Publication Date

April 2015

Advisor(s)

Jamie Stein

Major

Film Studies

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

Kai Stevens is a headstrong college student with a knack for neuroscience and one night stands. While having sex with a classmate, Sam, she has an anxiety attack. Kai’s best friend encourages her to go to therapy and so she begins to see Dr. Beth Johnson. Through therapy it is revealed that Kai was sexually assaulted and she is diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Meanwhile, Sam pursues Kai. Kai eventually falls for Sam, but is unable to have sex with him again. In response, Beth suggests prolonged exposure therapy, an immersive treatment used to reduce PTSD symptoms. The treatment initially helps, but when Kai’s father ends up in the hospital, she reverts to her emotionally distant state, alienating all who care about her. Kai’s present story is interspersed with flashbacks of the events leading up to her assault, illuminating the contrast between who she was and who she has become.

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