As an art therapist, a specialist in psychological diagnostics and therapy, held several courses and many hours of programs of recognized national and foreign specialists in art therapy, phototherapy and diagnostics,  I would like to tell as the figure and photos help the specialist in psychological counseling and psychotherapy.

it's No secret that the work of a specialist in psychological counselling and psychotherapy is aimed, inter alia, at clarifying the current request, the establishment and maintenance of a therapeutic Alliance between the client and the specialist.

In an attempt to clarify the request, to establish and maintain therapeutic contact a psychologist or therapist is often confronted with the problem of verbal contact during operation with so-called "difficult" customers.

And then comes to help a non-verbal form of customer contact. Various techniques imagination, visualization, projection, help to make a diagnosis, establish contact and to continue therapy with clients who have difficulties in verbal expression, but also to give access to many aspects of the personality.


As is known, since ancient times, and long before the development of phonetic language people communicate through visual symbols. People from ancient times tried to Express their thoughts and emotions in their drawings. And it's possible that the first visual forms of art were of a practical purpose, and then aesthetic. 

the figure is the expression of a personal nature, which contains both conscious and unconscious aspects and plans.

self-Expression through drawing is more symbolic and less specific than words.

- Expression through drawing reduce the worry and anxiety of the client, so the likelihood of protective positions or the mechanisms is also reduced.

the drawing is useful in the learning process of the client. 

the figure as personal and unique expression gives valuable information for the diagnosis, clarify the situation, psychocorrection and psychotherapy of the client.

For many people, drawing is a rare way of expression and facilitates penetration into hidden inner conflicts, enables clients to better understand themselves and to assess their role in the family and society. 

the figure is the product of the client's activities, long-term and useful record that you can return to the process of therapy for research or educational purposes to note the dynamics of changes in recurring themes.

the figure is a more secure form of expression and carries a relatively small risk of challenge of aggression on the part of the client.

I Want to see that finger painting can sometimes lead to regression and this may hamper the process of diagnosis and therapy.


My acquaintance with phototherapy took place shortly after a course of art therapy Alexander Kopytin. And inspired me to get acquainted with phototherapy my Professor in psychodiagnostics Elena Nishikawa. 

Here in this company I participated in the international conference and week program-intensive  for phototherapy in Finland, where we first met Ulla Halkola - President of the Finnish Association for phototherapy and its Spectrometry. 

I like to review photos and I loved taking pictures, but it was just on the level of interest, which sent my vector in the direction of phototherapy and forced deeper into her and to learn more about this tool work with clients.

Phototherapy - it was "love at first sight" and it was not exactly what I think is going on, hearing the word "phototherapy". After attending the 2nd international conference in Turku, my attitude to photography has changed dramatically. Along with the aesthetic side of the pictures appeared near her therapeutic part.

After the training course is intensive and group Russian art therapists with Ulla Halkola I realized that through photography you can expand the process of psychotherapy, which allows to reveal not aware of  up to this point, associations and feelings associated with a particular photo.
to learn and understand thoughts, feelings and sensations of the client, not necessarily to "get into his skin"- it is enough to work with  pictures of the client. For example, to talk to him about selected photos, view the family album and how he reacts to the psychologist suggested pictures, what pictures he makes, what objects chosen for the photos... 

photography is one of the languages where you can Express what words can Express.
Photography is the fingerprint of our consciousness, the mirror of our lives, reflections from our hearts, frozen memories that you can hold in your hands.
                                            Judy Weiser is a canadian psychologist, art therapist,  one of the pioneers of Phototherapy.

As you know,  80% of the sensory stimuli we receive in the brain through vision, so visual information is very important for the person. Our reality based on our perception and we can pass some object, event, or something not to notice, and something to focus means that the object has for us any meaning or relevance, so it wants to capture in my memory through pictures.

the Properties and functions of photography in psychological counseling and psychotherapy:

1. The language of photography, like drawing, personal, symbolic and metaphoric.
2. Photography can capture and Express feelings and emotions.
3. Photography, like drawing is a nonverbal form of expression.
4. Photography is a tool of therapy.
5. Photography, like drawing, is compatible with any direction of psychotherapy.
6. Photography, like drawing, can be used in both individual and group formats, in-person and online modes. 
7. In working with photography as with drawing, there are two stages:the active stage of work with photos during the session and post-sessional stage, when the client gradually begins to understand, to reflect and integrate what happened to him on the session.

Art therapy and phototherapy: the differences

In one time I thought the therapy part of art therapy because they have a lot in common, but I was wrong - despite the common, yet there are differences:

1. In art therapy, clients create their own images in the drawings spontaneously from the unconscious without any external stimuli and of objects in the image in front of them. In the picture there is a subject and a preparation for shooting is the place to be: the choice of site, setting up a camera or smartphone, the composition, the background. That is art therapy focused on domestic objects and phototherapy on the outside.

2. In art therapy the client create a product of their artistic activities are a major part of therapy. In phototherapy, the creation of pictures is not so important. This is just part of the job. Much more important is the discussion of the photo itself, its plot and details.

3. Unfortunately, not all customers can and want to draw, but click on the camera or smartphone can every. That is, the creation of photography as a process more familiar, pleasant and doesn't cause any trouble for clients than the creation of the drawing.

4.&In art therapy specialist and client work with the product of the creativity of the client, and in photo-therapy you can use the photos not only of client but also other authors.

5. In art therapy drawn portraits embody a purely personal subjective view. In the photos we can see the eyes of other people and in different angles and pictures were taken with the help of technical devices.

6. In art therapy through the pictures, we can observe stages of development in a creative creativity customer: progress, stop, improvement. And as noted by Judy Weiser, "my photography skills do not vary greatly with age".

Sometimes in psychotherapy work with the mind is of no benefit and desired changes of the client: " the Mind can understand everything, but to do nothing I can..." And then have to go down to another,  a deeper level of the psyche - the unconscious. 

Art therapy and phototherapy - non-verbal forms of psychotherapy and they work well with our wise unconscious part of the psyche. 

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