Why are so many people drawn to conspiracy theories in times of crisis?
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Cathy, I was SO happy to see your mention about how hesitant the Art therapy "establishment" has been about recognizing "photography as an important medium in treatment and intervention".
Art Therapy MUST move into the current century of photographic/digital technologies (since their clients have long "been there" years ahead of them!!)
... While I have seen some small amounts of progress -- such as the upcoming Conference of the Delaware Valley Art Therapy Association inviting the Keynote about the topic of PhotoTherapy and Photo-Art-Therapy, and/or the recent workshop invited by the British Art Therapy Association held on the topic --
it is still unfortunately the norm that MOST North American Art Therapy conferences and associations (including our National ones) seem to have woefully ignored the value of using photographic media (and especially digital/electronic applications thereof)in art therapy practice or research.
Cathy, I also want to tell you that you have accidentally brought "Psychology Today" to a "full-circle-return"!!
What I mean is: Did you know that the VERY FIRST small article about PhotoTherapy as a field, appeared in one of their 1977 issues? [yep! over thirty years ago!!! it can be viewed on the website mentioned below]
It's my experience (as one of the pioneers of PhotoTherapy and Photo-Art-Therapy, that while art therapists might individually be using photos as part of their practice (I know of several), most are usually less aware of the theoretical and historical framework underpinning what, how, and why they do it.
For example, there seems to be little awareness of the 30+-year history of uses of these techniques (or numerous related publications and dissertations) about both "PhotoTherapy" and "Photo-Art-Therapy".
And "ditto" for the related fields of photo-based therapeutic (or art-therapeutic) activities ("Therapeutic Photography" and/or "Therapeutic Photo-Art-making")...
I'm always surprised how so many art therapists do not take advantage of the vast literature, research, international network of practitioners, exciting related websites, etc etc. that they could learn from and share with (about their own applications). There were far too few A.T.'s at last year's International PhotoTherapy Symposium in Finland, for example...
I think this is at least partly due to them not being educated about the existence of such, in the first place. If the professors do not teach it, the students cannot learn it and then use it in their developing practices...
SO: MY own "call to action" would be to explain that it might actually be considered unethical for Art Therapy Training Programs not to include these as part of the "complete education" of Students these days.
The first book on "Photo Art Therapy" (its title), by Dr. Irene Corbit, appeared in 1992 -- over 15 years ago -- and yet I keep meeting art therapists who have never even known of its existence (and importance for their own field!). Landgarten's "Magazine Photo Collage" is similarly a classic -- for decades now!!
I don't, of course, demand that everyone end up USING them (we should only use techniques that we find suitable to our styles) -- but I DO think it would be an incomplete education if students are not even taught about these in case they want to use them later (i.e., how can they use these if no-one ever tells them they exist??)
*** For more about PhotoTherapy techniques (along with particular discussion about "Photo-Art-Therapy")
That Website has much more information (articles to download for free, a "Who is Doing What, Where" page, where many Art Therapists are listed), a comparison of these techniques, and also a Discussion Board.
There is also a FaceBook Group for "PhotoTherapy, Photo-Art-Therapy, and Therapeutic Photography" -- open to all interested!!
But, much as the old saying goes, "you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink"...
So while many Art Therapists are individually using photos in their practices, it sure seems to me that State and National Associations seem more oblivious to these topics (and the ethics involved!)...
Thanks for the opportunity to share about how people can learn more about these fields,
Judy Weiser -- JWeiser [at] phototherapy-centre.com
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