Art therapy for children and adults. Receptions of phototherapy
In modern society, there is an ambiguous attitude to the services of a psychologist, to areas in psychology. Why does a normal person need a psychologist? What can he offer? What is art therapy and when is it used?
The work of a psychologist is not only in the provision of intellectual services, but also in the development of creative potential. It may seem that this is something intangible, not entirely clear. Many people expect from a psychologist advice on what to do in this situation. But psychologists do not give advice! You can get advice from an authoritative person for you. Someone asks to teach to live correctly. But teachers teach us. Others seek emotional support. But for this you can turn to a friend.
You should not expect ready-made decisions or excuses from your psychologist for your actions. The role of a psychologist is to help a person understand himself, look at himself from the outside, adapt to the surrounding reality, expand his views on it, get an opportunity to choose, increase efficiency in all areas of his life and the productivity of his activities.
After all, the most valuable thing a person has is his life. The psychologist helps to improve its quality. Each psychologist has his own set of “tools.” Currently, there are a large number of areas in psychotherapy, many of which are classic.
You can divide the technique into “verbal” – this is NLP, hypnosis, existential therapy, cognitive psychotherapy. And “non-verbal” – art therapy, body-oriented, symbol drama, etc.
But not many people know about such a direction as phototherapy. Photography is used in the context of art therapy and is a special tool in the work of a psychologist. The use of images, with the correct formulation of questions, makes it possible to resolve the difficulties encountered, and also contributes to the development and harmonization of personality.
With the help of a psychologist, clients learn what personal pictures matter to them, what feelings and emotions arise when they are examined. Judy Weiser (art therapist, psychologist, psychotherapist, one of the founders of phototherapy) identifies five methods of phototherapy, and they are often used in various combinations with each other and with other art therapeutic and art techniques.
1. Photos found or created by the client. The psychologist does not just study the facts from the client’s pictures, but reveals more general patterns in the repetition of topics, as well as other information that the client could not have guessed about.
2. Photo portraits taken by other people allow customers to see themselves from the side. People rarely think about how they unconsciously transmit information about themselves to others who are watching them. People are often surprised to see themselves in photographs completely different – not the way they imagined. Comparison of production and reportage shots, as well as photographs taken by different photographers, can be useful, which allows you to see how different their images are.
3. Self-portraits of clients — photographs taken without outsiders — allow them to examine themselves when no one else is watching them, judging the results, or trying to control the process.
4. Family album – an ordered collection of pictures. Studying the “family history” allows you to look at family relationships from a different perspective, in accordance with the perception of reality by the client himself.
5. Photoprojections. A person’s look at any photo gives rise to thoughts and feelings projected by his inner perception of reality. Consequently, the “true” meaning of photography is not contained in the photograph itself, but in the interaction between the photograph and the viewer, in the process of which each forms its own, unique idea of what he saw.
There are other classifications of phototherapy techniques (photo-art therapy), proposed by both foreign and domestic psychologists. The most effective are photographs taken during the counseling process.
The work begins with a psychologist getting to know the client. A problematic situation is discussed. During the conversation, a request is formed, on which work will be carried out. The desired result is indicated.
The next stage of the work includes a corrective conversation or the implementation of special tasks by the client. This is where the shooting process begins. The psychologist provides a trusting atmosphere. Only in such conditions does a person stop posing, get used to the camera and behave quite naturally. This makes it possible to identify the individual person being photographed.
Subsequent analysis of the images and the emotions they provoke gives the key to understanding and solving the life situation.
Case from practice. The work was carried out with a child of 9 years old. The boy, being hyperactive, distracted, inattentive, aggressive, perceives his behavior as normal. Annoyed and offended by claims made by parents and teachers. Having learned that he would be photographed in the class, he joined the work with interest and excitement. Then he was presented with photographs on which he was focused, attentive, responsibly fulfilling the task and photographs where he refused to do anything. Together we looked at all the photographs, discussed how they differ, what are the feelings.
The therapeutic effect was significant. The child deleted “bad” photos with the words: “I do not want to be like that!” The boy took responsibility for what he should be like. I tried to control myself on my own. This was an important step in correcting the behavior of the child.
It is very important for each person, both child and adult, to see themselves from the side, to see their versatility. Only seeing his strengths, a person can be proud and respect himself, and realizing the weaknesses, their correction becomes available to him.