PhotoTherapy | Photo-Art-Therapy | Photos during Coaching | Therapeutic Photography
PhotoTherapy-and-Therapeutic-Photography-Combined | Photo-Art-Therapy & Therapeutic Photography Combined | VideoTherapy and/or Therapeutic Videography (Film-making) | Other Related Applications
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PhotoTherapy in General:
Please note that others are listed in separate categories below, if they have a particular specialized focus.
- Judy Weiser, Vancouver, BC, Canada, is a Licensed Psychologist, Registered Art Therapist, and one of the earliest pioneers of PhotoTherapy techniques. Director of the PhotoTherapy Centre, which she founded in 1982 to serve as the world’s networking base and extensive resource library for these fields, she is now considered the world authority on the techniques of PhotoTherapy, Photo-Art-Therapy, Therapeutic Photography, and VideoTherapy.
Author of the classic text PhotoTherapy Techniques: Exploring the Secrets of Personal Snapshots and Family Albums(now with Italian, Korean, and Russian Translations) and dozens of Professional Publications, she also created and maintains the primary informational resource and networking website for the field (PhotoTherapy & Therapeutic Photography Techniques) and the FaceBook Group for PhotoTherapy, Therapeutic Photography, Photo-Art-Therapy, and VideoTherapy.
Having spent over 35 years using PhotoTherapy techniques in her private practice as a therapist (specializing in helping people from marginalized populations — including Indigenous people, street youth and adults dealing with addictions, and people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS), she now is an International Consultant, Lecturer, and Trainer giving lectures, presentations, workshops and training intensives world-wide about using PhotoTherapy techniques to improve therapy practices (as well as how to use Therapeutic Photography techniques in non-therapy activities (such as Coaching) to stimulate personal growth and insight, activate social change, strengthen communities — and to assist with qualitative and community-based research;
- David Krauss, Cleveland, OH, USA, is a Licensed Psychologist, Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor, Musician and Professional Photographer. One of the earliest pioneers of PhotoTherapy, he founded the “Center for Visual Therapies” in 1979 and remains its Director, has taught PhotoTherapy workshops for over twenty years and is still involved in mentoring students. His current consulting and private counselling practice focuses on men’s issues and geriatric populations and he has authored numerous excellent publications about PhotoTherapy theory and practice, including two book chapters (1983) that together provide an excellent and very clear (and eloquent) introduction to the theoretical underpinnings of the fields of both PhotoTherapy and Therapeutic Photography. He is also the Co-Editor of the 1983 book about PhotoTherapy techniques Phototherapy in mental health;
- Joel Walker, Toronto, ON, Canada, is a Psychiatrist and Photographer, who is another one of the earliest pioneers of PhotoTherapy (especially regarding Photo-Projective techniques). Interested in a variety of aspects relating to the unique ways in which people create meaning from viewing a photographic image-stimulus, he has not only used both projective imagery and interactive camera work with his psychiatric clients for over 25 years, but also produced a large body of professional publications, numerous photographic publications and exhibitions (including many interactive ones in several countries), and the “Walker Visuals Kit”, which is a set of four large photos and information about using these as a means of helping patients by following their responses over time. His latest website, “Portraits of the Human Spirit”, presents a variety of stories and photos connected with them, and about his work using photos as the bridge to healing;
- Emilie Danchin, Brussels, Belgium, is a photographic artist with a degree in philosophy, a psychotherapist, and a Winnicottian- and Jungian-oriented psychoanalyst, trained in Ericksonian hypnosis and brief therapy, with professional photographs in fine arts publication and exhibitions. Interested in the “rhizomatic” interrelation between images and psyche, Emilie found herself drawn to the particular research involved in the meaning and understanding of the depths. Time spent in commercial and editorial professional environments, led her into creating her own phototherapeutic scope of activities, Analytique Photographique® in Brussels.
Emilie’s practice currently envelops private therapeutic practice, phototherapeutic workshops with groups of adults and teenagers who are experiencing social and/or mental health difficulties within associations and institutions, and “good enough” communication processes in working environments. She combines “squiggle” drawing, and imaginary images such as “The Magic wand”, “The Traveller”, or “The Mountain”, with hypnosis, performance and a participatory photography to reveal and actually free inner resources that lie between inner experience and the external world, between subjectivity and objectivity, in the strange familiar timeless present of creativity and analytic spaces, captured in the photographs. More about Analytique Photographique® can be can be found on the website www.analytiquephotographique.be. Likewise information on the “good enough” communication is also available on the website www.thegoodenoughcommunication.be — while more about her artistic photographic work can be seen on www.emiliedanchin.be. Her book “Terrain Connu” published in 2011 by Yellow Now (in their Angles vifs collection) is available on Amazon;
- Mark Wheeler, Derbyshire, England, is a Registered Art Psychotherapist working in a Child & Family Therapy Clinic. Mark was the first British photography graduate to undertake postgraduate Art Therapy training and has subsequently obtained a postgraduate Diploma in Systemic Practice with families & couples. He has used photographs in work with families and individuals with a variety of issues, taught Bereavement Counselors about “using photos in bereavement work and how to work systemically with photos”, and has facilitated workshops for Art Therapy students and Mental Health Nurses. Mark has recently been awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society for his work examining the psychological dimensions of making and viewing photographs. Mark has recently begun the website “PhotoTherapy and Psychological Aesthetics of Photographs” (“the best resource for British Phototherapy practice”), in which he also provides an overview to the various photo-based therapy and healing practices in the U.K., both historically and specifically;
- Olga Perevezentseva, Moscow, Russia, is a Psychologist, trained in Social Psychology, and Personal and Family Psychology treatment. For a long time, she has used PhotoTherapy techniques with her clients (youth as well as adults). She also has been a Lecturer for the Psychology faculty of Moscow University of Business and Politics, and has given many Workshops in these techniques. She is the Director of “PSYforte” — a company that combines well-known specialists in Russia (for solving of psychological problems). PSYforte Creative Centre specializes in programs and projects for improving of well-being and improving of communications in interpersonal and business relations by using of innovative methods based on techniques of PhotoTherapy, Therapeutic Photography, VideoTherapy, Art-Therapy, Well-Being and Digital Storytelling.
Olga has also created and maintains the Russian informational resource website “PSYphoto” about the field of “PhotoTherapy Techniques used in Counseling and Therapy” (which is linked directly to Judy Weiser’s website of the same name, with her approval) and she also has pioneered a set of techniques called “PSYrole” which use socio-drama, phototherapy, and music during therapy sessions, to help people better explore their life and the roles they use to live it (to read more about “PSYrole” practice, click here);
- Nirit Lavy Kucik, Herzliya, Israel, is a Certified Psychotherapist (MSW), trained in psychoanalytic and family therapy. She provides supervision to a team in a mental health clinic in Ranana, Israel, and works with couples and individuals in her private practice. Having used PhotoTherapy techniques in her practice for over twenty years, she has been teaching it for almost as long (to mental health professionals from all over the country, as well as those taking postgraduate studies in Integrative Psychotherapy, and those in the PhotoTherapy department at Musrara School of Digital Media).
She has also led an annual Phototherapy Workshop at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and also gives in-service PhotoTherapy training to various mental health agencies. In 1991, she co-authored the first article about PhotoTherapy in Hebrew in Israel (in Sichot Dialogue: Israeli Journal of Psychotherapy) with Israeli psychiatrist Eliezer Witztum and still uses these techniques in many ways (especially with adults such as second-generation holocaust survivors or couples affected by life-cycle developmental issues, as well as regarding child abuse and neglect);
- Catherine Ravella, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, is a Psychiatric Nurse and Certified Sex Therapist in private practice. She uses patients’ personal photographs in therapy sessions to tap into emotional material that often is difficult for patients to speak about. She introduces PhotoTherapy to couples for enrichment and intimacy-building. As a supervisor for the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, Dr. Ravella has created a “mnemonic device” to help students remember to use this therapeutic modality — “P.H.O.T.O.” (©2004: PROPOSE a photo gathering session; HELP the patient describe the scene and identify the personal meaning in their photos; OBSERVE the patient’s reaction and emotional response; TALK about the therapists observations; ORIENT to present stage of life instead of the past);
- Sharon Sanborn, Seattle, WA, USA, is a Licensed Mental Health Counsellor in private practice, as well as a global Life and Relationship Coach. Trained as a Counsellor, Art Therapist and Hypnotherapist with over thirty years experience in the mental health and teaching fields, her work blends verbal and non-verbal approaches including the use of Art, Photo and Video Therapy. Her specialty areas are: freedom from anxiety, satisfying relationships and sexuality, clarity around gender and LGBTQ issues, sleeping well and success with your goals. She also conducts workshops and trainings such as “Exploring Relationships through Photos”, “Freedom from Anxiety”, “Success with your Goals” and “The Art of Gender” (exploring gender identity and sexuality using participants’ photos and art materials). Visit her website for more information;
- Dimitra Stavrou, Athens, Greece, is a Licensed Psychologist and member of the Greek Association of DramaTherapists. She is interested in the multimedia connections between the arts and new technologies (which is the subject of her PHD research in Panteion University of Athens). For the past five years, she has used photograph in her practice with adults, for diagnostic reasons, in a systemic context, as symbolic products and as projective stimulations within an expressive art therapy context. More about her can be found on her blog;
- Giovanna Calabrese, Milano, Italy, is a Psychiatrist and a Transpersonal Psychotherapist. She works in private practice using the Biotransenergetica model. In the last few years she has been using photography as a tool to explore non ordinary state of consciousness in a transpersonal therapeutic contest. She works both in individual session for clients with anxiety and mood disorders and in workshops with people willing to explore their consciousness in a journey of self knowledge and spiritual growth. She conducted workshops on phototherapy at international meetings of the European Transpersonal Association. To read more about her work visit the website: www.gmcalabrese.it;
- Carmine Parrella, Lucca, Italy, is a Psychologist and Psychotherapist who works for the National Public Mental Health Service (“U.F. Salute Mentale Adulti ASL2 Piana di Lucca”) in the town of Lucca, Tuscany in Italy. For the past five years he has been leading and developing various experiential multimedia art therapy programs applied to three different contexts: psychiatric rehabilitation, community-based prevention programs, and psychotherapy practice.
He also conducts both “Therapeutic Video” and “Therapeutic Photo” workshops for clients with severe psychiatric disorders. He is experimenting with the therapeutic potential of digital imagery (both photograph and video) exposition and manipulation, and he is trying to develop programs to reduce the stigma toward psychiatric patients through the active use of photo and video by the patients themselves. He most recently was one of the major partners of the “PhotoTherapy EU Project” (Italy/Finland/England);
- Marina Strauss, Barcelona, Spain, is a Psychologist and Art Therapist, with a Masters in Expressive Therapies and Mental Health Counselling, who has long used PhotoTherapy techniques with her clients (youth as well as adults). She also teaches workshops in these techniques (in both English and Spanish);
- Maureen Rosenblum, Shorewood, WI, USA, is a Psychotherapist in private practice and fine arts photographer, who has combined these interests by giving workshops and continuing education classes on “Developing the Inner “I” — Self-Discovery Through Photographs”;
- Ronna Jevne, Edmonton, AB, Canada, Professor Emeritus of the University of Alberta, is a Registered Psychologist in private practice whose career has spanned decades as a teacher, psychologist, professor, inspirational speaker and author. Her lifelong interest in therapeutic writing and photography has involved students, patients, health care professionals, inmates and correctional officers. She has recently published “Tea For the Inner Me: Blending Tea with Reflection”, which is an invitation to find that quiet and wise place within oneself by blending the ritual of tea with the practice of journaling in combination with the medium of photography. She is also awaiting publication of her edited book entitled “Images and Echoes: Exploring your Life with Photography and Writing“, in which 17 women explore their lives through these mediums.
Over and above using photography in therapy, Ronna was recently involved in a project with First Nations teens involving photography to produce the book “Do You See Me?“. Her series of “Inner Me” workshops all involve photography to varying degrees. Her most recent passion, the “Pilgrim Writers”, also uses both mediums. The junior version of Pilgrim Writers, a project with high-risk teens which takes them on retreat for two days, has recently been funded by the Alberta Mental Health Foundation. Her ultimate passion, though, is healthier personal lives for professionals through the use of therapeutic writing and photography. For more information on Ronna and her work visit her website;
- Amy Miller Cohen, Bethlehem, PA, USA, is a family therapist, Ph.D. psychologist, and SoulCollage® facilitator. Her psychotherapy interests revolve around life-cycle stages, playfulness, imaginativeness and the expressive arts. She uses cameras, photography, journaling and visual journaling with families, couples and individuals in her private practice which she started in 1979. She spent three years at the Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy in NYC, taught early childhood development at Brooklyn College, and worked in Newark, NJ with Head Start teachers. Recently, she has been integrating SoulCollage®, phototherapy and journaling, working with groups, couples and individuals. Among her passions are photography and Zentangles®. For her website, click here;
PhotoTherapy with Youth / Teens / Children:
- Craig Steinberg, Eugene, OR, USA, is a Licensed Psychologist in full-time clinical practice at Jasper Mountain, a residential program for children ages five through thirteen in Fall Creek, Oregon — where he specializes in working with children and families and particularly in the areas of abuse and attachment issues. His “HITEC” Project (“Healing Images Through the Eyes of Children”) — which he developed and has pioneered for over five years there — is an innovative structured eight-week group therapy approach using photography and video as the medium to assist in the healing of children who have experienced severe trauma and abuse in their lives.
There are both “Still Camera” and “Video” Group components to this Project — both incorporating narrative therapy, trauma-based therapy, and psychodrama approaches to help the children organize and tell their personal life story in terms of the past, present, and future “from their own eyes, their own perspective, their own words, and under their own control using the medium of photography”;
- Francesca Belgiojoso, Milano, Italy, is a Licensed Psychologist, educated in Psychology of Art, Photography, and Adolescent Psychology, and now training to become a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist at Minotauro Specialization School for Adolescents and Young Adults. She has long specialized in using photography in her psychological treatment practices, especially with youth. Now working in private practice (Studio ArteCrescita), she uses photography as an expression and communication tool in the clinical relationship with adolescents.
At the Centro Psicologia Bambino Adolescente (“Child and Adolescent Psychology Center”), A.S.L. Milano, with Dr.ssa Marina Ballo she runs a preadolescence psychotherapeutic group that uses photography and videomaking as mediums for discussing the common difficulties of growth. She is a member of the Interdisciplinary Research Group led by Dr. Stefano Ferrari, professor of Psychology of Art and Visual Art, at the University of Bologna, and of the International Association of Art and Psychology, led by Dr.ssa Graziella Magherini, in Firenze;
- Jennifer Mervyn, White Rock (near Vancouver), BC, Canada, is a Psychologist and Photographer who has been doing crisis work since 2000 for the “Adolescent Crisis Response Program” of a regional health department serving several major cities. This involves working in hospital emergency rooms, schools, and the community, doing assessments and providing individual and group counselling for youths under age 19 who are in acute mental health crisis, including homeless youth. She specializes in using expressive therapies, and especially individual and group PhotoTherapy with at-risk and street involved youth.
Her Master’s Thesis was about factors that helped and hindered adults’ homeless transitions — and in an extension of her Master’s research, and as part of her Dissertation, she examined resilience factors in youth transitioning off the street — and made a documentary film featuring four young Canadian women who have successfully left a life on the streets. She is on Vancouver’s “Aboriginal Homelessness Steering Committee” [“Aboriginal” being the Canadian term for Native or Indigenous people] and the “Greater Vancouver Urban Aboriginal Strategy”, and is of Metís ancestry;
- Lee Carruthers, Northern Canada, is a Social Worker and semi-professional Photographer living in an isolated northern Canadian community “where the great majority of residents are of Aboriginal (Indigenous) ancestry and have suffered from the trauma of colonization and cultural genocide and are therefore survivors of not only personal abuse but also cultural and spiritual damage — with a higher level of ongoing grief and loss than most of those living in “mainstream” Canadian society”. To help, he runs photography-related projects/workshops “that can be attractive yet unobtrusively therapeutic for youth as a small step in assisting people struggling to recover their culture and find some healing”;
- Phillipa Castle, Melbourne, Australia, is a Psychologist who works in the area of adoption and permanent care and is planning a Dissertation incorporating PhotoTherapy and “adolescent identity formation” in children who have experienced out-of-home care;
PhotoTherapy with Women / Girls (also includes Eating Disorders with Males):
- Karen McMichael, Seattle, WA, USA, is a Certified Marriage & Family Therapist and Registered Art Therapist. Now retired from practice and no longer actively involved in the field, her past work with PhotoTherapy was primarily with women clients who were attempting to regain memory of early family experiences and to resolve trauma. She began her practice as a Psychotherapist in 1983 and served for many years as Adjunct Faculty at Antioch University Seattle, in their Art Therapy program. She continues her interest in PhotoTherapy and wishes to keep this paragraph “live” on this page in order to be of help to anyone who wants to reach her about her past work;
- Cathy Lander-Goldberg, St. Louis, MO, USA, is a Social Worker, Photographer, and Educator, who uses PhotoTherapy and other Expressive Therapy techniques in her therapy work at an outpatient eating disorders program and in her individual practice, which focuses on women’s issues. She is also the Director of “Photo Explorations”, which offers workshops based on her 20 years of experience working with adolescent girls to increase self-awareness through photography, self-portraits, and journaling. In addition, she is the photographer and curator of “RESILIENT SOULS: Young Women’s Portraits and Words”, a traveling photography and literary exhibition that highlights struggles that women in their teens and twenties have overcome;
PhotoTherapy with Elders, Seniors, & Geriatric Issues:
- Pam Koretsky, Raleigh, NC, USA, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing for the past several years with the geriatric population. Knowing the stigma this generation often has about discussing their problems with a stranger, she has found using clients’ family photos to be a safe and comfortable avenue to learning more about them in a non-threatening way and “opening doors” to their lives. She says that since she sees the majority of her clients in their homes, using their photos, which are all around their homes, gives her less intrusive ways to learn more about them and their family systems;
- Robin Kavanat, Toronto, ON, Canada, (now deceased) interned at the Baycrest Centre for Geratric Care as part of her Diploma program at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. Interested in behavioural change in this population using visual imagery such as books and photos (basically, imagery that is not created by the client but a third party), she writes, “Working with a very impaired population (most of whom had varying degrees of Alzheimer’s and other related dementias), I was using books of photography as well as art books and also had the opportunity on occasion to use family photos that were in the residents’ rooms”;
- David Krauss, Cleveland, OH, USA | Click his name to be redirected to more information above.
PhotoTherapy with Substance Abuse Issues:
- Maggie Wilson, Australia, is a Drug and Alcohol Counsellor, photographer and painter, who completed Art Therapy training at Goldsmiths College in the U.K. with a special study: “The Photograph as a Signifier and its Use in Therapy”. She is also beginning an MA Honours Program through the University of Western Sydney, and will do research around the theme: “Self Image and Self Harm”. At present she is using some Phototherapy techniques in her work with Indigenous clients presenting with alcohol counselling needs;
- George Mitchell, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a photographer, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Qualified Clinical Supervisor of Registered Interns and Education Provider for the State of Florida, and also a Substance Abuse Professional, Addictions Specialist, and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor. Holding a Doctoral Degree in Metaphysics, a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling and a Bachelors Degree in Community Psychology, he has been using photography as an integral part of his therapy practice for several years, finding it to be a powerful tool for people’s healing and maintenance of overall health. His recent publication, “The Wisdom of Ignorance,” is based upon the experience of using PhotoTherapy techniques with one of his clients;
PhotoTherapy with Grief / Loss / Bereavement / Palliative issues:
- Mindy Gough, Stratford, ON, Canada, has her BSW and a Certificate in Thanatology and Palliative Care, and is a Social Worker in private practice in the fields of mental health and child welfare (with a passion for working with the bereaved). She has used PhotoTherapy extensively for over a decade to work with grieving children, teens, and families, both individually and in group settings. She teaches and writes about photography as it relates to death and bereavement and instructs caregivers about photographing babies who have died. Her publications include: “Remembrance photographs: A caregiver’s gift for families of infants who die” and “PhotoTherapy with the Bereaved”;
- Sarah Waldman, Toronto (and Blind River), ON, Canada, is an Art Therapist and Program Developer for the “Maamwi Bizgwiidaa Healing Arts Program” for Intergenerational Residential School Survivors in northern Ontario (focusing on grief and loss issues). For her Masters of Creative Therapies degree, she incorporated photography (combining instant photography, the use of disposable cameras and collage) with art therapy working both individually and in groups with children aged 9-12 who were parentally-bereaved. Her Thesis focused on the use of photography as a means of visual narrative with a child who has suffered significant traumatic losses, using the camera as a tool for understanding how a child perceived the world and how (or if) this perception changed over the course of a year in art therapy;
- Liz McKnight, Gabriola Island, Canada, is an Art Therapist with a Masters in Educational Leadership, who has worked for nearly 25 years as a Special Education Teacher and has been both a Hospice Volunteer and a Learning Support Teacher for teachers with grade seven students who have emotional and behavioural issues, peer problems, speak English as a second language, or are gifted, and therefore require extra support. Currently a part-time school counsellor in an inner city elementary school, she continues Hospice Volunteering, along with having a small private practice. With a passion for photography, and much interest in grief and bereavement work (especially with children), she has used PhotoTherapy techniques in a variety of ways, both in private practice and with clients within the school system who have been referred by Hospice — as well as doing grief workshops for caregivers and home-care workers;
Photo-Art-Therapy techniques are a sub-category of PhotoTherapy techniques used only by those with specialized training in Art Therapy.
Please note that some of the therapists listed directly above in the PhotoTherapy section have also had past training in Art Therapy as well — and so they may combine the two approaches (for example, see listings above for Weiser, Mannesse, McMichael, DeMarre, Sanborn, Strauss, Viñuales, etc. — all of whom are also art therapists and therefore might occasionally also use Photo-Art-Therapy techniques when they feel it is appropriate).
- Ellen Horovitz, Rochester, NY, USA, is an Art Therapist and Director of Graduate Art Therapy at Nazareth College of Rochester and is currently working in private practice, as well as in the Aphasia / Speech Therapy Clinic at Nazareth College. She teaches a form of PhotoTherapy for art therapists every summer and works with a variety of materials from age-old Polaroid cameras to liquid emulsions, liquid light, videotherapy, and digital imaging and cyanotype manipulation. She has been using these aforementioned techniques both educationally as well as in her private practice;
- Veronica De Benedetti, Paris, France, is an Art Therapist and a Photographer. In addition to postgraduate studies in Visual Arts and Photography, she holds a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy from Roma Tre University with a thesis on “Photography as a complementary tool to painting and collage in eating disorders treatment“. Her photographs have been exhibited and published internationally. Since 2011 she has been working for social and health institutions to conduct photography-based Art Therapy groups for adults and teenagers with substance dependence and psychiatric troubles.
Her several articles on photography and phototherapy have been published, for example, in the British photography magazine Hotshoe International and the French psychiatry journal L’Information Psychiatrique. She has given several Conference presentations, including one at the 2014 Roehampton University Conference, “PhototherapyEurope in Prisons and Elsewhere” in London. She is currently employed by Institut Mutualiste Montsouris Hospital to hold weekly photo-art-therapy sessions aimed at enhancing self-esteem, body perception and emotional expression of hospitalised adolescents affected by eating and psychiatric disorders, through photo-making, darkroom printing and light painting combined with mixed media, collage and writing;
- Brigitte Anor, Jerusalem, Israel, is an Expressive Art therapist and the Founder of the Photo Therapy Institute in Jerusalem which is a three-year program that is built upon Brigitte’s belief that both the use of the camera and the photographic image itself have the power to generate an emotional experience that itself can foster personal, inter-personal and professional growth. Brigitte teaches in the Institute in Jerusalem and at the Tel-Aviv University in a continuing education unit for social workers and persons in allied helping professions. She has also taught workshops in other locations in Israel and in Europe. As an Expressive Art therapist, Brigitte stresses the significance of the potential of photography as a springboard for a dialogue with the different art therapies and trains professionals who wish to transform photography into a therapeutic tool in various applications;
- Natalie Ben Israel, Raanana, Israel, is both a photographer and a Certified Expressive Arts Therapist (M.F.A.) who specializes in Photo-Art-Therapy with women in different states and stages of life — especially adolescent girls and pregnant women — as a way of dealing with body image issues and femininity image in general. In addition, she has created a one year course in Photo Therapy techniques for therapists who are already trained/practicing in a Mental Health Profession, to be taught in the coming academic year, as part of the External Studies Department program at the Western Galilee College in Akko;
- Robert Wolf, New York, NY, USA, is a Licensed Psychoanalyst and Creative Art Therapist in private practice, whose background integrating both photography and psychotherapy has led him to the practice and teaching of the course “Photo Therapy: The Therapeutic Use of Photography” at the College of New Rochelle and Pratt Institute, for over 30 years. He was a pioneer in the use of instant photographic media in psychotherapy and has transitioned into using digital technology to further explore therapeutic applications. His latest Chapter “The Therapeutic Uses of Photography in Play Therapy” has just been published in a new book, Integrating Expressive Arts and Play Therapy (Wiley). More information may be found on his website;
- Alice Landry, New York, NY, USA, is a Board-Certified Art Therapist and a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist at the NYU Langone Medical Center and the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine. She has been working as an art therapist with in-patient physical rehabilitation patients for 15 years (patients who have suffered strokes, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and limb loss).
The Photo-Art Therapeutic Photography program is meant to help these patient-artists document their journey to wellness, as they photograph their experiences in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy at Rusk. The patient-artists begin to “see things differently” through the lens of their cameras and find fun as well as fulfillment in creating meaningful and beautiful works of art. The Photography Therapy program has empowered patients to look forward to the future as they continue their creative exploration of the photographic medium, and many patients return post-discharge, as out-patients for Therapeutic Photography groups that last for about 5 weeks and culminate in a Gallery Exhibit called “The Eyes of Patience”;
- Sabine Silberberg, Vancouver, BC, Canada, is a Registered Art Therapist, Expressive Arts Therapist and photographer (currently getting her PhD from the European Graduate School) who is interested in how the arts (especially photography) can be used to reach clients, particularly those who are living with multiple obstacles and diagnoses. She works for an AIDS service organization with marginalized, street-involved, and often also drug-involved clients.
While not doing a structured PhotoTherapy or Therapeutic Photography program specifically, she nevertheless uses this medium to transcend the usual therapy model to reach those who need more flexible approaches and a client-centered approach that can adapt to circumstances of those who are often not served by more traditional therapy programs or centers;
- Janice Havlena, Madison, WI, USA, is an Art Therapist who directs an undergraduate Art Therapy major at Edgewood, a small, private college in Madison, WI. In her clinical practice she has been incorporating the use of photos in her clinical practice, formerly in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM, at UNM Children’s Psychiatric Hospital, and the Milton Erickson Institute of NM, for at least 12 years. Most often, she has involved clients in using color photocopies of their snapshots in collages and assemblages, and mixed media work, and using snapshots in combination with Ericksonian hypnotherapy methods;
- Ana Seara, Toronto, ON, Canada, is an Art Therapist who runs the “Creative Arts Service” in a Hospital’s “Aging Program”. In addition to art-making, the residents have access to laptop computers, a digital photography program and a virtual darkroom where they enthusiastically have been doing their own scanning, manipulating and printing of their own, and other “found” images — and forming these into life narratives and other self-expressive creations (which are not only shared with family and friends, but also used in group and individual work);
- Irene Corbit, Houston, Texas, USA, is an Board-Certified Art Therapist, Licensed Professional Counsellor, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. One of the earliest pioneers of “Photo-Art-Therapy”, she still uses these techniques actively in her private practice and still conducts seminars and workshops about Photo-Art-Therapy in a variety of settings and applications. Her 1992 book (co-authored with another early pioneer, Dr. Jerry Fryrear), Photo Art Therapy: A Jungian Perspective is considered a classic text for that field;
- Margaret Munyard, Wales (and previously Bradford), U.K., is an Art Psychotherapist and Occasional Lecturer at Sheffield University. In her private practice she has used PhotoTherapy techniques for many years, primarily with woman dealing with issues relating to body image, eating disorders, domestic violence, confidence building and assertiveness training;
- Debra Spaier, Hudson Valley area, NY, USA, is an Art Therapist working within a Waiver Program (similar to wrap-around services) with a local agency for Orange County, NY where she provides art therapy services to families and children within their homes, incorporating phototherapy into their treatment process. In her past position at Monmouth Medical Center, she ran a PhotoTherapy group for “Latency and Adolescent children” in a short-term care in-patient facility (Children’s Crisis Intervention Service), which combined therapeutic themes with basic photography, and incorporated photos they took, into collage-art-journals. She found that this not only taught them a new art skill, “but also instilled hope, increased self-awareness, improved self-esteem and fostered some growth within their interpersonal struggles”;
- Stefano Ferrari, Bologna, Italy, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Art at the University of Bologna, Editor of the online Journal of Art and Psychology (“PsicoArt”) and on the Board of the International Association for Art and Psychology. Not a practicing therapist, he is instead a well-respected theorist and author of numerous books and articles about the theoretical aspects of the intersection of art and psychology/psychoanalysis, with a special interest in photography’s interface with these topics (for example the internal image of self people carry around inside them). Many of his publications are about these topics — for example, his 2002 book “Autoritratto e psicologia” (“Self-Portraits and Psychology”) and his lengthy 1996 article “Il perturbante della fotografia: Qualche indagine sulle implicazioni psicologiche del fotografare” (“The Uncanniness of Photography: A Review of Some Psychological Implications of the Photograph”);
- Mary Stanwood, Pitt Meadows, BC, Canada, is an Art Therapist currently working part time with developmentally delayed adults at L’Arche Vancouver. Her thesis was in Therapeutic Scrapbooking which combines photos, journaling, and the creative process in a unique way. She also has training in Play Therapy and can communicate using ASL (American Sign Language). She has done workshops with Coast Mental Health and is hoping to open her own practice in the Ridge Meadows area in the near future. For more about her work, visit her website;
Photos during Coaching
Working with existing photos or taking new ones, in the context of established Coaching goals, during Professional Coaching sessions
- Do (Dorota) Raniszewska, Warsaw, Poland, is a Coach and Trainer, writer and photographer, Licensed Motivational Maps Consultant, and Certified “Points of You” Trainer with background in philology and personal development. She is also trained in and uses Dance Movement Therapy techniques, Contact Improvisation and Meditation. She uses photography in her Coaching practices, combined with writing and expressive actions in nature in order to stimulate personal growth and insight, activate social change, help people to dare to dream, fulfil their life needs, develop sensitivity, acceptance, use the potential of their vulnerability and strengths.
She also does a lot of that work with teams in order to support social integration and respectful relationships between people. Author of the book ONE IMAGE – MANY WORDS. The use of photography in personal development, healing, and education. Notes from personal journey (“JEDEN OBRAZ – WIELE SŁÓW”). She also created the FaceBook Group under the same name as her book in Polish (JEDEN OBRAZ – WIELE SŁÓW). She also teaches workshops in using photography in Coaching. More about her training, her book, and much more information about using photos during Coaching, can be found on her Website;
Below is a sample of how non-therapists (as well as some therapists who prefer Therapeutic Photography practices, rather than therapy-focused ones) all over the world are using “Therapeutic Photography”* in ways that produce positive change, increased understanding of self and others, improved communications and awareness, and so forth — including Social Action Photography projects — but do not need to happen within a formal (intentional) therapy context.
*Therapeutic Photography does not mean just only photo-taking. It also includes other photo-interactive activities, such as photo-viewing, -posing, -planning, -discussing, or even just only remembering or imagining photographs.
Therapeutic Photography in General:
Please note that others are listed in separate categories below, if they have a particular specialized focus.
- Neil Gibson, Aberdeen, Scotland, is a Senior Social Work Lecturer at Robert Gordon University. He practiced in Social Work with a wide range of service user groups before joining Robert Gordon University to become a Lecturer. His Doctoral Dissertation looked at ways in which Therapeutic Photography can be incorporated into Social Work practice, especially when working with Groups. He annually teaches the Online Course “Therapeutic Photography in Social Work and Social Care“ through Robert Gordon University. And his Book “TherapeuticPhotography: Enhancing Self-Esteem, Self-Efficacy and Resilience“ is a solid research-based in-depth look at the theory and practice of Therapeutic Photography.
All these have resulted from his earlier interest in using photography to help asylum seekers in Belgium define an identity while in a holding centre. He also developing targeted photographic-based interventions to help Social Workers working with children affected by parental substance use. He has also delivered training to social work students on this method in Scotland, Belgium and Finland. More about Neil can be learned through various Interviews; for example here and here;
- Catherine Loury dite Iliona, Paris, France, is a photographer and an SFG (Société Francaise de Gestalt) -accredited Gestalt Therapist in psychotherapy, who has worked in an existential- and phenomenologically-oriented private practice since 1997, with individuals (adults) and groups, doing psychotherapy, supervision, and coaching. She has also taught workshops since 2013 about “Gestalt Therapeutic Photography” (using Therapeutic Photography within a therapy practice — which she clarifies as being “different from the usual kind of PhotoTherapy practices”). For example she gave a workshop (in English) in 2013, in Poland, for the 11th Conference of the European Association for Gestalt Therapy (EAGT) — titled “Gestalt Approach of Therapeutic Photography in Psychotherapy” — in which she explained her perspective that “the act of making a photographic image is the therapy itself, with the therapist involved at any stage of that process”.
In 2014 she gave two workshops (in French) for Gestalt psychotherapists, trainers, and supervisors: one about using cameras to improve self-confidence, and the other one about using cameras to increase commitment. From her own experience using Therapeutic Photography in various types of contexts (organizational consulting in the early 1990s, individual psychotherapy since 2010, coaching of photographers since 2012, and self improvement since 2008) she has created several workshops, two of whose descriptions in English can be read here and here;
- Antonello Turchetti, Perugia, Italy, is a professional photographer and Art Therapist who in recent years has focused on projects involving photography in social situations. Founder and Director of the first festival about social and therapeutic photography, the Perugia Social Photo Festival, he develops and leads experiential programs involving the use of photography in therapeutic applications.
His workshops are based on the teaching of visual language and pathways of reactivation of perception. He currently works for the European project ETRA (funded through the European Programme for Education and Culture LLP Lifelong Learning). He is also president of the social promotion association LuceGrigia of Perugia that produces and promotes social solidarity projects to spread the culture as a tool for social inclusion with particular attention to the use of photography to help people at risk of exclusion;
- Cristina Nuñez, Barcelona, Spain [previously in Italy], is a professional artist who uses the self-portrait in photography and video, and is a “self-portrait facilitator” who has been teaching her method The Self-Portrait Experience in prisons, universities, museums, galleries, schools and companies around the world since 2005. She has taught at the University of Bologna, the University of Roehampton, Tampere University Hospital, the University of Turku, Turku Academy of Arts, the Domus Academy of Fashion and Design in Milan — as well as in Milan’s prisons San Vittore and Bollate, Barcelona’s prisons Brians 1, Wad Ras and Lledoners, Oslo’s prison Bredtveit — and also for the Korean Phototherapy Association, Housing Works (NYC) and the Institute for the Arts in Psychotherapy (NYC), among others, as a way to stimulate the creative process and self-knowledge, and to raise self-esteem.
She often works with teenagers, people with addiction issues and also with companies, in partnership with professional corporate trainers, using the self-portrait method for empowerment, self-assessment and team building. In 2014 she has participated in the European project “I AM, Memoirs of Addiction Recovery” and “CloseToMe”, a self-portrait project with 250 adolescents in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Milan.
Her work as an artist has obtained numerous awards, and has been published in the international press and several monographic books and shown in exhibitions around the world, in prestigious venues such as the Mois de la Photo in Montreal 2011, the Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles (1998/2013), the Casino of Luxemburg and Palazzo Reale in Milan. More about her artwork can be found here, and more about her work with companies is here — while more about “The Self-Portrait Experience” itself can also be found on her very comprehensive website;
- Nancy Gershman, New York, NY, USA, is a digital artist who creates “prescriptive” photomontages for clients overcome by debilitating loss, remorse and regrets. In each “Healing Dreamscape” she reframes the fragments of memory by repurposing a client’s personal photographs (using photo-manipulation software), often augmenting the Dreamscape with meaningful objects and backdrops of her own, or from photographers who have an exact image to fit a specific memory. Specialty areas include end-of-life families in hospice, the bereaved, the LGBTQ community, and the eating-disordered.
She regularly collaborates with mental health professionals to help clients process grief, document the positive work done in therapy, open dialogue or mend a relationship. For the Healing Memory Project, she partners with an EMDR therapist to create positive visualizations for patients with addictive behaviours. Gershman’s work can be viewed on her website “Art For Your Sake”, the 4-part video documentary (“The Healing Dreamscapes of Nancy Gershman”) and in her Chapter in the book Techniques of Grief Therapy;
- Eleanna Prassopoulou, Thessaloniki, Greece, is a photographer who discovered — during her studies in Photography — its healing power to help people improve their lives. Later, while studying Coaching at the University of Athens “Kapodistriako“, she found that photography can also be useful as a self-improvement tool — not only during Coaching sessions, when helping people and teams to improve their lives (and thus, Society as well) and achieve their goals — but also for increasing her own well-being and self-insight;
- Bryce Evans, Vancouver, BC, Canada, is an artist of social change looking to drive positive change in the world through his social action work with his photography, film-making, artwork and social enterprises to raise awareness about mental wellness and other issues. His main project, The One Project is the photography community for people suffering from depression and anxiety. They teach how therapeutic photography techniques can be used to better express, understand and eventually overcome these issues with a private online platform, a blog and online courses.
In 2013, he partnered with LUSH Cosmetics to launch the Erase Bullying Campaign for The One Project during back-to-school across North America. Evans was also invited to exhibit and give a Presentation about The One Project at the 2013 Perugia Social Photo Fest in Italy — representing Canada in the exhibitions. In 2015, he gave a TEDx talk on the subject of therapeutic photography and his story in starting The One Project. He states, “The One Project has changed my life and now I want to allow others to have the same opportunity. Photography saved my life”;
- Pam Hale, Tucson, AZ, USA, and an early “Therapeutic Photography” pioneer and author [under the name Pam Weaver], has created a unique body of work woven together from her varied experiences as a teacher, life coach, spiritual counsellor, photographer, artist, fundraiser, consultant to non-profits, and shamanic practitioner. Educated at Stanford and Columbia Universities, she is the Founder of “Through A Different Lens: See New Paths of Possibility”, where she creates practical tools and experiences that bring vision, creativity and wisdom into focus to help people thrive physically, professionally and spiritually, so they can contribute to higher consciousness on the planet.
Additionally she has pioneered the development and applications of “Sand Spirits Insight Cards”, a visual tool that prompts people of all ages and backgrounds to greater understanding and inner awareness — and offers workshops on using these cards for personal and professional use. Author of numerous articles and a forthcoming book, she also offers private consultations and teaches workshops and retreats, where participants often photograph nature’s symbols, make photographic vision boards, and learn other transformational practices and processes;
- Darina Hlinková, Brno, Czech Republic, is a University Teacher at the Department of Museology at Masaryk University in Brno, a PhD student at the Department of Art Education at Masaryk University in Brno, and also a Photographer. Her work focuses on connecting phototherapy with photography and education, being influenced by drama therapy, Jungian archetypes, and also pedagogy experience. For example, she works with archetypes in folk and fairy tales, photographing people in different roles, such as her “Icelandic Fairy Tales Project” (Note: be sure to read the “About Project” page) — and she also does research on adapting phototherapy methods within museum or gallery education for seniors and aging people. Her photographic work can be viewed here;
- Sabine Korth, Florence/Piombino, Italy, is a German professional photographer and photomontage-artist, who is living in Italy and particularly interested in photomontage and photo collage, which she teaches (and writes about) as a method to increase creativity, self-esteem and self understanding. Currently she works with the patients of psychotherapist Dr. Carmine Parrella as a “Therapeutic Photo-Collage” specialist in his PhotoTherapy and Therapeutic Photography and Video-making Program in Lucca, Italy and is also doing family archive photomontage. For more information visit her website;
- Jan Boydol, Calgary, AB, Canada, is an Photographic Artist, Photo-Journalist, Certified Instructor in Creative Journaling Expressive Arts, and also teaches workshops such as “Art for Health”. Her work has ranged from “photographing recovering street prostitutes with a Polaroid camera and witnessing the excitement and animation they exhibited at having their pictures taken”, to teaching workshops about photography as a healing art and for consciousness raising (for example her Workshops “Photography as a Healing Art” and “Photography: The Route to Creativity”, which combines viewing and making photographs with guided creative writing exercises in journaling — often in conjunction with Joe Englander’s “Photo Workshops and Tours” website;
- Eva Skåreus, Umeå, Sweden, is an Art Therapist, Artist, and Instructor at the University of Umeå, and is currently doing research for her Dissertation, based on her work teaching courses in Computer Graphics for students who are studying to become Art Teachers and who use photographs, paintings and drawings, and combine these inside their computers as a way to “build-up” their own professional self-image at the same time as they are studying. While she is not currently doing therapy, many of her “starting points” come from Therapeutic Photography concepts;
- Michele Robinson, Vancouver, BC, Canada, was recently the Coordinator for the “Native Awareness Parenting Program” for the Urban First Nations Community Society, where she used PhotoTherapy techniques in a number of ways to assist young Aboriginal parents in raising their self-esteem, becoming more aware of their own perceptions (and thus expectations), understanding key relationships, and building healthy relationships. The photos were involved in a number of ways; for example, in initial group introductions, group-building exercises, and activities throughout all sessions — and were very successful in helping parents overcome fears of being in a group and to develop trust with others by providing a common experience that is visually and emotionally powerful — one where the connection experienced also became a spiritual connection.
Self-portraits allowed them to begin the process of declaring who they are, and photos taken by others often helped these young parents better understand how others can influence their lives. When these two experiences intersect, the healing process has already begun and they began to understand their special strengths and unique abilities and started to pick up the tools they needed for creating a meaningful life for themselves and their children;
- Neith Doffing, Galiano Island, BC, Canada, has been a commercial and fine art photographer for over 15 years and has taught photography in colleges and communities. She is currently completing her certification in Energy Healing and C.O.R.E. counselling — and has combined her abilities in two photo-based healing processes, which is reflected in her two-part website: 1) “Inner Light Explorations”, a blend of energy awareness and portrait photography that works towards creating images that reflect one’s essence and self-awareness, and 2) “Sacred Eye Journeys”, a self-awareness and personal growth workshop that utilizes the camera “to explore one’s own inner landscape and create a personal photographic map of symbols to guide one’s personal journey”;
- Wayne Dunkley, Toronto, ON, Canada, is a Photographer and Photographic Artist with a Masters in Divinity, who uses the web as his artistic palette while photographically communicating about the deeper things in life. Also a Web Designer, New Media Artist, Consultant and Instructor, he has done a number of residencies at the Banff Centre’s “New Media Institute” and lectures there on a variety of topics, including “Narrative and Emotive Web Experiences” (that directly relate to photo-perception and the creation of meaning from photos viewed — and emotions triggered in the process). He also is doing a lot of different photographic projects “that explore the visual notion of alienation, struggle, and home”. [Unsolicited Weiser comment: There is a deep spirit at work, under his work; an humbleness/human-ness that pervades the essence of what is seen in the results] — an excellent example of this can be seen at: “Share My World — The Degradation and Removal of the/a Black Male”. It is Therapeutic Photography as “bearing witness” and “reaction-triggering”, but within a framework that permits contemplation and growth;
- Jan Phillips, San Diego, CA, USA, is a Photographer, Lecturer, Author, Creative Project Coach, and an Artist-Activist, with a strong commitment to spiritual healing and social justice — with photos being part of these facets of her work. She also teaches photography workshops such as “Seeing Our Way Clear — Photography as a Healing Art”, where photography is explored as “an act of looking that can lead to flashes of surprising insight and open doors to a deeper knowing and healing”. More about this can be found on her website and in her book “God Is At Eye Level: Photography As a Healing Art”, which gives practical suggestions for using photography as a spiritual practice and changing the way people look at the world;
- Ciaran Earley, O.M.I., Dublin, Ireland, (now deceased) worked “in the areas of adult and community education, from a faith perspective, in places usually called marginalized, underprivileged, disadvantaged, etc.” His group published a resource called “PhotoSpeak”, a package of 74 black and white photos used in community education and development — for example, as a focus for dialogue to lessen tensions between the “sides” in Ireland, by finding, and then sharing discussion about, photos that most represent to them “the condition of Ireland today”. He stated, “We don’t do therapy, but rather work for social transformation — photos as expressive of generative themes in people’s personal, social and cultural lives”;
- Ikuko Tsuchiya, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, is a social worker who worked at a therapeutic community and also was the “Jo Spence Fellow” (2001-2003), at Northumbria University, where she was involved with the “Images of Trust” project (as a photographer), which aimed to provide a photographic archive of healthcare at the turn of the century in northeast England, and to explore ways in which photography might aid the healing process. Her 2010 Doctoral Thesis, “Therapeutic touch: The use of photo-based methodology as a healing practice within the context of healthcare” can be downloaded from here;
- Terry Prince, Elk Grove, CA, USA, is a Professional Organizer who uses “Emotional Boxes” to help “clients with Chronic Disorganization whose own self-help efforts to change have failed”. Emotional Boxes are for “setting aside the most emotionally-intense material into a safe protected container so that the rest of the work can proceed” and clients can have a better feeling of control and structure. Although these Boxes don’t always contain photographs, they often do — and although not all clients are simultaneously also seeing therapists, many are; hence the connection with Therapeutic Photography. Terry has produced an e-booklet that explains material safety and transport issues when working with photo-therapy clients. Information about purchasing the booklet can be obtained through Terry’s website;
Therapeutic Photography with Youth / Teens / Children:
- Joan Rudder-Ward, Hesperia, CA, USA, MBA, Certified Professional Photographer, Social Marketing Consultant and Photographic Artist, hosts photography programs for teens and young adults with the purpose of them discovering more about themselves and their purpose in life. She started her foundation business, the Image Maker, as a full-service photography studio in 1985, and began her photography Program “Let there be Light-Photography with Purpose” in 2005, working with just teen girls — and has since expanded to include males (separately). She works extensively with young people in foster care and in at-risk situations. In her classes, students have specific assignments designed help them recognize their own individual value and self-worth, while discovering the gifts and talents they have to offer to their communities. Participants use the photographs from their assignments to create vision boards and photo journals. She also trains others to host their own workshops using her materials. More information can be found on her website;
- Lisa Kahane, New York, NY, USA, is a professional photographer, who teaches photography as creative expression with groups of teens; for example, a class with a group of twelve girls identified as being “at risk”, trying to teach photography skills as a way to build self esteem through accomplishment, while also allowing them an external view of themselves;
- Fawn Rowan, UK, has recently worked with a group of young homeless women using photography to create a set of postcards via digital art, to raise awareness of their issues and experiences of becoming homeless through early age pregnancy;
- Carla Evans, Vancouver BC, Canada, is a School Counsellor working also as a Teacher, who uses photography to strengthen self-esteem, raise self-awareness, and encourage creativity and communication in classroom settings. Her two books on the subject (“Developing with PhotoWorks: Thoughtfulness, fantasy, future, and fun” and “PhotoLinks: The picture connection”) are packed full of wonderful photo-based exercises for kids, that are useful for teachers as well as counsellors;
- Danielle Russ, Alice Springs, Australia, is a photographer who has conducted workshops with Aborigine youth in remote communities across Australia, and is currently exploring not only the positive value that photography can have on the self-esteem of marginalized youth, but also how photography can be a means of communicating cross-culturally. She is also currently developing a business plan for an Aboriginal Youth Photography Business and workshops that explore intercultural perspectives through photography;
- Wendy Ewald, Durham, NC, USA, is a Writer, Photographer, and Teacher dedicated to social change and children’s issues, who has spent many years traveling around the world teaching underprivileged children to express themselves through photography. Director of Literacy Through Photography and other projects and workshops, she is also a visiting artist at Amherst College and research associate for Duke University Center for International Studies. Currently designing a Literacy through Photography program for Philadelphia public schools and Moore College of Art, she 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 “helping children recognize the worth of their own visions”. Her latest book about this work, “I Wanna Take me a Picture”, outlines that program and is an excellent guide for anyone wishing to introduce children to the expressive power of photography. In another recent book, “The Best Part of Me: Children Talk About Their Bodies in Pictures and Words” she provides a great example of how Visual Literacy activities can greatly overlap those of “Photographic Self-Exploration” (Therapeutic Photography) — it is about helping children explore their feelings about their bodies through the process of having each child select a favourite body part and have it photographed — and then writing a paragraph or poem about it;
Therapeutic Photography with Women / Girls (also includes Eating Disorders with Males):
- Kathryn Chapman, Surrey, UK, is a a photographer specialising in creating photographic processes for meaningful personal growth. “Face to Face” is a project by Kathryn for women (35+) who are coping with depression and anxiety. In the sessions, Kathryn bears witness to her clients’ stories, photographing them as they talk. Through deep connection in a safe, non-judgmental space, the clients are able to realise their pain and freely express themselves, exploring deep and locked-in feelings. Reflected back is a gallery of beautiful images that acts as a catalyst for self-compassion. The process is a powerful journey from a place of pain towards self-acceptance and self-love;
- Ellen Fisher Turk, New York, NY, USA, is a Photographer (who has also been a Video Documentary Producer and Radio Journalist). She uses a photo therapy method she calls “The Fisher Turk Method of Photo Therapy” to help women who suffer from eating disorders and body-image distortion (and low self-esteem) to “re-see” themselves. She combines nude photography with long-term journal writing in an attempt to help these women redefine the way they visualize their bodies and increase their self-esteem in order to evoke personal compassion. She photographs in black and white film and by giving her clients contact sheets she is able to diffuse the negative judgment by having women see images they approve of, on the same contact sheet as those they dislike.
This method has been compared to EMDR, in which the brain has to resolve the dissonance between images. Ellen presents and offers workshops at colleges. Over the past two years she has been studying modern psychoanalysis toward deepening her photo therapy work and will use the research project design (evaluating photo therapy as a therapeutic technique) as her doctoral thesis. She’s staged solo exhibits in South America. Her work has been broadcast and written about internationally, and she has a book in progress;
- Ellen Lamberg, Helsinki, Finland, is an Occupational Therapist who also studied photography, and has used photo-collage and other photo-related techniques in her work with people suffering from Anorexia Nervosa (she did her Thesis on this subject). She states, “The results were very fascinating and patients liked these activities. It can be easier to tell about the picture than talk directly about inner personal feelings and thoughts”. She is currently an Occupational Therapist with children who have neurological problems and also with young people who have Anorexia;
- Sara McNie Flores, Las Cruces, NM, USA, is a photographer, Registered Dietician, and a University Instructor who teaches Therapeutic Photography courses at New Mexico State University for the Women’s Studies Program. Past Director of “The Artist Inside Program”, which provided therapeutic art and photography education to incarcerated youth in Southern New Mexico, she is now working exclusively with disordered eating while continuing to teach about, discuss, and “use Therapeutic Photography whenever possible with disordered eating clients to increase awareness of attitudes and feelings towards their body, food and eating”;
- Sonya Mathies, Chicago, IL, USA, did her Senior Thesis in Visual Arts in a project where she photographed pregnant teens from ages 12-14, from low-income housing and broken homes) as well as did a workshop with them, which their social worker said turned out to be very therapeutic for them as a result;
- Dr. Fabio Piccini, Rimini and Sansepolcro, Italy | Click his name to be redirected to more information above.
- Terry Dennett, London, England, (now deceased) is a long-time Photographic/Political Activist who for many years collaborated with Therapeutic Photography Pioneer Jo Spence (now deceased). Terry is the Curator of the “Jo Spence Memorial Archive” in London, England, through which he continues to assist students and others world-wide who are interested in Spence’s unique kind of therapeutic photography (which she first called “photo-therapy” and later both “camera therapy” and “autobiographical photography”);
Therapeutic Photography with Grief / Loss / Bereavement / Palliative Issues:
- Todd Hochberg, Chicago, IL, USA, is a documentary photographer who, in conjunction with hospital bereavement programs, palliative care programs, and hospices — as well as directly with individuals — makes documentary photographs and legacy videos for individuals and families struggling with a serious illness or grieving the death of a loved ones. These images and videos serve as touchstones for feelings and memories pertaining to deep significant relationships and spiritual connections, some of which may flourish in the intimacy of the last days or months of life. Since 1997, his “Touching Souls Bereavement Photography” has supported parents experiencing perinatal loss or the death of a child, as they say goodbye to their children and babies — and his “Moments Held” Legacy work makes documentary photographs and videos for individuals moving through a period of life transition (most often at end of life), providing families with treasured albums and DVDs.
He brings 20 years of photographic experience in health care to his work, and his bereavement photographs are part of the permanent collection of the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography. Todd’s work is published widely and he presents to a variety of professional groups nationally and locally.To view a video about his work, “Todd Hochberg, Touching Souls Bereavement Photography”, click here; for a news Program about him and his work, click here; and for an April 2011 article by him about his work (with photos), click here;
- Mike Simmons, Leicester, England, is a an experienced qualified photographic artist (whose work has received support from the Arts Council England), researcher and joint Programme Leader of the Masters of Arts in Photography at De Montfort University. With research interests in the practical application of creative photography as a research tool and as a support strategy for the study and management of bereavement and grief, he has collaborated with UK Specialist Social Worker Tracy Wilson to develop Pictures From Life: Photography, Bereavement, and Grief — an innovative workshop program designed specifically to support children and young people who have been bereaved by a significant family death. Acknowledged in the UK as a “Beacon Project”, the Program provides cross-agency collaboration to foster positive emotional change and facilitate a healthy grieving process through creative photographic practice. To view his video about “Photography, Bereavement and Grief in the Digital Age” click here;
Therapeutic Photography with Cancer, HIV/AIDS, & Other Life-Threatening Illnesses or Traumas:
- Dimitra Ermeidou, Athens, Greece, is a fine art photographer, educator, therapeutic photography instructor, and cultural manager. She has a degree in Arts from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and a Masters degree in Photography from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, USA, where she worked and taught for several years. Her artistic work has been exhibited, published and awarded internationally, while her teaching experience ranges across various social and educational contexts.
While still in the USA, she created a Mentorship Program for photographers, and researched meditative, participative, and therapeutic photography. However, it was her personal experience with cancer, and her participation in support groups for cancer patients in Athens since 2017 that led her to devote her practice to Therapeutic Photography.
In 2019, she founded Eyes of Light, a non-profit organization dedicated to the field of arts in health, which strives for a society in which all people with serious illnesses, particularly cancer, find relief and motivation through the beneficial properties of art. The organization is the first to lead therapeutic photography workshops for people with major health challenges in Greece.
Eyes of Light also promotes social inclusion, awareness and prevention, by reaching out to the wider public, through exhibitions, online projects and participative photo shootings. Namely, the project Cancer Survivors: The Faces of Hope in 2019, brought together distinguished photographers with survivors to create powerful portraits, which reflect resilience and optimism along with the survivor’s personal message, and was presented in a large exhibition in Technopolis, Athens.
- Katy Tartakoff, Denver, CO, USA, is a photographer who runs “The Children’s Legacy”, which uses photography to help children suffering from cancer or burns, and their families — both in hospital and at summer camps. She has held numerous gallery exhibitions and publications about this work, as well as about her photo-activist work with HIV-positive women and children in Africa, which resulted in a book “Final Breath: A Love Poem”;
- Francine Gagnon, Montreal, QC, Canada, (now deceased) was a photo-based artist who had four occurrences of cancer (twice breast cancer) in four years, and as part of her healing integrated the cancer experience into her art making. She exhibited this work and also created an online photographic installation (and writing/art project connected to it) called “I want to get it off my chest!”, which continues to grow, as more people contribute their own pages. Through creating a very personal yet universal art piece that portrays the effects of breast cancer on people’s lives she “provide[d] a form of support to women and men facing cancer by giving them a safe yet meaningful public venue to express themselves with their testimonials — as well as trying to initiate changes in the way society reacts to the “disturbing” aspects of cancer” (she also created “The Light Series”, a set of abstract colour images “used with the same intention as the Rorschach test, illustrating that abstraction can be a potent territory for projection”);
Therapeutic Photography with Addictions or Substance Abuse Issues:
- Federica Cerami, Napoli, Italy, has been a teacher of history and photographic communication for the past 16 years, and a photographic curator and organizer of educational events about photography for the past 8 years. During the past year she has also been training as an art therapist at the ArtiTerapeutiche School in Napoli. From these experiences has come her interest in using the more personal aspects of photos in her courses with students — as well as her interest in further researching these ideas. She is especially interested in enlarging the therapeutic possibilities of photo-collage techniques beyond their art-compositional components, and into more of the use of them for self exploration by decomposition and re-assembly of the image parts.
Unhappy with the way that digital photograpy has her students focusing more on the technological aspects of doing photography, than in the communicative aspects, she has changed from teaching/using photomontages to now working (together with a fine art photographer) with photos with people with addictions in a Rehabilitation Center near Naples as a teacher of photography (who has extra sensitivity about what she is seeing and hearing from them as they speak about their photos). She has now moved into working with them using self-portraits and personal “story-books” (creating their own narrative as the basis), as well as a variety of art-therapy combinations with photos they create or comment about — with photomontage techniques as a way to sum it all up in visual form and to continue their work in the future by creating further constructed realities;
Therapeutic Photography with Geriatric Issues:
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Therapeutic Photography with Other Populations:
Examples include working 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:
- Felipe Alonso, Barcelona, Spain, is Photojournalist who has always been interested in people with intellectual disabilities — and as a result, he has created ¨NOS, Why Not? The first Photographic Agency for Photographers with Intellectual Disabilities“. He teaches photography to people with disabilities, and then locates (or creates!) the necessary conditions for them to do their photographic work, which results in many positive benefits for these photographers: empowerment, visibility, creativity, becoming more active, and increased social skills. Also, they learn more about culture around them, and become more motivated to interact with others.
Among his students are three who are also blind (one blind from birth) — and so he has created a system so that they can feel colors through music, and thus know the differences! His work has led to the creation of an international network of photographers with intellectual disabilities and he is now working on a website, which will be the first image bank of photographers with disabilities;
- Lynn Weddle, Brighton, England, is a photographer, photographic artist, and educator, who works with a socially-engaged practice facilitating workshops with vulnerable and marginalized groups in the UK and abroad. After completing a body of self-portraits five years ago, and after coming to realize the power of making that work and re-enacting situations it evoked about her own childhood dyslexia, she re-visited schools from her childhood, dressed in her school uniform and acted out scenes from her memory.
She now uses the results of this project in schools, colleges, universities and outreach settings with other dyslexics as an opening for self-expression and development. She also works closely with participants to exhibit the work publicly, and also with many other social groups focusing on the same process, in order to generate a change in public understanding of the condition. More information can be found on her website;
- Kate Broom, Birmingham, England, is Course Director (Program Director) of the M.A. Art, Health & Well-being Program at Birmingham City University (BCU), School of Art. She has a special interest in the use of images, both photographic and non-photographic, in a wide range of contexts including mental health, probation, social services and more recently, in local community initiatives for Health & Well-being. As well as teaching, Kate has worked for the UK Charit, Mencap: The Voice of Learning Disability. She has been part of small team developing two projects, Trans-active and Plannet, both of which use multi-media and the internet as a method of delivering photography-based ‘passports’ (Trans-active) and planning for transition (the move from school into adult services, college, work and independence) (Plannet).
Kate has also acted as a Subject Specialist and Advisor to many Art and Health organizations, including local government initiatives, Chester University (Art Therapy Program), Derby University (External Examiner) and more recently International contacts in Finland (Novia University of Applied Sciences) and Turkey (Erciyes University);
- Dina Veksler, New York, NY, USA, is a certified professional photographer working in New York City for different programs in the field of mental health and developmental disabilities. For the last 15 years she has been working on creating a learning method called “Thematic PhotoBooks” for children and adults with autism, mental retardation, Down Syndrome and learning disabilities. The goal of that method is to help children and adults improve or acquire different life skills using a creative, imaginative, person-centered approach based on photography;
Working with a combination of PhotoTherapy and Therapeutic Photography:
- Anastassia Grozeva, Sofia, Bulgaria | Click her name to be redirected to more information above
- Lynne Bernay-Roman, Jupiter, Florida, USA | Click her name to be redirected to more information above.
- Lori DeMarre, Snoqualmie, WA, USA| Click her name to be redirected to more information above.
- Chiara Digrandi, Madrid, Spain| Click her name to be redirected to more information above.
- Mark Luyten, Aalst, Belgium | Click his name to be redirected to more information above
- Rachelle Ferguson, Ottawa, ON, Canada | Click her name to be redirected to more information above.
- Cam Field, Birmingham, UK | Click her name to be redirected to more information above.
- Marianne Gontarz York, Marin County (San Francisco), CA, USA | Click her name to be redirected to more information above.
- Ulla Halkola, Turku, Finland | Click her name to be redirected to more information above.
- Lauri Mannermaa, Helsinki, Finland | Click his name to be redirected to more information above.
Working with a combination of Photo-Art-Therapy and Therapeutic Photography:
VideoTherapy and/or Therapeutic Videography (Film-making):
- Gaetano Giordano, Rome, Italy, is a psychologist and the innovator of a particular specialized kind of method of using video during therapy with his patients (“Video Movie Therapy”) and author of the (online) article that shares more about these techniques (a version of ordinary VideoTherapy, yet with some uniquely different components — which seem to blend into Therapeutic Film-Making): “Video movie therapy: An overview on a new art therapy”. He does NOT claim that his “V.M.T.” is the first psychotherapy in the world to utilize movie or video, but it does seem that his is a uniquely creative use of video and movies made by clients during their treatment.
It has a systematic framework of application, which he describes this way: “the patients are “actors”, “co-writer” of the video, and they create a video (or movie) about themselves, but concerning original (and ironical) stories… There is a paradoxical sense in this, because every patient plays himself, but to re-create an ironical view of himself. The V.M.T. is characterized by this creative utilize of video, and it is not based on a simply play of the life of the patients’ group. In my researches, there are not other psychotherapies in which there is this utilization of video”. For more about his methods, the italian article on Psychomedia.it “La psicoterapia come atto etico in una dimensione transcontestuale” (“Psychotherapy as an ethical act in a transcontextual dimension”) speaks largely about his particular kind of Videotherapy;
- J. Lauren Johnson, Edmonton, AB, Canada, is a psychologist and author working primarily in the area of Therapeutic Film-making, which she defines as “client-directed first-person or auto-documentary film-making” within the context of traditional talk therapy. She specializes in working with women and Canadian Aboriginal (Indigenous/Native) populations, and has worked with a number of adolescent and adult clients to make videos about themselves and the issues that oppress them. She was the Author of a pilot study on Therapeutic Film-making that identified a number of mechanisms of action within the approach, which was published as a thesis entitled “Therapeutic Filmmaking: An Exploratory Pilot Study” in 2007, and as an article in the professional Journal The Arts in Psychotherapy in 2008.
In addition to her therapeutic work, she has also engaged in Video-Based Research methods (i.e., in her dissertation entitled “Shifting Focus: A Videographic Inquiry of Hope and Unplanned Pregnancy” in 2012, and a 2014 book chapter entitled “Our Films, Our Selves: Performing Unplanned Motherhood“, teaching through Athabasca University in Athabasca, Alberta, and writing/editing (i.e., the 2015 Book, Video and Filmmaking as Psychotherapy: Research and Practice. Her work is summarized on her website “The Therapeutic Filmmaking Institute“, which she founded in 2008;
- Carmine Parrella, Lucca, Italy | Click his name to be redirected to more information above.
With a Combination of both PhotoTherapy and Video-Related Techniques used together in their professional therapy practice:
Other Related Applications
With underlying theory and/or philosophical considerations — or research — directly related to the categories above and/or to psychological aspects of photography in general — and/or documentation about Video-based practices (although these are not therapy-focused) (for example, relevant aspects of use of photos or videos in Visual/Cultural Anthropology, Visual Sociology, Photographic/Art Education, Marketing Research, Documentary recordings, commercial photography, advertising, and so forth):
- Joel Morgovsky, Lincroft, NJ, USA, has been Professor of Psychology at Brookdale Community College since 1971, specializing in General, Social and Positive Psychology. He is also a specialist in “Photopsychology”, which is the study of intersections between psychology and photography and developer of a system for interacting with photographs called “Reading Pictures”. A senior member of the Soho Photo Gallery in New York City, Joel has been an exhibiting photographer in black-and-white, darkroom colour and digital since 1977.
A presenter on historical and contemporary interactions between photography and psychology at the Eastern Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association (“APA”) annual meetings since 2006, he has also published articles in the Review of General Psychology and the APA Monitor on Psychology.
As Chairman of the Committee on Psychology and Photography for Division 1 of the APA, he organized and curated an exhibition entitled “Psychologists in Focus: An Exhibition of Photographs by Psychologists,” shown at four venues across the country. In addition, he is a frequent lecturer and judge at camera clubs throughout the Tri-State area and is on the Speaker’s list of the New Jersey Federation of Camera Clubs. While his work does not focus directly on therapeutic uses of photography, he does include these in his survey of photopsychology.
- Rutherford, Bournemouth, UK, is a photographer and academic. His book The Shadow of the Photographer explains how to explore the contents of our casual photographic ‘snapshots’ for insights into the way we see ourselves. He has also led several workshops for participants with no prior experience in photography or art therapy that use casual photographic ‘snapshots’ as a way to increase self-awareness and acceptance.
As an academic, Rutherford has also written extensively on the influence of advertising, corporate communication and visual design on our perceptions (‘mental pictures’) of products, policies and the Right Priorities. As a practicing artist, Rutherford’s photographic projects (which explore the capacity of the medium to record scenes, events and moments which did not exist until they were created by the act of photographing them) have been exhibited in solo and group shows in Canada, the US, the UK, France, New Zealand and Japan. Rutherford’s photographic projects and selected published texts are available on his Website.
- Del Loewenthal, London, England, is the Director of “The Research Centre for Therapeutic Education” at the University of Roehampton, where he has a Chair in Psychotherapy and Counselling and is Convener of an MSc and doctoral programmes. Del’s publications include being the Editor for both the book “Phototherapy and Therapeutic Photography in a Digital Age” and the special issue of the European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling on “Phototherapy and Therapeutic Photography”.
Del has researched the use of PhotoTherapy techniques in working with young people aiding management development and developing the emotional learning of prisoners. He also trains counsellors, psychotherapists and art psychotherapists in PhotoTherapy techniques. He is the lead partner in Grundtvig’s EU-funded “Phototherapyeurope in Prisons” Project, which aims to develop the use of phototherapy within EU prisons in promoting the emotional learning and well-being of prisoners. This includes the setting up of a post-training database through which trainee practitioners can input evaluations of their use of phototherapy, enabling data to be collected on the impact of the training and the use by practitioners in prisons, a five-day training programme and the October, 2014 Conference “Phototherapyeurope in Prisons and Elsewhere” in London.
- Marco Vincenzi, Republic of San Marino, Italy, is an artist, photographer and visual sociologist, whose artistic work reflects an approach and use of photography as system of research but also as a representation — a photograph keeping the distinction between observation and expression. He is especially interest in the “world of human beings” and in the “observation of daily life”, an interest that he keeps through a sociological, but never psychological, foundation that he expresses with his look and his materiality through the photograph.
He has collaborated with public bodies and institutions in order to conduct research projects and exhibitions, among which are: “The town seen by children” in Workshop “Fano, the town of children” (University of Urbino, 1998); “Archive of the Memory” and “The look of children”, (Commune of Montefiore Conca, 1999-2004); “The promotion of dialogue through photography” in “Administration of conflicts, dialogue forms and socialization rules” (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 2003-2004. For his website — and the blog connected with it — click here;
- Gerald Zaltman, Boston, MA, USA, is a Professor of Business Administration Emeritus at the Harvard Business School and a member of Harvard University’s Mind, Brain, and Behavior Interfaculty Initiative. He was previously Co-Director of The Mind of the Market Laboratory. He is internationally recognized for his work in business marketing, especially his research into techniques that help gain a better understanding of “the mind of the customer”, leading him to focus on the nonverbal visual metaphors that customers access inside their minds, when thinking about a product.
He pioneered a structured framework — the “Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique” (“ZMET”) — that has proven very successful at helping researchers explore the inner “mental maps” of potential customers in research groups by having them interact with photographs they have gathered themselves, through a number of steps of exploring these, thereby raising inner thinking process to more surface awareness (and thus be more useful to marketers!).
Most of his publications, though business-oriented in purpose, nevertheless often relate directly to both research and practice in PhotoTherapy and Therapeutic Photography — and several have even cited publications by Weiser as being among his “early influences”;
- Chiara Roncagli and Fabrizio Fantini, Bologna, Italy, are co-owners of La Dama Sognatrice (a professional HD film-production company), who are making a commercial film about the various ways video is being used in (or as) therapy in four EU countries (Italy, Spain, France and Finland) — with the aim of comparing and promoting good practice in the use of the video camera during therapy sessions. Their website and blog about this Project “Videotherapy Report’s Blog – A survey about Videotherapy in Europe”, explains more about the Project and includes excerpts of interviews already conducted. They are also looking for more therapists using video during their sessions, in order to widen their enquiry to all of Europe, and therefore welcome contact and inquiries.
- Joel Morgovsky, Lincroft, NJ, USA, has been Professor of Psychology at Brookdale Community College since 1971, specializing in General, Social and Positive Psychology. He is also a specialist in “Photopsychology”, which is the study of intersections between psychology and photography and developer of a system for interacting with photographs called “Reading Pictures”. A senior member of the Soho Photo Gallery in New York City, Joel has been an exhibiting photographer in black-and-white, darkroom colour and digital since 1977.
If you are working with any of these Techniques — or in any of these Fields — and you want to be added to this page,