Self-portrait photography as a tool for rehabilitation
Self-portrait photography can be used in many ways to help people who are recovering from addictions. It provides individuals with a creative form of self-expression that helps them learn about themselves and their emotions.
Phototherapy – the use of photography as a therapeutic tool – has a number of uses and benefits, including the following:
- It allows individuals to see themselves at a particular moment in time and gain insights into how their thoughts and feelings are reflected
- It can act as a catalyst for discussions with counsellors
- It can trigger conversations with family members, which in turn can create opportunities to mend damaged relationships
- A series of photographs taken over a period of time can enable individuals to see the progress they are making
- Pictures created during a group phototherapy session can serve as a launchpad for discussions among the group, which allows participants to learn from one another
Phototherapy as a form of art therapy
The goal of phototherapy sessions is primarily for individuals to take photographs that have meaning to them in their journey to recovery. Although the focus is on the individual rather than on the artistic merits of the picture, self-portrait photography is a creative process. When used in a therapeutic setting, it has many of the same benefits as art therapy. It gives clients the opportunity to express themselves through pictures, they have a safe environment in which to experience and process overwhelming emotions, and they have the opportunity to engage the creative centres of their brains that they may not be accustomed to using.
Different goals for different individuals
Like all of Addiction Rehab Toronto’s treatment methods, the use of self-portrait photography differs from one person to the next. For some people, it is a way to encourage creativity for the purposes of improving self-esteem. For others, it provides a means of exploring powerful emotions that are difficult to talk about or painful to process. Almost everybody benefits from self-portrait photography, but in a variety of different ways.