. Turner
  • Effects of PREPARE/ENRICH couple relationship education for Chinese college students in heterosexual exclusive dating relationships
    Ziqiu Li, 2015
    Advsior: John Romano
  • Development and validation of the master psychotherapist characteristics inventory
    Fengqin Lian, 2012
    Advisors: Thomas J. Hummel and Kay Herting Wahl
  • Anxiety's effect on the experience of supervision of genetic counseling students
    Ian Macfarlane, 2013
    Advisor: Patricia McCarthy Veach
  • Creation and validation of a scale to measure the reluctance to video record individual Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) sessions
    Sonal Markanda, 2015
    Advisor: Kay Herting Wahl
  • An Investigation of the Role of Psychological Altruism in Living Kidney Donors
    McLaughlin,Michaela Leigh 2016
    Advisors: Caroline Burke, Patricia Veach
  • Qualitative study of the development and maintainance of pathological gambling in females: And making the choice to recover
    Kerry O'Brien, 2015
    Advisor: Sherri L. Turner
  • The other mother: An exploration of non-biological lesbian mothers' unique parenting experience
    Morgan Paldron, 2014
    Advisor: Patricia McCarthy Veach
  • A Study of Highly Skilled LGBT-Affirmative Psychologists in College Settings
    Park, Nicole Lee 2016
    Advisors: Thomas Skovholt, Caroline Burke
  • Therapist cultural intelligence as a moderator of working alliance and outcome in multicultural counseling
    Michael Peterson, 2013
    Advisor: Michael P. Goh
  • Validation and Extension of the Reciprocal-Engagement Model of Genetic Counseling Practice: A Qualitative Investigation of Genetic Counselor Goals, Strategies, and Behaviors
    Redlinger-Grosse,Krista A. 2016
    Advisor: Patricia Veach
  • Yoga as a psychological intervention: Conceptualizations and practice integration of professional psychologist-yoga teachers
    Anna Roth, 2014
    Advisor: Thomas M. Skovholt
  • The role of self-compassion and emotional approach coping in the relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and psychological distress among east asian international students
    He Weon Seo, 2012
    Advisor: Thomas M. Skovholt
  • HBCU vs. PWI: Institutional integration at PWIs and black doctoral student depression, anxiety, and stress
    Marcuetta De'Angela Sims, 2014
    Advisor: Sherri L. Turner
  • A study of peer-nominated exemplars of social justice commitment in counseling and psychology
    Adam D. Sumner, 2013
    Advisor: Michael P. Goh
  • A qualitative investigation of master group therapists' case conceptualization of group counseling
    Yoonhee Sung, 2013
    Thomas M. Skovholt
  • Who should I bring? A qualitative examination of the role of the support person in the cancer genetic counseling appointment
    Ruth Swartwood, 2014
    Advisor: Patricia McCarthy Veach
  • A case for mindfulness practice in fostering multicultural competence in counseling
    Sam C. Tourek, 2014
    Advsior: Michael P. Goh
  • Empathy training in genetic counseling: An investigation of how genetic counselors learn to "walk in their patients' shoes"
    Erin R. Vandenlangenberg, 2012
    Advsior: Patricia McCarthy Veach
  • Mixed methods analysis of multicultural identity and psychological help seeking beliefs in in college students
    Jeffrey P. Walter, 2012
    Advisor: Thomas M. Skovholt
  • Development, experience and expression of meaning in genetic counselors lives: An exploratory analysis
    David Wells, 2014
    Patricia McCarthy Veach
  • An investigation of virtues (derived from character strengths) in relation to psychological adjustment among Chinese international college students
    Weiyang Xie, 2015
    Advisor: Sherri L. Turner
  • College students' and counselor trainees' perceptions of a psychologically healthy person: A comparative study on cultural values between the United States and South Korea
    Kyu Jin Yon, 2012
    Advisor: Michael P. Goh
  • Understanding Emotion Regulation in Eating Disorder Recovery
    Nora Durkin, 2017
    Advisor: John Romano
  • “Surviving Our History”: A Qualitative Examination of Continuous Traumatic Stress in a Sample of Afghan Women
    Sandra Newton, 2017
    Advisor: Patricia Veach

Psychological Foundations of Education

  • Changing mental representations using related physical models: The effects of analyzing number lines or learner internal scale of numerical magnitude
    Barbara J. Bengtson, 2013
    Advisor: William M. Bart
  • The association between math teachers' moral judgment development and self-efficacy beliefs, and their relationship with student achievement
    Julia Chears-Young, 2014
    Advisors: Geoffrey Maruyama and Muriel Bebeau
  • Effects of cooperative, competitive, and individualistic learning structures on college student achievement and peer relationships: A series of meta-analyses
    Caroline L. Hilk, 2013
    Advisor: David W. Johnson
  • Using testing to potentiate learning from expository texts
    Mark Lewis, 2013
    Advisor: Sashank Varma
  • How people reason: A grounded theory of scientific reasoning about global climate change
    Shiyu Liu, 2014
    Advisor: Frances P. Lawrenz
  • Integration and validation in hybrid-online teacher preparation: A case study of persistence in a Native American special education licensure program
    Donna Patterson, 2013
    Advisor: Geoffrey Maruyama
  • The effects of casual relations and propositional density in texts on item difficulty in reading comprehension assessment
    Russell E. Swineburne Romine, 2013
    S. Jay Samuels and Sashank Varma
  • Reducing Hindsight Bias: Tests of a Retrieval-Based Theory
    Martin Van Boekel, 2016
    Advisors: Sashank Varma, Geoffrey Maruyama
  • Social emotional competence: Culturally-bound or Context-free?
    Lara D. Westerhof, 2017
    Advisors: Geoffrey Mauyama, Steve Yussen

Quantitative Methods in Education

  • Multilevel modeling of item position effects
    Anthony Albano, 2012
    Advisor: Michael Rodriguez
  • Examining Power and Type 1 Error for Step and Item Level Tests of Invariance: Investigating the Effect of the Number of Item Score Levels
    Ayodele, Alicia Nicole 2017
    Advisor: Davenport, Ernest
    Beckman,Matthew D.
    Advisor: Garfield, Joan, delMas, Robert
  • Evaluating the use of two different models of collaborative tests in an online introductory statistics course
    Audbjorg Bjornsdottir, 2012
    Joan B. Garfield
  • A restricted bi-factor model of subdomain relative strengths and weaknesses
    Yu-Feng Chang, 2015
    Advisor: Mark Davison
  • An exploratory technique for finding the q-matrix for the DINA model in cognitive diagnostic assessment: Combining theory with data
    Catherine Close, 2012
    Mark Davison and Ernest Davenport
  • Simulating the Effects of Test Score Reliability and Test Dimensionality on Teacher Value-Added Scores and Inferences.
    Danielle N. Dupuis, 2015
    Advisor: Michael Rodriguez
  • Check Int CR- Evaluating Statewide School Accountability Systems: Comparison of Growth Models
    Katherine D. Edwards, 2016
    Advisors: Frances Lawrenz, Nidhi Kohli
  • Examining the impact of financial circumstances and disciplinary field of study on seniors’ participation in high-impact educational practices at research-intensive universities
    Gorny, Laura S.
    Advisor: Frances Lawrenz
  • A Twist Of Positive Youth Development: Maladaptive Self-Regulation In Early Adolescence
    Yuefeng Hou, 2016
    Advisor: Geoffrey Maruyama
  • The Role of Rational Numbers in Mathematical Achievement and Decision Making
    James Houseworth, 2016
    Advisors: Sashank Varma, Keisha Varma
  • Improving the use of subscores on a test battery: Some reliability and validity evidence from the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children- Fourth Edition
    Lan Huang, 2015
    Advisor: Mark Davison
  • Assessing the Development of Students' Statistical Thinking: An Exploratory Study
    Le, Laura Jean 2017
    Advisor: Zieffler, Andrew
  • Misspecification of the covariance matrix in the linear mixed model: A monte carlo simulation
    Brandon C. Lebeau, 2013
    Advisor: Michael H. Harwell
  • Revisting three comparisons of unobserved conditional invariance techniques for the detection of differential item functioning
    Quintin Love, 2014
    Advisors: Ernest Davenport and Geoffrey Maruyama
  • A spatial regression discontinuity evaluation of Minnesota's Quality Compensation for Teachers Program
    Christopher Moore, 2015
    Advisors: Ernest Davenport and Frances Lawrenz
  • Developing and validating an instrument to measure college Students' Inferential Reasoning in Statistics: An argument-based approach to validation
    Jiyoon Park, 2012
    Advisors: Robert delMas and Joan Garfield
  • Quantifying quality: The effects of score transformation method and school demographics on school rankings under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
    Alison Phillips, 2015
    Advisors: Frances Lawrenz and Andrew Zieffler
  • Differential item functioning in computerized adaptive testing: Can CAT self-adjsut enough?
    Chayut Piromsombat, 2014
    Advisor: Ernest Davenport
    Anelise Guimaraes Sabbag, 2016
    Advisors: Joan Garfield, Andrew Zieffler
  • Modeling Item Features that Characterize Measurement Bias
    Luke David Stanke, 2016
    Advisor: Michael Rodriguez
  • Identifying Aberrant Responding: Use of Multiple Measures
    Susan Christa Steinkamp, 2017
    Advisor: Michael Rodriguez
  • Incorporating Response Times in Item Response Theory Models of Reading Comprehension Fluency
    Su, Shiyang 2017
    Advisors: William Bart, Keisha Varma
  • An empirical study of Bonett's (2009) Meta-Analytic Model
    Aolin Xie, 2012
    Advisor: Michael R. Harwell
  • Reconceptualizing statistical literacy: Developing an assessment for the modern introductory statistics course
    Laura Ann Ziegler, 2014
    Advisors: Joan B. Garfield and Michelle Everson
  • Assessing dimensionality of latent structures underlying dichotomus item response data with imperfect models
    Cengiz Zopluoglu, 2013
    Advisor: Ernest Davenport
  • Introductory statistics students’ conceptual understanding of study design and conclusions
    Elizabeth Fry, 2017
    Advisor: Robert delMas
  • Development and Validation of a Survey to Measure Perceived Team Communication Skills in Middle and High School STEM Out-of-School Time Programs
    Amy Grack Nelson, 2017
    Advisor: Frances Lawrenz
  • The Impact of Heavy-tailed Error Distributions on Partially Nested Randomized Controlled Trials Models
    Mario Moreno, 2017
    Advisor: Michael Harwell

School Psychology

  • Teacher-student relationships: Examining student perceptions of teacher support and positive student outcomes
    Sarah B. Berman-Young, 2014
    Advisor: Sandra L. Christenson
  • The Effectiveness of the ACHIEVER Adult Resilience Curriculum in Promoting Teacher Wellbeing
    Elizabeth Margaret Christian, 2017
    Advisors: Amanda Sullivan, Clayton Cook
  • The influence of parenting stress and social support on parenting behavior during a preventative parenting education program for enhancing school readiness
    Kate Clayton, 2015
    Advisors: Theodore J. Christ and Scott McConnell
  • Examining the effects of an attribution retraining intervention on the attributions and engagement of alternative school students
    Maureen Cooper, 2015
    Advisor: Sandra Christenson
  • The influences of linguistic demand and cultural loading on cognitive scores
    Damien C. Cormier, 2012
    Advisor: Jim Ysseldyke
  • Giftedness and underachievement: A comparison of student groups
    Jennifer Davie, 2012
    Advisor: Theodore J. Christ
  • Student-Centered Analyses of Classroom Perceptions and their Prediction of Student Disengagement
    Demers, Joseph Andrew 2016
    Advisor: Christ, Theodore
  • Investigating Why Phrase Drill Works: The Effects of Modeling and Sentence Repetition on Student Oral Reading Fluency Skills
    Edwards,Lynn Marie 2016
    Advisor:Burns, Matthew
  • Determinants of school completion: Student perceptions of success at an experiential learning high school.
    Hagen, Elizabeth Mary 2015
    Advisor: Christenson, Sandra
  • A Comparison of Targeted and Multicomponent Small-Group Reading Interventions in Early Elementary Grades.
    Hall, Matthew Steven 2016
    Advisors: Matthew Burns, Theodore Christ
  • A continuum of persistence: Low-income and first-generation college students' perceptions of critical factors for postsecondary success
    Zoila Ganuza Hoaglund, 2014
    Advisor: Sandra Christenson
  • Relationship between the Learning Hierarchy and Academic Achievement on Strategies Used by Third-Grade Students when Solving Multiplication Word Problems
    Kanive,Rebecca Ann 2016
    Advisors: Matthew Burns, Theodore Christ
  • Intervening with the Interventionist: Matching Interventions for Treatment Integrity to Stages of the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change
    Karich, Abbey C. 2016
    Advisors: Matthew Burns, Theodore Christ
  • Sexual minority youth diversity and resilience
    Jessie Marie Kember, 2017
    Advisors: Theodore Christ, Annie Hansen-Burke
  • Prevalence of Youth with Disabilities in the Juvenile Justice System
    Aleksis Paul Kincaid, 2017
    Advisor: Amanda Sullivan
  • Examining the evidence-base for the interventions used in a large urban district
    David A. Klingbeil, 2013
    Advisor: James E. Ysseldyke
  • Technology-enhanced formative assessment in mathematics for English language learners
    Adam J. Lekwa, 2012
    Advisor: James E. Ysseldyke
  • School Psychologists' Consistency and Confidence in Learning Disability Identification: The Impact of Identification Methodology and Inconclusive Student Data
    Maki, Kathrin E. 2016
    Advisors: Matthew Burns, Amanda Sullivan
  • Relation between family literacy practices and children's literacy development: Exploring the link between home and school
    Jaclyn A. McMurray, 2012
    Advisor: Scott McConnell
  • Screening with FAST early reading measures: An examination of individual measures and composite scores
    Barbara Monaghen, 2014
    Advisor: Theodore J. Christ
  • Self-regulated learning, classroom context, and achievement: A dual-method investigation
    Julia Ann Gdula Nelson, 2014
    Advisor: Sandra Christenson
  • Student perceptions of the classroom environment: Actionable feedback as a catalyst for instructional change
    Peter Nelson, 2014
    Advisor: James E Ysseldyke
  • Parental trust of schools and its role in postsecondary readiness
    Rosalie Palan, 2015
    Advisor: Sandra Christenson
  • Examining the potential use of instructionally-relevant assessment data in early writing
    David C. Parker, 2012
    Advisor: Matthew Burns
  • Using student performance during a reading intervention to predict student outcomes and performance on accountability measures of reading
    Lorien B. Parson, 2012
    Advisor: Matthew Burns
  • Enhancing maintenance and generalization of incremental rehearsal through theory-based modifications
    Shawna M Petersen-Brown, 2013
    Advisor: Matthew Burns
  • The personal readiness evaluation for postsecondary (PREP): A development and validation study
    Angie J. Pohl, 2012
    Advisor: Sandra Christenson
  • The Comparative Effects of Dyad Mathematics Interventions on Improving Multiplication Proficiency
    Pulles, Sandra Moran 2016
    Advisors: Matthew Burns, Theodore Christ
  • School Psychologists’ Decision Making in Evaluations for Emotional Disturbance
    Sadeh, Shanna S. 2016
    Advisors: Amanda Sulliva, Matthew Burns
  • Developing a teacher rating scale of preschool student behavior for use in an RTI decision-making framework
    Braden Schmitt, 2014
    Advisors: Theodore J. Christ and Scott McConnell
  • Direct and indirect effects of textbook modality on adolescents' reading engagement and comprehension
    Sarah E. Scholin, 2013
    Advisor: Matthew Burns
  • Predicting intervention effectiveness from oral reading accuracy and rate measures through the learning hierarchy/instructional hierarchy
    Isadora E. Szadokierski
    Advisors: Jennifer McComas and Matthew Burns
  • Examination of the usefulness of the picture naming individual growth and development indicator for preschoolers with disabilities
    Maura D. Tanabe, 2012
    Advisors: Scott McConnell and Amanda Sullivan
  • Identifying profiles of reading strengths and weaknesses at the secondary level
    Allison M. Trentman, 2012
    Advisor: Theodore J. Christ
  • An evaluation of the accuracy of time series interpretations of CBM-R progress monitoring data
    Ethan Vannorman, 2015
    Advisor: Theodore J. Christ
  • Screening with FAST earlyReading measures: An examination of individual measures and composite scores
    Barbara Vetter, 2014
    Advisor: Theodore J. Christ
  • Defining and Measuring School Readiness using Confirmatory Factor Analysis Techniques
    Ward,Jenna Marie 2016
    Advisors: Annie Hansen-Burke, Theodore Christ
  • A proposed algebra problem-analysis model
    Christopher Walick, 2015
    Advisors: Matthew Burns and Theodore Christ
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of positive life changes social-emotional learning curriculum
    Julie Whitmore, 2014
    Advisor: James E. Ysseldyke
  • Using Measures of Mathematics to Predict Response to Supplemental Intervention.
    Zaslofsky, Anne Follen 2015
    Advisors: Matthew Burns, Theodore Christ

Special Education

  • Comparing cutaneous sensory reactivity between children with and without global developmental delay
    Chantel Barney, 2014
    Advisor: Frank Symons
  • Comparison of placement decisions based on picture Naming 1.0 and picture naming 2.0
    Amanda Besner, 2014
    Advisor: Scott McConnell
  • Repeated reading with and without vocabulary instruction: Outcomes for English language learners
    Dana Brandes, 2015
    Advisor: Kristen McMaster
  • Functional communication training in Rett syndrome
    Breanne Byiers, 2013
    Advisor: Frank J Symons
  • Examining Generalization Performance in a Conditional Discrimination Task for Learners with Moderate to Severe Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
    Chen, Mo 2016
    Reichle, Joe
  • The Classroom Learning Activities Checklist: Validity Evidence of an Observation Tool in Preschool
    Candee, Allyson Joelle 2016
    Advisor: McConnell, Scott
  • The effects of training in universal design for learning
    Ting-Wen Chen, 2014
    Advisor: Susan Hupp
  • The impact of a delay to early intensive behavioral intervention on educational outcomes for a cohort of medicaid-enrolled children with autism
    Adele Faye Dimian, 2017
    Advisors: Frank Symons, LeAnne Johnson
  • Testing a model for assessment and intervention decision-making for students with co-occuring behavior problems and reading difficulties in the classroom: Exploring the relative effects of antecedent intervention strategies
    Andrea Egan Hamad, 2014
    Advisor: Jennifer McComas
  • Effects of data-based instruction for students with intensive early writing needs: A randomized control trial
    Pyung-Gang Jung, 2015
    Advisor: Kristen McMaster
  • Technical characteristics of e-based vs. paper-pencil CBM tasks for students who are deaf and hard of hearing.
    Elizabeth Anne Lam, 2015
    Advisors: Kristen McMaster, Susan Rose
  • Exploring Early Childhood Language Environments: A Comparison of Language Exposure, Use and Interaction in the Home and Child Care Settings
    Anne Larson, 2016
    Advisor: Scott McConnell
  • Effectiveness of Mathematical Word Problem Solving Interventions for Students with Learning Disabilities and Mathematics Difficulties: A Meta-Analysis
    Amy E. Lein, 2016
    Advisor: Asha Jitendra
  • The Effects of Combining Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies and Incremental Rehearsal on Non-Spanish-Speaking English Language Learners’ Reading Achievement
    Amy Bethel Leinen, 2017
    Advisors: Kristen McMaster, Asha Jitendra
  • Social Communication Across Language Environments in Nonverbal Children with ASD from English and non-English Speaking Families.
    Emily Rudrud Monn, 2015
    Advisor: Jennifer McComas
  • Professional development including performance feedback to support home visitors' use of caregiver coaching strategies during home visits
    Kellie Krick Oborn, 2014
    Advisors: Joe Reichle and LeAnne Johnson
  • An examination of fidelity of two parent-implemented vocabulary interventions for young learners with autism spectrum disorder
    Parker-Mcgowan,Quannah Elizabeth 2016
    Advisor: Joe Reichle
  • Word Identification for Children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing.
    Brooke A. Peterson, 2015
    Advisor: Susan Rose
  • The effects of computer-assisted instruction in reading: A meta-analysis
    Amy Kunkel, 2015
    Advisor: Kristen McMaster
  • An investigation into the validity of using a CSA to inform hypotheses regarding student behavior
    Meredith Peterson, 2015
    Advisor: Jennifer McComas
  • Teaching for transfer of an evidence-based reading strategy: An experimental field trial
    Viveca Pinto, 2012
    Advisors: Stanley L. Deno and Kristen McMaster
  • Examining Special Educators Verbal Responsiveness in Groups of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
    Qian, Xueqin 2015
    Advisor: Joe Reichle
  • A comparison of word learning in 3-year-old children at-risk for language and literacy difficulties in two conditions: Dialogic reading and activity-based intervention
    Naomi L. Rahn, 2013
    Advisor: Scott McConnell
  • Communication intervention for children with severe neurodevelopmental disabilities: An application of telehealth as a service delivery mechanism
    Jessica Jo Simacek, 2016
    Advisor: Jennifer McComas
  • Examining Effects of a Repeated Reading Intervention and Predictive Effects of Student Inputs.
    Stephanie Marie Snidarich, 2015
    Advisor: Jennifer McComas
  • Effects of a collaborative intervention on the quality of preservice teachers' data based decision making
    Jennifer Wilson, 2013
    Advisor: Susan Hupp
  • The Effects of Early Numeracy Interventions for Students in Preschool and Early Elementary: A Meta-Analysis
    Gena Nelson, 2017
    Advisor: Theodore Christ
  • Relations between CBM (Oral Reading and Maze) and Reading Comprehension on State Achievement Tests: A Meta-Analysis
    Jaehyun Shin, 2017
    Advisor: Kristen McMaster

Today is Pacifica's Thesis Presentation Day for the M.A. Counseling Psychology Program. Surrounded by faculty, fellow cohort members, family, and friends, students will present their thesis, sharing their scholastic findings and passion about issues they care deeply about. We congratulate our class of 2015 on their tremendous achievements. Below is a summary of the thesis process followed by the titles of these exquisite presentations.

About the M.A. in Counseling Psychology Thesis Process

Research and writing are two ways among many of finding meaning within and conferring meaning on experience. These fundamentally human activities can be deeply imaginal and intuitive. In research and writing, we seek to uncover the deep truth of the human condition.

Within the context of the Institute's guiding vision, students are encouraged to select a research question they wish to explore in depth through the vehicle of the thesis. Towards this end, the student is asked to:

  • pursue an area of individual interest relevant to marriage and family therapy, professional clinical counseling, and depth psychology (e.g., therapeutic   issues, psychological motifs, clinical procedures);
  • ground this particular area of interest in a conceptual framework (e.g., background information, findings, concluding evaluation);
  • demonstrate competency researching a specific area and expressing ideas with clarity and precision.

The Counseling Psychology thesis is the culminating expression of students’ graduate course of studies and provides a forum for contributing back into the community the knowledge that students have gained during their educational experience.


Juliette Riancho

Re-¬‐Visioning Wholeness: A Psychologically Polytheistic Experience of Falling Apart

William Morgan

Resilience in Physician Lives

 Kyrie Sue Carpenter 

PLAYful Aging: Embracing the Inevitable

Carl G. Chavez

A Journey Through Psyche’s Sexual Energy

Dominic King 

African American Students’ Mental Health and Academic Performance at Predominately White Institutions of Higher Learning

Jordan Laband

Rebuilding and Empowering Psyche After Trauma: A Survivor’s Journey Toward Healing, Self-¬‐Expression, and Artistic Creation

Adam Cohen 

Aerobic Green Exercise as a Transcendent Experience: Psychotherapeutic Implications for Working With the Unconscious

Siobhan McDevitt 

No Man’s Land: Artemis and the Illumination of Psychic Wilderness

Laura Westmoreland

Obesity: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Fabrice Paracuellos

The Constitution of Culture: A Complexity and Psychoanalytic Approach

Therese Brooks 

A Mother/Daughter Workshop: An Initiation Into the Conscious Feminine

Jacquelyn Toth

Longing for the Gypsy: Traversing the Margins of Female Adolescence and Family Trauma

Susan Kinkead

On Becoming a Crone

Rhonda Ferguson

Successful Aging: Defined Through a Depth Perspective

Solmaz Yasamin Shenasi 

The Roots of Music Therapy: Healing the Wounds of the Psyche

Christopher Pearson

Androgynous Individuation and Two-¬‐Spirit-¬‐uality

Colleen Koch

From Infertility to Motherhood: Psychological Support for a Heroine’s Journey

Kim Meijer

Let the Gods Dance: Transformation Through Haitian Dance

Lisa Sloan Strom

From Head to Tale: Therapy Dog Training as Transformative Journey

Anne Wullschlager

Re-¬‐Membering the Flesh and the Feminine: Illness, Coinherence, and the Creative Imperative

Ian Spencer

Work, War, and Rape: Is a Comprehensive Trauma Diagnosis Possible in a Free-¬‐Market System?

Colleen Conroy

The Instinct of Imagination: An Inquiry Into the Psychoid

Dinko Zidarich

Bringing the Money Out of the Shadows: Money and Therapy

Viera Kair

Transgenerational Attachment Wounds: The Healing of Ambiguous Loss

Anne Murphy

Symbol Formation: The Meaning Making Function of the Psyche

Tara Atherley

Classroom Educator Wellness: A Prerequisite for Psychotherapeutic Agency

Susan Batistick

Reclaiming One’s Gold: Imagining the Inner Child Through the Art of Therapeutic Fairy Tale Writing

Jennifer Novis

Illness and the Elixir of Life: The Chronically Ill Child’s Transformation Through the Alchemical Process

Tanya Dantus

Women Healing Through Expressive Arts: Redirecting the Feminine Qualities of Caring and Nurturing Toward Self

Andrea Haffner

In-¬‐Sight: An Experiential Exploration of Image and Psychology

Cynthia Marie Ganesh

Delicious Malice: Envy and Gossip in Relational Aggression

Priscilla Newton

Sourcing Image Formation in a Depth Psychological Approach to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Adrian Gugiu

Acculturation: An Alchemical Exploration of Transitional Spaces

Andrew Erickson

Nostalgia and Kohut: Toward an Understanding of This Bittersweet Phenomenon

Dana Kline 

Contextualizing Transformation: Initiation Dreams of Depth Psychotherapists-¬‐in-¬‐Training

Dawn Berry

Finding the Fire Within: Military Wives and the Complex Journey of Individuation

Taryn Holvick-¬‐Norton

Becoming Whole: The Process of Individuation for Women and Their Bodies

Lynn Flewelling

Dancing With the Trickster: Reframing the Negative Animus in a Woman’s Dream

Sarah Bergeson

Treasures From the Earth: Food as Nourishment for Body and Soul


Research, Writing and the Creative Imagination

Research and writing need not be divided into the artificial categories of academic and creative. The academic and creative can be seen as two impulses of the same activity: a search to discover what is truly revelatory about the subject of your focus and expression. Imagining and perceiving are both essential activities in research and written expression and seek an integral relational language at home in a world of meaning. Research and the act of writing allow you to go beyond what is given or simply perceived in detail; you hope to glimpse what is promised, what is anticipated in the givenness of experience, grasping its deeper psychological ground. It is important to remember that just as you are in a process of a deepening formation, what you intuit as you research and write is similarly provisional and tentative—true for the moment but always open to being reshaped as your larger understanding shifts and grows.

The tradition of depth psychology is less interested in the split between academic and creative expression and more attentive to comprehending a coniunctio between them: a marriage between the senses, ideas, insights, and images that, when summoned together, offer readers a place they have not traveled to before, and an insight for the researcher/writer that you can call your own. Research and the act of writing are ways to free the imagination to explore, to see relationships, to intuit possibilities, and to glean new and provocative forms inherent in the commonplace. These are uniquely creative acts that attempt to bring the voices of authority into a common cause with your own unique voice in order to discern what has not been articulated in just such a way before.

Pacifica Graduate Institute Core Values

Logos-The idea that academic excellence is central to what informs our curriculum, research, and scholarship—demonstrated  by conscious reflective  regard  for  new knowledge  resting securely  on the traditions  of the  past  that  inform  the  development  of  the  whole  person  (intellect, dream, intuition, symptoms, feeling, imagination and other ways of knowing) in relation to the larger social world.

Eros-The importance  of open communication,  respectful relationship, care, and a heartfelt regard for a diverse community, which includes a love for learning as a noble goal of the human spirit.

Consciousness-The awareness of Pacifica as a "psychological community" with a connection to the deep psyche—mindful attention is given to personal and community introspection, the conscious tending of the shadow of consciousness, and a respect for solar thinking (reason) and lunar reflection (dream and imagination).

Integrity-The necessity for a just, psyche-­‐centered attitude rooted in the "wisdom traditions," and committed to cultivating an honest and caring presence among ourselves, our students, and the world around us.

Service-To ourselves as unique human beings, to others within the Pacifica community as well as to those we engage in the world through our example, talks, lectures, workshops, writing, teaching; the capacity to see through cultural  forms; the art of hosting  the incarnate  and the invisible; and  our ongoing  service  to our fields of Depth  Psychology,  Mythological Studies, and the Humanities.

Stewardship-Care of the world soul as expressed in Pacifica's motto, animae mundi colendae gratia, becoming sustainable at all levels—from our way of being actively present in imaginal inquiry to our presence in the larger earth community, from work load to land use, from our way of conducting business to our model of doing business.


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