There is an independent process at work in our mind that forms at least part of the foundation upon which perception, cognition, and comprehension are organised. The truth is photography is not just a hobby or career, it is and always has been a universal visual language which opens new and interesting dialogues that touch on deep subconscious emotions that talking alone sometimes can’t reach.
Phototherapy can deepen and enhance insight, understanding, and relationships with others, in ways that words alone cannot do. Not limited to paper, phototherapy techniques can be used with any photographic imagery--including digital/electronic formats, and films.
Examples of Phototherapy Techniques Used In Therapy
Use of Photographs as a Medium for Exploring Your Perception, Values and Expectations
The projection technique of phototherapy includes the active and passive aspects of projecting, decoding and reconstruction of the emotional contents of a photograph, enabling you to construct the meaning and feelings you feel that the certain photograph or scene reflects. They do not have to be photographs of people, but can be photographs of nature, animals and other things that the individual identifies with on a symbolic level.
Every time we step into interaction with a photograph, look at it or talk about it with others, we create its meaning. The meanings we find and the emotions that flow over us when we look at a certain photograph are our unique perception and are not necessarily harmonised with what the person who took the photograph wanted to say.
Since there is, therefore, no wrong way to interpret a photograph and since every answer is correct, the projection technique is an efficient tool to strengthen us and develop sources of self-awareness and self-esteem. This kind of awareness enables you to learn about yourself and the aspects we usually disregard or at least do not explore.
Use of Photographs as a Medium of Self-exploration Through Metaphors
The photographs we create or collect are a sort of extension of ourselves, personal constructions of reality in their deepest sense, for they reflect our unique personality. The photographs we create are equal to the ones we collect and keep, such as photographs from magazines and calendars, for every one of those is important for us in a way because we have attached meaning to it.
Everything that you share with others about the content of the photograph, about the circumstances in which it was taken has a certain meaning for you. You can explore and open a number of themes; explore your inner self no one else knows and helps you to visualise the change you want to achieve.
Taking photographs can improve your self-image, help set goals, future desired outcomes, and is at the same time a way to introduce changes into a relationship, explore fantasies and test different forms of communication and the consequences that this brings along.
Family Albums and Autobiographic Collections
Use of Photography as a Medium for Exploration of Photographic Collections
The photographs collected in family albums and other biographical photographs are a special field of phototherapy. The technique that includes family photographs has to do with an individual’s self, which is constructed through the individual’s family, your roots, background, surroundings and social environment and patterns, messages and convictions that have been passed on through generations.
Family albums build a pattern we can explore through non-verbal expression of family ties, interpersonal dynamics and sources of power.
Since these are photographs and not paintings, you unconsciously apply to them a reality that a painted portrait does not contain. We look at photographs from the past as true proof of what life was like in those times, because we forget they reflect family identity.
Shorted and edited version of techniques of Phototherapy by Judy Weiser