Participatory photography often involves a form of therapeutic photography. When projects work with people dealing with mental distress photography can support individual and group processes for personal development, reflection, dialogue, creative self-expression; it can help to build skills and relationships and most importantly, be fun! Whilst distinct from more formal photo or art therapy, therapeutic photography can involve sensitive, ethically complex and emotionally challenging work and should always be undertaken within a clear and supported framework.
I have collaborated with mental health professionals, psychotherapists, community health workers and counselors to develop therapeutic photography methods, resources and training and to integrate therapeutic photography methods into existing mental health services. The links below provide information on projects and resources I have worked on.
- PROJECT: Beyond Vision: working with family and youth workers at Juconi to integrate therapeutic photographic methods into their support work with street and working children and their families in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
- PROJECT: Change the Picture: photography with vulnerable and homeless women supported by U-Turn Women’s Centre in East London
- PROJECT: Mental Wealth and UR-in-the-Picture: therapeutic and photo-advocacy project with adults living with mental health needs in East Sussex, run by PhotoVoice and United Response, which saw therapeutic photography methods integrated into United Response’s mental health support work.
- RESOURCE: Change the Picture: photography with vulnerable women: PhotoVoice Methodology Series 2
- RESOURCE: Therapeutic Photography: Methods for promoting positive mental health and well being: PhotoVoice Methodology Series 3