PhotoTherapy | Photo-Art-Therapy | Therapeutic Photography
PhotoTherapy & Therapeutic Photography Combined | Photo-Art-Therapy & Therapeutic Photography Combined | VideoTherapy and/or Therapeutic Videography (Film-making) | Other Related Sites
In addition to “Websites” below, you will find individual Webpages such as Facebook Group pages and similar
— which are not their own independent Website, yet deserve inclusion below
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About PhotoTherapy Techniques:
Using photos during therapy, as part of an intentional therapeutic framework, conducted by trained/licensed therapists.
- PhotoTherapy and psychological aesthetics of photographs (“The resource for British Phototherapy practice”) is the website of art psychotherapist, photographer, and PhotoTherapy practitioner Mark Wheeler. It not only provides focus and context regarding all photo-based therapy and healing practices in the U.K., both historically and specifically but also includes an excellent summary review of the various dimensions (and definitions) of these practices.
- PSYphoto is the informational website in Russian about methods of PhotoTherapy, PhotoTherapy practice in Russia and abroad, and related information about educational opportunities, workshops, conferences, and other resources (in Russian). It is managed by Olga Perevezentseva (in consultation with Judy Weiser and her resource website).
- ILPFOT, the “Instituto Latinoamericano de Psicología y Fotografía” [“The Latin-American Institute of Psychology and Photography”] in México [website in Spanish, with some English pages], managed by Francisco Avilés-Gutiérrez contains a lot of information about PhotoTherapy and his own applications of these techniques.
- Finnish PhotoTherapy Association [partial site in English], founded in February 2004, is the “home” for PhotoTherapy and Therapeutic Photography information and activities in Finland. They are very active, sponsor many workshops, exhibitions, and conferences — for more information contact their manager, Ulla Halkola.
About Photo-Art-Therapy Techniques:
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About Therapeutic Photography Techniques
In general (or educational, cross-cultural, self-exploration work, & related intentional applications):
- Through a Different Lens — A Creative Unconventional Approach to Transformation and Healing is Pam Hale Trachta’s site about how creative tools such as therapeutic photography, writing and ritual can be used to enhance consciousness, creativity, learning, communication and well-being. An educator and pioneer in the field of therapeutic photography, [Note: publications at that time were under “Pam Weaver”] as well as a photographic writer and artist, Pam has long worked in the fields of personal growth and healing — and often uses her own experience as a cancer survivor to work with people encountering illness, loss or death. She is also the creator of the “Sand Spirits™ photographic wisdom and divination cards”;
- Art For Your Sake details the positive visualization work of artist Nancy Gershman whose “therapeutic photomontages” are individually created for clients grappling with loss and bereavement, relationship rifts and addictive behaviors. By repurposing their personal photos and planting interpretative imagery, Gershman’s custom myth-building helps clients re-write their narratives for therapeutic recovery. Her “Healing Dreamscapes” are informed by personal remembrances, unfulfilled needs and wishes, artwork and writings. In addition to her healing artwork often done in conjunction with therapists, clergy, caregivers and other helping professionals, her site contains commercial photomontages created to celebrate joyful events in people’s life-stories and transitions. [Weiser comment: This site really must be seen to fully grasp the imaginative and effective results — and recognize their potential for deeper therapeutic effects beyond the initial visual impact];
- PhotoVoice: Social Change Through Photography blends a grassroots approach to photography and social action by providing cameras to people to amplify their visions and experience, record and reflect their community’s strengths and problems, promote dialogue about important issues, and permit them to be catalysts for social action and change in their own communities. Pages on this site also include many exciting individual projects, such as: 1) Multigenerational Linking of Homeless and Marginally Housed African American Women (“young homeless women and elderly discussed photographs they had taken that focused on their current living arrangement and daily life activities; the sharing of photographs revealed many commonalities and established mutual respect, exercised mutual affirmation, and built alliances”) — and 2) Our Lives Through Our Eyes: People with Mental Illness Educating Providers (enabling people living with mental illness to educate mental health service providers about what matters in their lives and encourage community-based support for people living with mental illness”) as well as the Picture This (Project) (see listing below);
- Share My World — The Degradation and Removal of the/a Black Male: Through photographs and storytelling, this site by Wayne Dunkley explores the common human experience of alienation. He explains: “I am a black photographer who hung over 400 posters of my face in Toronto and Montreal. I photographed the responses over a four-year period. I share some of my own experiences of racism to stimulate viewers to consider prejudice, “otherness,” and hope for change in their own lives”. The site also provides an ongoing place “where people can express how racism has shaped their lives, and where visitors can come to new understanding of the existence and effects of racism… and reflect on their own role in the presence of it”. The goal of the site is to “challenge people and make them talk [and think, and feel]…. Through collaborative storytelling and the process of constructing a new narrative of hope, the site broadens from personal experiences to consider racism as an element of the human condition. Viewers’ stories are combined with Dunkley’s photographs to create an online community of storytelling. This effectively broadens the ownership of the issue of racism. Dunkley summarizes: “At its core this project is my attempt to make something life-giving from the poison of racism… [to say, and to show, that] sorrow shapes my story, but does not own it…”;
- Photography as a Healing Practice is a page on Kay Porterfield’s site, which is about creative growth and healing in general; this page gives information and links for photo-related aspects;
About Therapeutic Photography with women / girls:
- The Fisher Turk Photo Therapy Method (“Making Peace with Your Body Through the Eye of the Camera”) explains and illustrates the “Fisher Turk Method of Photo Therapy”, though which Ellen Fisher Turk has long used photography “to open a way for women to change how they see themselves and how they feel about their bodies, by reconciling the difference between who women think they are and who they see in the photographs. The photography allows them to see themselves as art — thereby using the body, always the object of their shame before, as an tool for healing”. Photos are included on the site, with comments from some of the women pictured, many of whom discuss how their photographs have evoked personal compassion;
- Re-enactment Photo-Therapy is Rosy Martin’s site about significant moments/memories from an individual’s past that are re-enacted and transformed, literally or metaphorically through being photographic reconstruction; Outrageous Agers is her site about her collaborative photo and video installation with Kay Goodridge, which addresses stereotypes of women and aging and “confronts notions of the unstable ever-changing body, with images and texts that are both defining and defiant”;
- About-Face is a San Francisco-based non-profit group whose focus is promoting positive self-esteem in girls and women of all ages, sizes, races, and backgrounds, through a spirited approach to media education, outreach, and activism — and thus combating negative and distorted images of women in the media;
- Women En Large is about Laurie Toby Edison’s “Fine Art Photographs of Beautiful and Powerful Women”;
- Fighting Back: Photo Phobia is part of the Body Icon: Fear and Loathing the Mirror website, which deals with how women can take steps to reclaim their bodies from the media-promoted biologically-unattainable ideal, this page tells of one woman’s journey to reclaim her body, through work done with Ellen Fisher Turk;
About Therapeutic Photography with youth / teens / children:
- Youth In Focus empowers urban teens, through photography, “to experience their world in new ways and make positive changes in their lives, explore their creative potential, to engage them and help them work through what’s going on in their lives”;
- AJA Project International provides photography-based educational programming to youth affected by war and displacement, helping them become agents of personal and social transformation and create better opportunities for their future as they develop valuable vocational, technical, and photography skills. “Cameras and training were provided to elementary school children to not only encourage reflection on their tumultuous lives but also to feel like protagonists rather than victims”;
- FotoKids “The Children in Conflict” Program uses photos taken by adolescents to develop certain key issue for youth living in communities affected by violence, and thus promote youth leadership in populations affected by social exclusion and armed conflict. Breaking the cycle of poverty through training in visual arts and technology is offered to students living in difficult economic circumstances in rural and urban communities of Guatemala and Honduras. “Placing cameras in the hands of these children is a very powerful experience. It allows them to claim their world in a new way and express themselves more fully. There is a huge correlation between learning a creative art and becoming excited about learning in general. Photography then opens the doors for many of these kids to a much larger sense of self and their potential in the world” (more about this in an article about this project in the April Newsletter of the “ArtHeals” organization;
- Las Fotos Project is an organization that introduces Latina teens to photography and promotes creativity as a healthy form of self-expression. By collaborating and volunteering with youth empowerment organizations, this group incorporates photography into the lives of Latina teens, and introduces them to an art form that will bring about a positive life change and a skill that could help build their confidence and self-esteem;
- Help-Portrait is an organization that works with a community of photographers, coming together across the world to use their photography skills to give back to their local community — grabbing their cameras, finding people in need and taking their picture. When the prints are ready, the photographs get delivered. This is about GIVING the pictures, not taking them. These portraits are not for the photographers’ own portfolio, website, or for sale. Money isn’t involved — just the chance to give a family something they may have never had before—a portrait together. It’s an opportunity to give;
- Through the Eyes of a Child is a program where a dozen professional photographers become mentors to urban children by sharing their love of photography, with the result that the photographs that emerge are deeply communicative and moving;
- The Artist Inside Program: With the motto of “Finding the Inner Artist in Incarcerated Youth”, this Program uses photography and other arts to provide these art students the rare opportunity to use cameras and other art media without the usual artistic “rules”, and thus achieve a unique opportunity for self-expression that helps them regain a sense of pride and increase their self-esteem. The Photography Program has proven to be therapeutic and transformative, opening doors for self-representation, discussion, and story telling in a way that helps the youth gain a feeling of connection, contribution and communication that is a necessary part of being human;
- Literacy Through Photography is “a school-based community program that encourages students to find their voice through photographs and subsequent written investigation of self, community, family, and dreams, using photography as a medium of communication”. Developed by photographer and teacher Wendy Ewald, it teaches students self-expression through creative writing and photography” — and training for teachers is also part of the program;
- Inside-Out Street Youth Photography Project describes what happens when street youth in Nepal document the difficult circumstances of their lives by taking photographs to show their lives as they saw them, not as others may interpret them. What they photographed was completely up to them, taking photos that best represented aspects of their life, the highs and the lows, and they themselves got to choose which photographs they wanted to have exhibited and which they didn’t. “Through this photography project, they found a voice, a sense of worth while discovering that people were genuinely concerned and were listening to their plight”;
- WarChild’s “Visual Impact Project” is a world-wide project which encourages children caught up in war to tell their story through photographs they take themselves. Single use cameras are distributed to young people who are encouraged to take photos of the places and people that are important to them and to portray to other children, the story of their own lives (by describing their family and friends, things they like and their hopes and dreams). “The films are developed and the prints returned to the children so that they can select their favorite images. These are exhibited locally before being returned to the children. Workshops are also given on the basics of photography. This empowers the children to raise awareness of the conditions in which they live, while also learning about children in other countries through their photos;
- First Exposures (FX) is a unique mentoring/photographic education program for young people in San Francisco sponsored by SF Camerawork. Students ages 11 – 18 are recruited from local agencies serving young people with backgrounds of homelessness or low-income living situations. Mentors are photographers with a commitment to youth empowerment through education. “Our goal is not only to help develop a creative outlet for our students to express themselves in a safe and supportive environment, but also to encourage them to grow and become articulate, confident, and responsible young adults”;
- The Five Faces of Kern is a site describing what happens when a group of “at risk” teenagers (students with “special needs”) were given one-time-use cameras to create a group of pictures to reveal an important part of their world: “What does the world look like to an “at risk” teenager? Instead of just wondering, the Arts Council of Kern County, California decided to find out. The scheme was simple: Distribute one-time-use cameras to students with “special needs” in the county’s five school districts. Teach them the basics of photography. And challenge each student to create a group of pictures that reveal an important part of his or her world. All participants’ work would be included in a group show, and the top five would win prizes”;
About Therapeutic Photography with cancer, HIV/AIDS, & other life-threatening illnesses or traumas; depression, and other issues:
- Vision and Voice Project: Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Folks Journey Through the Fire describes a project illustrating how photographs can give a tangible voice to personal narratives of cancer that are often silenced or marginalized. Photographer and PhotoTherapist Lori DeMarre assists cancer survivors tell their own visual story, through co-creating photographic representations of their own personal journey. Those photographed begin to see themselves in new ways; once complete, their photographic voice joins others in an exhibition to be shared with the larger community, providing education and supporting the cancer support services of the Seattle Lesbian Cancer Project;
- The Children’s Legacy is Katy Tartakoff’s site about her work using photography to help children suffering from cancer or burns, and their families — both in hospital and at summer camps. There is also a link there about her photo-activist work with HIV-positive women and children in Africa, which resulted in a book “Final Breath: A Love Poem” (see next entry);
- Final Breath: A Love Poem is a page on the “Virtual Voices” website describing a recent project sponsored by Katy Tartakoff’s “The Children’s Legacy” (see above) — where black and white photographs of African children from orphanages and villages from Nairobi to Maasai Mara, Kenya, who were suffering from HIV (and little hope), were combined with poems and messages into a book, whose entire proceeds go to help these children. Additionally, copies of these photos were given to the children’s families and to bring attention to tribal chiefs and local leaders to the magnitude of the problem of HIV/AIDS in their communities;
- A Long Walk Home: A Story of a Rape Survivor is the main program of an organization that uses social documentary and art to capture the reality of violence and trauma. It documents the journey from sexual assault victim to sexual assault survivor by means of a multimedia performance that features poetry, music, photography, West African dance and modern dance to help educate people about sexual trauma and healing. “Utilizing the creative process of making art as itself healing and life-enhancing, the goals include also helping survivors increase self-awareness, cope with traumatic experiences, and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of artistic creativity;
- Depression: A Visual Journal of Healing & Transformation is a traveling exhibit about using photographs and journals on a personal journey with depression, created by two artists who have “been there” — and who have collaborated to create photographs and poems that offer hope and honors both the pain and the transforming possibility of depression. Each of the fourteen dramatic, large-scale black-and-white photographs (depicting a symbolic journey through depression) is accompanied by a short, experience-based poem that speaks to a specific aspect of depression: medication, the mind-body-spirit connection, isolation, hope, the need for balance, healing, and more. The exhibit includes educational facts about depression and resources people can call for help with mental health concerns;
About Therapeutic Photography in other applications (for example, with those who have developmental or learning disabilities, autism, or other special needs, as well as in diversity or multi-cultural applications such as with immigrants, and so forth):
- “Trans-active” is a national Project in the U.K. (supported by MENCAP — the leading charity there working with children and adults with a learning disability, their parents, and their careers) that is currently in use by over 100 schools, colleges and other organizations who support young people with and without disabilities in transition and making choices about their future lives. They do this through accessing and using photography, multi-media and the internet, to produce multimedia online “passports” for themselves, which enables them take an active part in decision-making meetings that affect their lives — and their futures. In the Trans-active Project, young people with and without disability work together, giving them opportunities to learn to work together and explore their similarities as well as differences — and in the process, making friends and having fun! Using their passport as a reminder and a communication bridge, they can easily show people what is important to them now and in the future, and can greatly assist the transition process. “Effective transition means that young people with PMLD (profound and multiple learning disabilities) are fully involved throughout transition planning and that consideration is given to actively accessing mainstream services as well as specialist services”. Additionally, young people with severe learning disabilities and their non-disabled peers, are involved in developing an interactive website for young people with a learning disability;
- Thematic PhotoBooks, is the website of New York photographer Dina Veksler, who works for different programs in the field of mental health and developmental disabilities. Her site is about her learning method of using “Thematic Photobooks” for children and adults with autism, mental retardation, Down Syndrome and learning disabilities in order to help them improve or acquire different life skills using a creative, imaginative, person-centered approach based on photography.
About Therapists combining both PhotoTherapy and Therapeutic Photography in their professional practice:
- PSYforte is website of a company in Russia, owned by Psychologist Olga Perevezentseva (and staffed also by several specialists who are also well-known in solving psychological problems), who herself specializes in using PhotoTherapy techniques developed from many years of experience as well as from Judy Weiser’s Workshop in Moscow in April, 2010.
- Marianne Gontarz York Photography/Phototherapy is the website of social worker, photographer, and gerontologist Marianne Gontarz York, who has long used PhotoTherapy to explore memories and feelings (reminiscence and “life review” work) with older adults. Her photographs capture the spirit of strong elders (older adults) living meaningful lives as well as the strength and joy of intergenerational ties and have been published in a number of professional books and journals in the field of aging.
- Visual Voices Unlimited is psychotherapist and fine artist, Lynne Bernay-Roman’s website about a curriculum she developed (“Finding Focus Through Photography”), which is a program intended to “nurture kids’ natural curiosity, a key to long term learning”. This curriculum, along with a Manual sold from the site for implementation purposes, “uses photography, creative problem-solving and teamwork to facilitate enhanced awareness of kids’ inner and outer world, while making learning relevant and fun — this is a program where empowerment and invaluable insight happens”;
- Pictures and Stories in Therapy and Counseling is one of the courses explained on this website belonging to Finnish Psychotherapist and Photographer Ulla Halkola. There is also information there about the new Association for PhotoTherapy in Finland, various PhotoTherapy workshops, and much more. (The site is in Finnish, but email correspondence with her can easily be done in English);
About Photo-Art-Therapy & Therapeutic Photography Techniques Combined:
Are you working in this field?
SUBMIT YOUR INFORMATION TO BE CONSIDERED FOR INCLUSION
About VideoTherapy and/or Therapeutic Videography (Film-making) Techniques:
Are you working in this field?
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Other Related Sites/Pages:
About Photographic Cultural Studies or Photo-based Research, Visual Sociology/Anthropology, and others (and some not intentionally for therapeutic purposes, but still worth mentioning!):
- Literacy Through Photography encourages students to find their voice through photographs and written text, using photography as a medium of communication in classroom settings to catalyze subsequent written investigation of self, community, family, and dreams; training for teachers is part of the program;
- Photography: Access to Sight is about a legally-blind man, who “photographs to see” (while most people see to photograph!). The site explains and illustrates the photographs he takes so that he can see the world around him;
- Image and Identity Research Collective is Professors Claudia Mitchell & Sandra Weber’s sit for research (and collaborating and networking) about how visual, and especially photographic, imagery shapes lives; particularly recommended are the pages for two of that site’s individual “Collaborators”: Jo Visser — Image and Identity in Self-Study and Susan Allnutt Learning the Body Voice — Body Memorywork with Women;
- Collected Visions contains over 200 photo essays exploring how photographs shape our memories; includes stories and photographs (and essays inspired by over 2,000 images in family snapshots archive);
- Other People’s Pictures is a documentary film about “Vintage Snapshot Collecting” — people who buy other people’s family photographs. “Nine obsessive collectors share an unlikely addiction: snapshots that have been abandoned or lost by their original owners and are now for sale”. Learn what they look for, and why.
- The International Visual Literacy Association is an Association of educators, artists, and researchers dedicated to the principles of visual literacy, for the purpose of providing education, instruction and training in modes of visual communication and the application of the concepts of visual literacy to individuals, groups, organizations, and to the public in general;
- The International Visual Sociology Association: The visual study of society, culture, and social relationships, and uses of visual images, to foster the development and use of still photographs, film, video, and electronically transmitted images in sociology and other social sciences and related disciplines and applications;
- Children as Photographers describes a research project where children took photographs and then an attempt was made by outside (“external”) observers to analyze four topics: What do children take photographs of?; What do children like/dislike about photographs?; Why do children take photographs?; and What do children intend to do with the photographs that they take? This kind of research of course brings up all kinds of questions about efficacy and whether “outsider-interpretation” is actually even possible [Weiser comment: this is an example of research attempted by those who think such things are actually measurable, which is itself debatable!];
About Miscellaneous general-public “photo-based activities” which are spontaneously therapeutic, even if not originally intended for that purpose:
- Ground Zero (Photo)Quilt is a 90-inch square quilt made by Lois Jarvis, conceived of in the days following the events of 9/11. The center of the quilt was composed of photographs (printed on fabric) of over 700 images of people who perished at the site of the World Trade Center she downloaded from the CNN site starting just a few days after the event. Originally stating that she did not know at first why she felt so strongly that she should make it, she shares, “now that it is done I am finding the answer to why I felt such a strong urge to make it: I made it to be viewed by other people, and to somehow touch them. I hope it will remind everyone that the loss of the buildings and their material content was not the important event that day [but rather] the people who all perished that day, who are the important things to remember”;
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