HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Using Photography to Explore Recovery Themes With Veterans

Article

This study examined if creating photographs to explore a recovery experience could be therapeutic. The findings suggest that taking photographs whilst in recovery can improve personal reflection and organization of thinking, as well as promote recovery discussions, communication, social support, and sense of purpose.

Abstract

This author of this study examined if creating photographs to explore a recovery experience could be therapeutic. Veterans from multiple war periods, who were receiving outpatient mental health treatment, voluntarily enrolled in a six-week photography workshop. During the workshop, 31 veterans learned the basics of photography and discussed recovery challenges with peers. For the final class, participants created a six-image portfolio that visually expressed a personal recovery theme. Pre-and post, 10-item Likert scale questionnaires were completed in order to evaluate the benefits of the photography workshop. There was a statistically significant increase in the post test questionnaire score (+0.47 points, p = 0 .001). The findings support the hypothesis that taking photographs while in recovery can improve personal reflection and organization of thinking, as well as promote recovery discussions, communication, social support, and sense of purpose. Recovery themes included dealing with pain, isolation, growth, transformation, and healing.

Full Reference

Quaglietti, S. (2018). Using Photography to Explore Recovery Themes With Veterans, Journal of creativity in mental health, Vol: 13 (2), p.220-230.