Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2022

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts

Author's Program

Art (Painting)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)




Talking about being a former meth addict is hard. Though difficult, choosing to do so allows for deeper and more thorough healing from the shame I harbor in connection to my past. My decision to speak foundationally relies on the tenants of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), a variation of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) developed by Marsha M. Linehan. The goal of this therapy is to reduce cognitive dissonance and improve quality of life through teachings on mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and emotional regulation. These four pillars help patients integrate with reality and live a life worth living. To do this healing, one must address pain from the past. However, speaking about pain can have negative effects if done incorrectly. Art that touches on trauma and pain should actively promote emotional healing and improvement of wellbeing. It should not simply rehash the event and its consequences for the sake of eliciting a response from a viewer; this is self-exploitative. Through the art I made this year, I investigated how the execution of these processes made me feel, and realized they were liberating.

Off-campus Download