Using Photographs in Therapy
Photographs are used in therapy to help clients understand their own internal and external worlds, and show how the past influences the present. Clients often bring photographs to therapy of their own accord, and are then surprised by what they discover, viewing the photograph in a very different way. The photograph takes on a whole new meaning, and clients begin to remember smells, warmth/cold, noise or peaceful surroundings.
It is important that therapists understand their own photographs before working with clients. The purpose of this is to increase the therapist’s own self awareness through photographs, so they can enable the client to do the same.
This type of work has been shown to help many different client groups including children, adolescents and the elderly, with numerous client issues such as loss and bereavement, relationships, anxiety and depression.
Photographs can function as powerful reflectors of confusion and inconsistencies that clients bring to therapy. They can highlight many of the themes within the client’s world. Exploring this often leads to some resolution of inner conflict, and the understanding many of us seek.