According to an article recently completed by Psych Central, Rosemary Bannon Tyksinski, PhD and therapist, declares on her website that photography can be instrumental in therapy for certain clients. To her, art is a form of communication. It allows many who can’t directly discuss what’s bothering them to find and express the deeper, underlying issues. Essentially, it allows some of her clients to speak in images, either directly or through the use of a metaphor. For her personally, Tyksinski finds that art allows her to communicate what she sees—things that are important to her and what she experiences. Through expressing these observations, she is able to say things she can’t find words for.
In terms of completed artwork and photographs, Tyksinski feels that the best photos are ones that evoke deeply buried psychic material—things that her clients may have left hidden otherwise. Through this reveal, clients can find ways to connect with their true selves—parts of their personality that are hidden, but which are vital aspects of themselves.
From this, Tyksinski found her way to photo therapy. At its very core, the practice is the use of photos in therapy sessions, as a means of prompting responses and finding ways to discover the client’s hidden desires and parts of his or her personality. Tyksinski does this through a variety of measures. She typically starts by using photo albums provided by the client—pictures of their own acquaintances, such as important family members, friends and pets. It is important to note that the client did not need to partake in the participation of the photos—either as the photographer or the subject—for this to be successful; simply seeing photos of those who are important to the client could be instrumental in revealing hidden aspects.
In a more generic sense, a therapist can provide photos for their client, in the hopes of awakening some hidden conflict or resolution. Tyksinski mentions several artists she prefers to use—photographer’s who work has prompted many positive results. Matej Peljhan is a psychotherapist and a photographer and, as such, knows precisely what is needed to get the juices flowing in the mind. Maggie Taylor combines her work with a camera and images she can create using her scanner to create “photo montages,” which have shown to be very beneficial in the service of Tyksinski’s clients.