Gestalt approach of Therapeutic Photography
"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera" Dorothea Lange
"...therapeutic photography is the process by which the act of making a photographic image is the therapy itself with or without a therapist involved at any stage of the process" The Preconscious Eye - Craig Tanner definition.
In my practice, therapeutic photography, is a process by which the act of making a photographic image by the client is the therapy itself, with the therapist involved at any stage of the process.
What brings the gestalt approach ? The Gestalt approach focused on phenomenological analysis of the current process, with the therapist involved in the process, increases the awareness and consciousness of "how what is done, is done".
I gave a workshop in September 2013 at the EAGT conference in Krakow, where I presented my approach of Gestalt Therapeutic Photography in gestalt psychotherapy :
I gave two workshops in France in January and March 2014 for Gestalt psychotherapists, trainers, and supervisors : one about using cameras to improve self-confidence, and the other one about using cameras to increase commitment.
Judy Weiser website presentation of my work
To read in the issue N° 26, may 2015, the l'EAGT (European Association for Gestalt Therapy) : "From the commitment of being a photographer to the one of being a Gestalt-therapist"
I am French photographer and a Gestalt therapist, accredited as Gestalt therapist in the psychotherapy field by the SFG (Société Francaise de Gestalt) and by the EAGT as OM (Ordinary Member).
Born in 1944, in Paris (F) in a Russian family, and after a training in Architecture (1963-1969), I have worked as a professional photographer on assignments from 1971 to 1992, and then only as an author.
In 1993, I decided to become a psychotherapist and chose Gestalt therapy, which to me seemed to be the best method to help a person to become an “architect of their life”.
I have worked in Paris in a private practice from 1997 to 2015, in an existential and phenomenological oriented approach, both with individual clients (adults) and with groups: psychotherapy, supervision, coaching.
In psychotherapy with dysfunctional making contact process people, sometimes I ask the person to use use a camera photo or a smartphone as a tool to increase ability to live on the border between their inner space and outside environnement. From my own experience using Therapeutic Photography in various types of contexts (organizational consulting in the early 1990s, individual psychotherapy and self improvement since 2010), I think that Therapeutic photography is a so powerful work that it has to be practiced by people who have been trained as therapist or counselor or coach in order to be able to manage the relationship with potentially disturbed people.