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Thesis Presentation Day Program 2019

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Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology

Friday, May 24, 2019 • 9AM

Schedule Overview

C Track Thesis Presentations • Room G / 9:00am—3:00pm
C Track Luncheon Buffet / 12:00pm—1:00pm
D Track Thesis Presentations • Room A / 9:00am—4:30pm
D Track Luncheon Buffet / 12:30pm—1:30pm
W Track Thesis Presentations • Room B / 9:00am—3:30pm
W Track Luncheon Buffet / 12:00pm—1:00pm


About the Master of Arts 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.


Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology C Track Thesis Presentations
Hosted by Gioia Jacobson, MA, LMFT Director of Research

Megan Attore • 9:15 – 9:30
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Kathee Miller MA, LMFT
Soul on Fire: An Exploration of Trauma, Myth, and Spirituality

Melissa Clare • 9:30 – 9:45
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Michelle Villegas, MSW, LCSW
Freeing the Tiger: A Depth Approach to Pilates Matwork as a Healing Modality

Mary Kocman • 9:45 – 10:00
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Michelle Villegas, MSW, LCSW
Sadness and the Soul: A Depth Psychological Exploration of Dark Places We Dare to Go

Break • 10:00 – 10:15

Paulina Castillo-Eisenbeis • 10:15 – 10:30
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Gioia Jacobson, MA, LMFT
How the Light Gets in: Healing the Cracks of Insecure Attachment Through Therapeutic Step Work

John Hedley • 10:30 – 10:45
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Kathee Miller, MA, LMFT
The Myth of Marriage: A Depth Psychological Approach to Couples Counseling

Arianne Groth • 10:45 – 11:00
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Kathee Miller, MA, LMFT
Cultivating Our Archetypal Parents: A Depth Psychological Workshop for Parent–Infant Classes

Break • 11:00 – 11:15

Student Panel • 11:15 – 12:00
Audience Questions & Collective Discussionfor Morning Presenters

Luncheon Buffet • 12:00-1:00

Marceya Batya Kagan • 1:00 – 1:15
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Mike Elliott, PhD
Applying Ecotherapy to the Suffering That Constellates as Greed in the Human Soul

Maria Baldasseroni • 1:15 – 1:30
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Gioia Jacobson, MA, LMFT
“A New Me”: Surviving and Thriving in a Bicultural Cognitive Dissonance

Nesita Kwan • 1:30 – 1:45
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Aaron Kipnis, PhD
The Wisdom of the Many: Collective Healing in Group Meditation

Break • 1:45 – 2:00

Monique Miller • 2:00 – 2:15
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Ifat Peled, PhD
Daughter of Weeping Rock: On Childhood Sibling Loss

Student Panel • 2:15– 3:00
Audience Questions & Collective Discussion for Afternoon Presenters


Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology D Track Thesis Presentations
Hosted by Tom Steffora, MA, LMFT Research Associate

Jessica Kramer • 9:15 – 9:30
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Tom Steffora, MA, LMFT
Embodied Psychotherapy: A Neuropsychological, Developmental,
and Personal Exploration of a New Paradigm

Janiece Anjali • 9:30 – 9:45
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Kathee Miller, MA, LMFT
The Ethics of Engendering Analytic Space for Intimate Couples

April Zobel • 9:45 – 10:00
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Kathee Miller, MA, LMFT
Reconnecting Sexually: Exploring Eroticism after Childhood Sexual Abuse

Break • 10:00 – 10:15

Jessica Davis • 10:15 – 10:30
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Elisabeth Gonella, MA, LMFT
Holding a Therapeutic Container for the Numinous Experiences of Individuation Through Depth Psychology

Jean Allyson Garcia • 10:30 – 10:45
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Rebecca Pottenger, MA, LMFT
This Is America—Racism in the Mental Health System: The Demand for Social Justice Curriculum

Jenessa Goodman • 10:45 – 11:00
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Angie Mohan, MA, LMFT
The Third: Visual Imaging and the Relationship Body

Break • 11:00 – 11:15

Jessica Hicks • 11:15 – 11:30
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Angie Mohan, MA, LMFT
Elucidating Unconscious Drivers in Clandestine Sexual Practices: Means and Methods for Ego-Syntonic Dynamic Sexual Consent

Pilar Brooks • 11:30 – 11:45
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Mike Elliott, PhD
Bones of the Therapist’s Chair: An Exploration of Witchcraft and Psychotherapy

Student Panel • 11:45– 12:30
Audience Questions & Collective Discussion for Morning Presenters

Luncheon Buffet • 12:30-1:30

Casey Wilson • 1:30 – 1:45
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Rebecca Pottenger, MA, LMFT
Absent Without Love: Runaway Behavior of Commercially Sexually Exploited Girls in Treatment Settings

Mark Zimmerman • 1:45 – 2:00
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Mike Elliott, PhD
The Deconstruction of Identity in the Process of Individuation

Anne Lickus Cravens • 2:00 – 2:15
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Elisabeth Gonella, MA, LMFT
An Interdisciplinary Approach Toward the Enlivenment of Depth Psychology

Break • 2:15 – 2:30

Courtney McCubbin • 2:30 – 2:45
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Angie Mohan, MA, LMFT
Regressive Play: An Investigation of Regression in the Analytic Container

Molly Mitchell-Hardt • 2:45 – 3:00
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Gioia Jacobson, MA, LMFT
Pregnancy Within the Patriarchy

Cecily Renteria • 3:00 – 3:15
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Tom Steffora, MA, LMFT
One Woman’s Story of Working With Dream and Image: Beginning the Process of Healing Trauma

Break • 3:15 – 3:30

Michael Rogers • 3:30 – 3:45
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Joanna Walling, MA, LMFT
Addiction and Recovery Through the Hero’s Journey: Incorporating Spirituality Into Psychotherapy

Student Panel • 3:45– 4:30
Audience Questions & Collective Discussionfor Afternoon Presenters


Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology W Track Thesis Presentations
Hosted by Avrom Altman, MA, LMFT, LPC Research Associate

Adam Magers • 9:15 – 9:30
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Avrom Altman MA, LMFT, LPC
Dreams of War and Recovery: A Closer Look at Kalsched’s Self-Care System After Trauma

Yarrow Bucans • 9:30 – 9:45
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Fleur Nelson, PhD
Instagram, Addiction, and Spirituality: Remaining Human in a Social Media World

Mary Wiggins • 9:45 – 10:00
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Marilyn Owen, MA, LMFT
Embracing the Darkness: A Hermeneutic Approach to Reimagining Our Relationship With Death

Break • 10:00 – 10:15

Erin Di Fulvio • 10:15 – 10:30
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Tom Steffora, MA, LMFT
Alternative Paradigms in Correctional Treatment: Internal Family Systems and the Risk—Need—Responsivity Model

Tara Schlener • 10:30 – 10:45
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Barbara Boyd, MA, LMFT, LPCC
The Meeting of Alchemy and Soul: An Awakening Process

Sean Cook • 10:45 – 11:00
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Avrom Altman, MA, LMFT, LPC
Power, Fury, and Self-Determination: Early Childhood Developmental Trauma and Its Impact on Individuation

Break • 11:00 – 11:15

Student Panel • 11:15 – 12:00
Audience Questions & Collective Discussion for Morning Presenters

Luncheon Buffet • 12:00-1:00

Mariah Vlach • 1:00 – 1:15
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Jorge de la O, MA, LMFT, JA
Healing Ancestral Trauma Through Creative Invocation: An Indo-European Approach to Modern Therapy

Jessica Barnese • 1:15 – 1:30
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Jorge de la O, MA, LMFT, JA
Aware Woman, In-Touch Body: Female Sexual Embodiment in the Patriarchy

Laurel Paffhouse • 1:30- 1:45
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Jorge de la O, MA, LMFT, JA
Inviting Cultural Fluency in Psychotherapy: Healing With the Archetypal Energies of Saraswati and Lakshmi

Break • 1:45 – 2:00

Ian MacKinnon • 2:00 – 2:15
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Tom Steffora, MA, LMFT
Why Does the Work of Edward Edinger Turn Me On? A Journey Into Homosexual Subjectivity

Amanda Baker-Vande Brake • 2:15 – 2:30
Portfolio Thesis Advisor: Tom Steffora, MA, LMFT
Re-Membering Mnemosyne: Re-Imaging Memory as the Voice of the Soul

Student Panel • 2:30 – 3:30
Audience Questions & Collective Discussion for Afternoon Presenters


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.



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