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Psychiatry and the Self

To make art is to examine the self. To practice psychiatry is to examine the other, in relation to the self.  Both are phenomenological. They are inextricably linked, and bidirectional. As a psychiatrist, I heal and comfort patients who suffer from immense physical and psychological pain. We form a therapeutic alliance based in curiosity and exploration, and partake in a journey of discovery. We are guided by biological underpinnings, social determinants of health, and psychological conflicts at varying levels of psychic accessibility.  Together, we examine how affect and self-esteem are regulated, and explore the sources of these cathexes. When I paint, I do the same. I examine my own incontrovertibly human conflicts: the paradigms of self and non-self, idealization and devaluation, control and chaos, love and aggression. My art surprises me, embarrasses me, excites me, fills me with shame and dread — all inevitable human experiences. In that way, more than anything, my art connects me to the human experience, and thus connects me to my patients.

Three Yiayias in Mourning
24” x 36”
Acrylic on canvas

Red as a Beet, Mad as a Hatter
40” x 30”
Acrylic on canvas

House Cleaning
24”x 24”

Acrylic on canvas

Blue Ridge Worms
24” x 36”

Acrylic on canvas

125th St.
36” x 36”

Acrylic on canvas

Pregnant on the 1-train
40” x 30”

Acrylic on canvas

Self-disintegration, in Pink
36” x 24”
Acrylic on canvas

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