Emily D.

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Artist Statement


Mixed Media on Canvas

We are constantly surrounded by so many voices, messages, and stories. We collect them as we journey, and we use them to create the framework through which we understand the world, our experiences, and ourselves. Each new message enters this frame (perhaps distorted by the lens we have built) and gets sorted into bins based on how much importance it will hold for us in our next moment, and what it says about our past ones.

The questions I am posing in this work are as follows: How do we, as humans, create a framework that allows the messages that nourish us to ring clear and strong, and the messages that strip us of our vitality to fade away. How do we, as therapists, help our clients do the same, and mold their own framework to navigate the world knowing that they have power over the messages they tell themselves and the stories that they allow define them.

In my clinical work at a large children’s hospital I have had to confront both of these questions head on. The first; as I experienced the overwhelm as an intern therapist navigating the medical model, while imposter messages loomed in the background. The second; as I sat bedside with countless children and adolescents whose disordered eating voice had grown so strong that it became a question of life or death. I don’t hold the formula that answers these questions, but I do know that in this present moment there is a power in telling your story, in witnessing and being witnessed, in listening and being heard, and in knowing that you are not alone.