Matej Peljhan's Little Prince
Matej Peljhan, psychotherapist uses therapeutic photography in his work with children with disabilities.
12-year-old Luka cannot do active things he sees others do because he suffers from muscular dystrophy.
"Some time ago, during one of our conversations, he expressed his wish to see himself in a photo, walking around and doing all sorts of mischief,"
Peljhan thought it would be impossible to fulfill Luka's wish. Yet, he found a way by changing perspective.
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Examples of Therapeutic Photography
My friend Robin asks "Why Do Women Resist Hanging Their Photographs on the Walls of Their Home?"
"Why don't women feel good enough to have their photograph taken or hung on the walls of their homes? Why are they not leaving imprints of their existence by looking boldly into the camera and saying "I exist and this is who I am?"
I found self-criticism more evident in women over 30, but it could show up at any age."
"It was this consistent disapproval of self that prompted me to open a studio for women over thirty that was a comfortable, safe place to express themselves in any way they wanted while I captured their essence on film."
When I met Eric, Las Fotos was just a dream! He turned this dream into a non-profit organization that helps to teenage girls build self-esteem. He gives 10-week courses geared to girls aged 12-17, who learn photography fundamentals and are paired with a group mentor to discuss social issues and create visual stories of their thoughts and opinions. Subjects have included the LGBTQ community in Boyle Heights and an exploration of the San Gabriel Mountains that resulted in the book "Nature: Double Exposed -- Boyle Heights meets the San Gabriel Mountains.”
I met Jan in Finland at the International PhotoTherapy Symposium. I saw some of the work he does. It is phenomenal in it's compassion and depth. He is from the Netherlands and practice as a Jan Sitvast Mental Health Nurse Specialist (PhD) and has his patients take photos of the important things in their lives.
“Doing this helps them deconstruct their stories as helpless victims and only consumers of our care. Instead, they become active fellow-citizens portraying their lives. By organizing expositions with their photos, patients become our teachers — the roles are reversed!”
He interviews them in detail about their photos, the decisions they made in making them, and their meaning. In this way they are able to better integrate their illnesses into their lives as part of their life stories.
Antonello Turchetti, Perugia, Italy, is a professional photographer and Art Therapist who focuses his work on the community photography as means of social healing.
He founded and directs the first festival of social and therapeutic photography, the Perugia Social Photo Festival, He creates experiential programs in therapeutic photography teaching visual language as a means to reactivate social perception. and He also works for the European project ETRA (funded through the European Programme for Education and Culture LLP Lifelong Learning) and is the president of the social promotion association LuceGrigia of Perugia that produces and promotes social solidarity projects to spread the culture as a tool for social inclusion with particular attention to the use of photography to help people at risk of exclusion.
He is doing marvelous, groundbreaking work in Italy.