What Does the Research Say?
How It Helps People
The technique involves self-conducted and self-initiated photo-based activities, where a person or a group takes photos as a form of therapy. In such situations, there is no professional counsellor or therapist working with the person or persons in need of therapy. As such, no actual therapy session is involved; it is only the photos and the activity itself that provides the therapy.
There are many reasons why photography can be an effective form of therapy. There are also several methods of doing this, especially since it can be considered a personal form of rehabilitation.
These are the top five reasons why photography can be an effective form of treatment.
- Photography gives us the opportunity to view the world objectively. It shows us images that depicts how we are really living, not the often-guarded thoughts we keep in our minds. Thus, we become mindful of the things around us and in what is happening, as opposed to what we think (and like to believe) are happening. Developing mindfulness in photography is therapeutic because it unmasks the realities we thought we knew.
2. Photography is a form of self-expression. It can effectively show a person’s true psychological state. It can also manifest a person’s genuine emotions. In other words, it allows a person to reach a better understanding of itself. This is therapeutic because it helps liberate a person from something previously misunderstood.
3. Photography allows us to see more deeply and pay more attention to what we hear, feel, think, and see. We learn to ask questions; these questions will often enlighten us about particular things we used to be worried or confused with. This is therapeutic because it enables people to enhance understanding and learning; which is also a way of healing.
4. Photography helps improve every day experiences. What used to be ordinary for you can change after you took a photo of it from a different angle. For example, a simple red rose can turn into a beautiful gift of nature after you captured it on camera while in bloom. Ordinary things become more special and meaningful. This is therapeutic because it gives an overall sense of happy and positive feeling.
5. Lastly, photography can help unleash artistic and creative skills. Take for example a child with Down syndrome or a person in a wheelchair, or someone who is hearing impaired. These people may find it difficult to express themselves verbally, but through their photos, they could communicate and express their thoughts and feelings fluently. Knowing that you are capable of doing something despite the challenges and setbacks is definitely therapeutic.
Celebrate Your Strength: We are much better collectors of our shortcomings than our strengths. Making a list of your strengths can help you to recognize them and see them within yourself.
Consider people around you: Who around you speak negatively to you? Who reinforces negative self-talk? Why do you allow these people to hurt you?
Create a Support System: Distance yourself from people who bring you down and surround yourself with those who love and support you.
Forgive yourself: Past Regrets can prevent us from practising self-acceptance. Forgive yourself and move on.
Shush your Inner Critic: It’s not honesty or sincerity, it’s unwarranted and harsh judgement. Margarita Tartakovsky
"I didn’t need to see someone’s face to learn about their essence"
The Study of Self Portrait – National Geographic
A self-portrait is our inner image, our private image. It springs from the inner life of the author, who is also the subject and spectator. The self-portrait is a profound dialogue with oneself, guided by the author’s vulnerability.
The self-portrait experience is a method to explore yourself in every possible situation and thus to stimulate the creative process, to improve self-knowledge and self-esteem and thus empower yourself.
An individual self-portrait explores your emotions, essence, competencies or skills, character representation, body, places, self-portrait without me and roots. Cristina Nuñez
First, you have a poor self-image. The negative beliefs you hold about yourself obscure your high values. Second, you don’t know who you are. You don’t know where to look to find your true value, you look in the wrong places or you don’t look at all.
Negative beliefs come exclusively from negative experiences. When you have things that go wrong having high self-esteem is difficult. To feel good about yourself you must develop the skill of sorting through your self-image. What part of what you believe is true and what part is false. Matt Pavlik
Whatever it takes. Just do it. Be good to yourself. You will train others to do the same. Jennifer Pastiloff
Authentic Self is the soul made visible…Let’s Focus On YOU