Phototherapy and Therapeutic Photography in a Digital Age  book cover
1st Edition

Phototherapy and Therapeutic Photography in a Digital Age

Edited By

Del Loewenthal

ISBN 9780415667364
Published March 22, 2013 by Routledge
208 Pages

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Book Description

The digital age has brought about a world-wide evolution of phototherapy and therapeutic photography. This book provides both a foundation in phototherapy and therapeutic photography and describes the most recent developments.

Phototherapy and Therapeutic Photography in a Digital Age is divided into three sections: In the first, an introduction and overviews from different perspectives; in the second, approaches and contexts, including phototherapy, re-enactment phototherapy, community phototherapy, self-portraiture, family photography. This is followed by a conclusion looking at the future of phototherapy and therapeutic photography in terms of theory, practice and research.

The book is for anyone interested in the therapeutic use of photographs. It will be of particular interest to psychological therapists and especially psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists and art therapists, as well as photographers and others wishing to explore further the use of photographs therapeutically within their existing practices.

Table of Contents

Foreword. Kennedy, Prologue. Part I: Introduction: Theories And Approaches. Loewenthal, Introducing Phototherapy and Therapeutic Photography in A Digital Age. Halkola, A Photograph As A Therapeutic Experience. Dennett, Jo Spence's Camera Therapy: Personal Therapeutic Photography as A Response To Adversity. Wheeler, Fotos, Fones & Fantasies. Simmons, A Creative Photographic Approach: Interpretation and Healing Through Creative Practice. Part II: The Use Of Photographs In Various Practices. Martin, Inhabiting the Image: Photography, Therapy And Re-Enactment Phototherapy. Loewenthal, ‘Talking Pictures’: The Therapeutic Use Of Photographs In Counselling And Psychotherapy. Nuñez, the Self-Portrait as Self-Therapy. Parrella, Loewenthal,Community Phototherapy. De Bernart, Photography and Family Therapy. Winckler, "The Time We Were Not Born" Experimental Archaeology: Working Within And Beyond The Photographic Archive With Photography Students. Kopytin, Phototherapy and Arts Therapy. Part III: Research and The Future. Karlsson, Phototherapy and Neuroscience: Marriage, Cohabitation or Divorce? Loewenthal, Research and the Future of Phototherapy and Therapeutic Photography. Anor, Hands Up: Surrender To Subjectivity.

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Del Loewenthal is Director of the Research Centre for Therapeutic Education, Department of Psychology, Roehampton University. He is also in private practice as a psychotherapist, photographer and counselling psychologist in Wimbledon and Brighton. He is founding editor of the European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling and former Chair of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy Research Committee.


A remarkable and revelatory book on a truly amazing practice. Phototherapy is an international therapeutic modality combining a focus on self-image, an interest in otherness, and the release of creative and imaginative aids to healing. It shares in both the optimistic, positive ethos of humanistic psychology and the tragic vision and scepticism of psychoanalysis. Moreover, it is situated in the world ‘out there’ and also in the internal world. Hence numerous therapeutic approaches can learn much from phototherapy – I certainly did, for the book was an eye-opener and I hope it is read by all in the ‘psy’ field. - Andrew Samuels, Professor of Analytical Psychology University of Essex; Former Chair, United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy

This collection offers valuable insights into the development of phototherapy in Europe and North America and its fascinating reports from the field bring us right up to the present – to the structures of feeling displayed by a photo-saturated, socially-networked digital age. Practitioners, theorists, teachers, community workers, artists, and anyone interested in photographic experience will benefit greatly from this thought-provoking book. - Martha Langford, author of Suspended Conversations: The Afterlife of Memory in Photographic Albums and Scissors, Paper, Stone: Expressions of Memory in Contemporary Photographic Art


We have all experienced moments as therapists when words alone do not seem to be enough. This book opens up the possibilities of digital photography as another way of working. This will be a valuable addition to any therapist's tool kit. - Professor Tim Bond, Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol


We know how powerful images are and how subtly they can influence our view of the world. We are surrounded by images, by photographs and film, more so now in the digital era when most mobile phones can also be used as cameras and images transferred immediately from one person to many. Yet their use within psychotherapy and counselling is relatively unexplored. Arts therapists have begun to encourage clients to use film and photography, computers and IPads to facilitate image making as these may be more familiar than ‘traditional’ art materials. This exciting book could bridge the gap between the arts therapies and verbal psychotherapy to the considerable benefit of clients – and practitioners. - Professor Diane Waller OBE, Emeritus Professor of Art Psychotherapy, Goldsmiths, University of London, visiting Professor, Imperial College, London


Del Loewenthal and his colleagues take the reader on an odyssey from the origins of their techniques, through history, and into photography as part of the arts-based research and practice of today. If a book about those subjects is to be written, then these are the persons who should do so. Providing an excellent overview of phototherapy and therapeutic photography, Loewenthal's Phototherapy and Therapeutic Photography in a Digital Age is a necessary read for anyone who is preparing for a career in arts-based therapies. As a historical treatise on photo-based therapeutic approaches, this book is effective. - Seifer & Kaelber, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 58, August 2013