Kaitlyn O'Neill (PsyD '25) uses her artwork to communicate lessons she's learned in clinical psychology classes.
Recently, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine student Kaitlyn O’Neill (PsyD ’25) debuted her art exhibit titled “Hindsight: My Vision, My Work and What I’ve Learned in 2020” at the NomadWorks gallery space in Manhattan, New York City. With a focus on self-identity and expression, Ms. O’Neill’s pieces are reflective of the emotion she is experiencing at the time. As a future clinical psychologist, Ms. O’Neill also uses her artwork as a way to communicate themes she’s learned in her classes and reach a wider audience.
“Back in January, when this opportunity was presented to me, the vision for this exhibit was a victory lap of sorts. I was celebrating the success of a previous exhibit. By the time I was installing the work in October, I realized the vision had changed from a celebration of my previous work to showcasing the difficulties that came with the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the pandemic I found myself struggling with the things I’d previously celebrated. ‘Hindsight’ was guided by the idea that progress isn’t linear. Going back doesn’t mean that you’ve invalidated your progress,” shared Ms. O’Neill.
With themes stemming from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and imposter syndrome, Ms. O’Neill’s artwork is aimed at showcasing the human emotion and allowing others who struggle to know that they are heard. Ms. O’Neill also hopes that her artwork will allow her to connect with future patients. “With the clinical focus, I’m learning more about how to reach people and help people work through their issues. Art has an element of self-disclosure which allows me to connect with more people.”
When asked what she aims to achieve with these intimate portraits of self-reflection, Ms. O’Neill shared, “There is an element of anonymity to my pieces. I use my first initial and last name on all my pieces. My hope is people will see the art’s message and connect it to what they are going through. I hope my work helps to break down the stigma of seeking help.”
Ms. O’Neill’s artwork will be on display through November 26, 2020. To see the work
in person, contact NomadWork’s curator Tobe Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment. Her work can also be viewed on Instagram and Facebook.
Ms. O’Neill has previously displayed her art in galleries in Philadelphia, Queens and Miami.
Learn more about the PsyD in Clinical Psychology program at PCOM.
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, mental health counseling, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
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