Photo Therapy-Where You Place Your Focus

Reflection Moi

We’ve all heard of music therapy, a growing profession these days. And you have probably heard of art therapy and cinema therapy. But have you considered photography as a healing modality?

I’ve been doing photography for most of my life and I have had an interest in it since the age of ten when my mother gave me her Kodak Instamatic camera. And in more recent years when I engaged in various other types of therapies and new age practices, I noticed that many of the words used in these therapies derive from photography. Here are a list of words and phrases used in modern therapies.

It’s where you place your focus.

Change your focus or change your lens in which you view the world.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

You’re looking at that in black and white.

Let’s see how this develops.

Can we try a different angle?

It’s a matter of how you frame your situation.

I’m sure you get my point and see where I’m going with this. But it’s not just the language we borrow from photography. We derive various therapies from practicing photography such as working with color, spending more time observing, spending time outdoors in nature or through traveling, gaze at the world as a objective observer and engage in creativity.

When I studied photography in high school and college it was more challenging than the digital photography we have today. For instance, we worked with rolls of film which we shot and developed in dark room using harsh chemicals. Anything could have gone wrong from dust on the negatives, over or under developed negatives, dropping the negatives in the dark room, over processing the prints, not to mention health problems caused by getting chemicals on the skin and in the lungs.

Today, we no longer have to work with chemicals and we get instant results with our photos. Cameras are much easier to use and we no longer have to manually set the F-Stops and appeture. We also have digital photo editing programs so we can fix problems with the photographs instead of dodging and burning in a dark room. We no longer worry about dust on the negatives but we can still get spots on the camera lens.

Photography works as therapy since it causes us to focus on the moment, it calms our nerves, enlivens us through the creative process, helps us open up and share our photographs with others, and if we get outdoors we get exercise too.

I decided in 2016, to visit my favorite parks one or more times a week and practice photo therapy. Here are photos from my excursion to Whatcom Falls Park in Bellingham, Washington.

Photo by Patricia Herlevi, All Rights Reserved
Photo by Patricia Herlevi, All Rights Reserved
Photo by Patricia Herlevi, All Rights Reserved
Photo by Patricia Herlevi, All Rights Reserved
Photo by Patricia Herlevi, All Rights Reserved

Check out my photography and Photo Therapy.

Published by pnwauthor

I'm a former Washingtonian from Washington State, not Washington DC. I currently reside in Pennsylvania, even though my dream was to live and work in Vermont.

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