Article By – Chinar Tekchandani

Photography can be more than just a hobby. It can be used as a mode of art therapy. In the year 1970, Judy Weiser defined the term phototherapy to describe the effects of photography on individuals. This is a type of therapy that people can undergo only under the guidance of psychologists or psychiatrists where they are asked to click pictures that help them relate to their emotions or painful experiences which they can’t otherwise express.

There is another term commonly used called therapeutic photography. Therapeutic photography is basically self-therapy which includes taking pictures, publishing them, discussing them with other people, etc. The art of photography can help in fighting depression, stress, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

The medium of photography can be used as a platform to narrate stories that can be important or close to a photographer. These photos can help the people viewing them and/or the photographers creating them. The advantage of this form of therapy is that it is inexpensive and easily accessible. Not everyone can bring themselves to paint or pen down their thoughts or describe them but, clicking photographs for therapy is not very difficult.

Working with a camera can have a calming effect on your mind. Posting pictures on social media can create a safe space for communication from a distance. Photos can help us by reflecting our thoughts. Following are some issues that photography can help you with:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • Low self-esteem
  • Social inhibitions
  • Stress
  • Inability to focus
  • Lack of motivation

Photography is not just about creating pretty and aesthetically appealing images. A camera is a tool that you can use to overcome stress and to learn how to express yourself. It is a tool of self-therapy. You can use this tool to appreciate the life and the beauty around you. It can help you in building confidence. Let’s see how self-therapy can be applied to one’s life.

  • Take your camera and go for a walk.
  • Try to find meaning and beauty in mundane things and activities.
  • Talk to strangers, listen to their stories and represent them in your own unique way.

Photography can teach you how you go with the flow without being worried about the final result. It helps people to appreciate the process and thoughts behind photos. The process of shooting requires complete focus. A state of focus can lead to a peaceful, calm, and healthy mind. Photography is mindfulness.

Photographs don’t always have to be serious, they can be happy and cheerful also. Try new genres, locations, and moods and observe the effects that they can create on your mind. With self-expression, there is no right or wrong. There is only good health, a peaceful mind, and a content person because creative activities lead to a decrease in stress hormones.

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