Photo Therapy: Using Pictures As a Therapeutic Or Counseling Tool

 

 

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Photography is not merely an aspect of the world of art, but it is also an avenue for expressing and a way of conveying one’s thoughts and emotions. One clear image can signify various stories. This is actually among the reasons why other people have decided to practice it as a habit and still others to heal. Indeed, photography can be a healthy tool for counseling or therapy for those who want to overcome or recover from an unpleasant event or emotion. Pictures have a kind of healing effect on most people, and oftentimes, expressing feelings verbally may not be very easy to do. This is when photography comes in.

When Photo Therapy Was Used For Counseling Or Therapy

Just before we move forward with a clearer explanation of photography as a therapeutic tool, let us examine some instances where taking pictures effectively helped someone stand back up after an emotional or sad event.

An Inspiring Story

A television reporter in New York utilizes photography to manage his depression and panic attacks caused by a terrorist attack in the middle of doing a live report. He created a photography club for reporters and other media men as well. So far, the club has done a great deal for many of its members. It has allowed reporters to cope with their anxieties and fears about unexpected events and their hesitations of doing the more risky tasks to do their jobs more effectively. When these people use their cameras during outdoor activities together or individually, they can relax their minds and think about the good side of life.

Two Types of Photography

There are essentially two forms of photography that can be utilized as counseling or therapy tools. Note: These types of photography do not need professional photography skills, education, or training.

Photo Therapy. This technique uses various pictures, photos taken by other people, and photo collections of individuals who need therapy. The pictures guide and assist people in learning how to open up about their thoughts, opinions and even recall crucial events that are not easy to discuss verbally. Any photography can be utilized for this form, just as in therapeutic photography, and this could involve videos and movies both in manual and digital forms.

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Therapeutic Photography. This method entails self-initiated, and self-planned photo-based tasks and events wherein an individual or a group of individuals take pictures as a way for them to relax and recover from their mental health problems. In these circumstances, there is no professional therapist or counselor that works with those who seek therapy. Hence, no real counseling session transpires – it is only the pictures and the task itself that provides the healing. It is vital to remember, on the other hand, that therapeutic photography is not only limited to taking pictures. It could also involve posing for the camera, viewing images, visualizing them, or discussing or providing personal opinions of the presented images.

Reasons Why Photography Is An Effective Therapeutic Or Counseling Tool

  • It is a way of expressing oneself. Photography can successfully show someone’s true mental and emotional state. It can also present an individual’s real feelings. Meaning that it allows him to get a better perspective of himself as a person, and this is therapeutic as it helps free the person from things that he used to feel confused or anxious about.
  • It provides an opportunity to see the world neutrally. Photography presents us with pictures that portray the way we actually live, not just show the often-protected feelings and opinions that we conceal from others. Hence, we become more aware of the things surrounding us and what is actually happening, in contrast to what we believe is happening. Practicing mindfulness in photography is beneficial because it reveals the realities we thought we had full knowledge of.
  • It helps one discover his creative and innovative skills. A teenager with cerebral palsy, for instance, may find it hard to express himself in words fully. However, if he is presented with pictures, he could express how he feels and things more clearly. Being aware of your capabilities amidst your sufferings and challenges is absolutely therapeutic.
  • It enables one to be more perceptive and responsive. An individual learns to ask questions that will usually provide him with more information about certain things he used to be anxious or worried about. This is helpful because it allows for greater learning and comprehension, which is actually one way to heal and recover.

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  • It helps enhance daily experiences. What was previously mundane for you can change once you’ve taken a picture of it from another angle. For instance, an ordinary sunflower can transform into a treasured find after you have captured it while it is blooming. Simple things become special and meaningful, and this is therapeutic because it provides a general sense of positivity and happiness.

If you think you need help overcoming your life’s challenges, why don’t you capture the beautiful blessings around you with that camera just lying somewhere? Then you’ll be on your way to healing and recovery.