Monday, February 28, 2005

Photography Therapy

No, I'm not planning to do this, but I think it's good information for me to have. I was just going to refer to this as "Phototherapy" like some of these people do, but then I realized that there is a medical treatment called that for certain illnesses.

PHOTOTHERAPY - The Fisher Turk Method - How you can make peace with your body - through the eye of the camera.

I photograph women who suffer from negative body image brought on by rape, incest, eating disorders, cancer or just plain life. Women are photographed from clothed to as nude as they are comfortable, I use black and white photography and urge them to keep a journal. Over the past six years I have seen this use of photography open a way for women to change how they see themselves and how they feel about their bodies.


Let Seattle photographer & PhotoTherapist Lori DeMarre facilitate your journey of exploring, reflecting and then stepping into your full potential and power.

Phototherapy techniques in counseling and therapy

Every snapshot a person takes or keeps is also a type of self-portrait, a kind of "mirror with memory" reflecting back those moments and people that were special enough to be frozen in time forever. Collectively, these photos make visible the ongoing stories of that person's life, serving as visual footprints marking where they have been (emotionally, as well as physically) and also perhaps signaling where they might next be heading. Even their reactions to postcards, magazine pictures, and snapshots taken by others can provide illuminating clues to their own inner life and its secrets.

Children’s lives – in their own images
Giving children the opportunity to create images uses the fascination and love of photography in a way that offers a wide range of opportunities – so far largely unexplored – for psychosocial support. This article is a reflection on my recent experience in the participatory documentary survey of children’s rights, Children’s Visions and Voices: Rights and Realities in South Africa, with a view towards suggesting further possibilities for the uses of photography in providing psychosocial support.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Political Compass

Added my results to The Blogosphere Political Compass Project:

The Test

My political compass
Economic Left/Right: 0.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.38

If that is not the score of a Centralist, then nothing is.

My approach as a future therapist...

I don't have this all fully hammered out yet, but I thought I'd put down some thoughts about what will probably work for me in what areas.

My Prime Analytical Approach
First off, I will never be a true Freudian or Adlerian. I might find it necessary to draw from them occassionally if the need arises, but neither approach is my default for psychoanalysis. I am a Jungian analyst by natural ability and slant.

My Prime Experiential Approach
This is going to be a hard one, because I am an Experiential learner, so I am drawn to all three approaches listed in my text. In the depths of my heart, I am an Existentialist. With Art Therapy and other creative techniques, I am Person-centered, because that is how those techniques work the best and it allows my Jungian bent to express itself at the same time. However, in reviewing how I traditionally deal with conflicted people, I am an Contemporary Gestaltist by nature. (And if I lose my cool, I'm an old school Gestaltist.) I noticed in the office library of a local art therapist I am on familiar terms with, there is a book about using Gestalt Theory in art therapy. I think I am going to have to read that book someday soon. While this may change with time and training, at the moment my greatest personal strengths are aligned with Contemporary Gestalt theory.

My Action Approach
I like the Choice Theory and the demystifying of the Reality Therapy technique. I also agree with the concept of developing a plan of action. But that is about all I really agree with the Reality Therapy approach on. I can see where it would work with difficult people who are being forced into therapy. I just don't think I would be able to apply this approach effectively on a regular basis. I am flexible - I could fall back on it if I had to - but it would take a lot of mental energy on my part. I use WDEP approach on programs and other non-sentient objects and systems, which shouldn't be surprising since Glasser and I both started our college careers in Chemical Engineering. However, I would have a hard time applying this to human beings in such an overt manner, because people under stress are not all that capable of clear evaluation of themselves. The stress needs to be relieved before self-evaluation can be taught effectively and by then you can just as easily help the client to figure it out versus spelling it out for them. There is not enough deep self-examination in this approach. You're only paying attention to the surface and ignoring the deeper currents that guide long-term behavior. And it is too easy in this approach to let you impose your own values on the client. I consider that unethical. And finally, for an approach that carries the name "Reality", it ignores the realities of those whose culture is much different than Western world's majority.

Contemporary Behavioral therapy looks useful enough, but I personally see it as a crutch or another short-term solution to problems. Now, some problems only need the immediate resolution, but most people end up in therapy for deeper rooted issues. I will be studying this and the Cognitive Behavioral approach next week. Scanning over the chapters, though, I see many action therapies to be a "MacGyver" fix to problems - which is great for emergencies, but lacks the quality and long term dependability of the other approaches. If I were in a situation where I needed to apply a "MacGyver" fix to a client to avoid catastrophe, I would probably choose the Cognitive Behavioral approach.

My Systems Approach
This is a no brainer. I am a firm believer in Family Systems. It is an basic tenant of my faith and if I didn't believe that with all my heart, I would have changed religions a long time ago. That being said, I would probably borrow more from Adler than I would from Freud in my departures from Jung.

And my main approach as a therapist would probably be...
Looking it over, I would probably go with the Contemporary Gestalt approach as a default. If there was strong evidence that a client would relate better with another approach, then I would alter my treatment to that.

Some people probably would like to see me go into more depth about all of this and expound, but you're going to have to wait until a later date when I have more fully digested the contents of my current class.

Friday, February 25, 2005

The masters program I am aiming for

In addition to a bachelors, I need to have some applied art classes (18 hours worth) and at least 6 hours of psych - one 3 hour class being Abnormal Psych - to apply to the distance learning Masters of Art Therapy for St Mary's of the Woods -

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Am I working on a class presentation about Art Therapy as a counseling approach and found out that most of the journal articles my partner found on the subject were not written by people trained in Art Therapy.

I found this out because while I was reading an otherwise interesting article, I noticed that some of the statements didn't jive with the books I have read dealing with art therapy. I was supposed to call my mentor (a trained and certified art therapist) anyway, so I asked her to explain the few passages I was having problems with.

Silence on the line.

Then, "What are this woman's credentials? Is she a trained art therapist?"

Me, frantically flipping through to find any letters after her name: "I can't find anything."

Anyway, after trying to locate the article through the listed publisher, who no longer carries the International Journal of Psychotherapy, and getting off the phone with my mentor, I did a Google search on the author of the article and found out not only hasn't she been trained as an art therapist, she's not even a psychologist - she's a psychiatric social worker.

I looked through the other articles my partner printed out. Luckily most of them actually listed the authors' credentials - another social worker, a PhD in Education and Human Services, and one article by a professor of counseling and a licensed therapist. Outside of what I received from my mentor and the books I have, only the last article sounds like a source that I can use for a presentation on the theory of Art Therapy as a counseling approach and even that I have my doubts about, because it's more about art in therapy than art as therapy - which I have had more than my fair share of lectures about the difference between the two concepts. It's on the same magnitude of difference as between a tourist snapshot and an Ansel Adams photograph.

If all I was doing was getting some ideas, I wouldn't have a problem with this. But my assignment is specifically to present the counseling approach of Art Therapy.

I think I'm going to bang my head against my keyboard and then salvage what I can. Just because I know my sources are suspicious doesn't mean I can't give a good presentation. I will just focus on the book references and just toss in the occasional article one.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Revising my view of Freud.

For years, I have held a modicrum of scorn for Dr. Freud. I have been willing to admit that without him, psychology would not be a science and that some of his theories still hold a little water. But I've always considered him someone I would not want to have dinner with.

Last week, I was introduced to a video to his early life history (The Young Dr. Freud) and I have decided that Sigmund Freud was indeed a *gasp* HUMAN!

Not only was he human, but he was a sappy romantic where his wife was concerned. Wrote some of the mushiest loveletters I've ever heard. And her letters were just as mushy. Overbearing, yes. But he did adore the woman in his own way. In fact, it was because he wanted to marry his wife and have a proper life that he gave up being a researcher at a university, studying physics and chemistry, and became a doctor, which lead to his achievements in psychology.

Just think - psychology came into being because a guy wanted to marry his sweetheart. (Yeah, yeah, I know - it wasn't the only thing that lead to it, but it was why a research scientist with a proven record ended up in the right place at the right time.)

And actually, he wasn't as sexist as some of his colleages. He at least believed the women he was treating for hysteria were actually suffering from something and not just pretending to get out of doing their duties and/or to get attention. He at least cared enough to believe they deserved his help and not his scorn on the medical front. I wonder how some of those with influence back then would have reacted to a more enlightened mindset as exists now. I suspect that anyone that "radical" to the time's mores would have been kicked into the street and blocked at every level.

Comparing him to today's standards, I agree - he's repulsive. Comparing him to some of his peers - he actually looks enlightened. You really have to see the enviroment these people lived in to really understand what type of people they really were.

And let's not forget - he pissed off enough people that a lot of what we have now was brought into being in protest of his methods. That should count for something.

So, while Freud will never be a "hero" of mine, I have decided he's not a "villian" either.

Venting a little...

1) I consider mixing political activities with counseling duties to be a severe conflict of interests - even if you are lobbying for a cause that would benefit your clients. It diffuses your focus on your clients and makes it too easy to seem them as part of "the cause" and not as an individual.

Now, I do agree I have a duty to keep records of the environmental and sociological factors that affect my clients. I agree that when called upon I should bear record of wide spread effects of these factors. I even agree that if I see a pattern I should bring it to someone's attention - preferably a reseacher's who is also studying something similar.

But while I am actively treating clients, I cannot ethically be an activist and still give my clients my all.

If something is that obvious and that destructive that I have to take on the role of lobbyist/activist, then I will retire from my practice and become one. At the very least, I will find myself a position where I am not directly treating people - a program director or something similar - so I can still eat and yet not risk imposing my political impetus on my clients care.

2) I am against painting one idealogy more "educated" or "enlightened" than another, because too often some people think they can by-pass the mental work and be "smart" by just deciding to believe a set of values put together by those they see as educated, without testing them out for themselves.

You can usually spot these people because they insist on trying to embrace the whole of an idealogy and are threatened by anyone else who doesn't treat the complete idealogy as sacrosanct. Even more so, they really get their noses bent out of shape when someone with a conflicting view shows themselves to be more knowledgeable in general.

"I'm open-minded - as long as you fit the stereotypes I have placed on you. I accept everyone - except you narrow-minded troglodytes who are not of my esteemed beliefs."

This would include conservatives who had education in social sciences and liberals who enjoy studying military stratagies. Of course, these are the same types who refuse to believe that there are such things as centrists. I even had one insist I stop calling myself that. My response, boiled down to the essentials, was "Bite me."

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Spectra's Daughters Posted by Hello

To show that we're not a homogenous country. Posted by Hello

Monday, February 14, 2005

Do something good for yourself! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Kohlberg and Gilligan

Even though I find the results of their theories interesting, after reading some of their base assumptions, I think both of them were/are guided by some prejudices I can't agree with. Both of them seemed to want to see themselves as very moral people.

That's not to say that they don't have some truths in their levels - I just think that they may have blinded themselves to certain things for their own sense of security.

Carol Gilligan's Levels of Moral Development in Women

Gilligan felt that Kolhberg's levels were flawed. "This was based on two things. First, he only studied privileged, white men and boys. She felt that this caused a biased opinion against women. Secondly, in his stage theory of moral development, the male view of individual rights and rules was considered a higher stage than women's point of view of development in terms of its caring effect on human relationships." (from

The main difference between herself and Kolhberg:
Gilligan argues that for most women, progress toward moral maturity is marked by changes in the focus of caring, not by the development of the abstract, impersonal principles that Kohlberg proposes. . .

Gilligan admits, however, that both perspectives are valid, in fact complementary. She argues that "a shift in the focus of attention from concerns about justice to concerns about care changes the definition of what constitutes a moral problem, and leads the same situation to be seen in different ways.


Ironically, her own work receives critism to what she said of Kolhberg's research - "the most criticized element to her theory is that it follows the stereotype of women as nurturing, men as logical. The participants of Gilligan’s research are limited to mostly white, middle class children and adults..." (from

Her levels for women:
Level 1 - Orientation of individual survival. The only obligation is to one's own survival.

Transition 1 - Going from selfishness to responsibility. Realizes one is part of a group and makes decisions based on how these actions affect others.

Level 2 - Goodness as self-sacrifice. Morality is defined by meeting the expectations of others and being submissive to the norms of society. Guilt is a powerful tool here.

Transition 2 - From goodness to truth. Truth and honesty are more important than the reactions of others. She starts considering her own needs again.

Level 3 - Morality of nonviolence. The emphasis is on not hurting people, including oneself.

Kolhberg's Levels of Morality

Level 1 - Preconventional morality: Brought into place by external controls. People obey the rules to get rewards or escape punishment or act out of self-interest. This level is typical of children ages 4 to 10. This level has the following stages of reasoning:
Stage 1 - Orientation toward punishment and obedience - "What will happen to me?"
Stage 2 - Instrumental purpose and exchange - "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."

Level 2 - Conventional morality: People have internalized the standards of authority figures. They are concerned with being good, pleasing others and keeping the social order. Many do not grow out of this even in adulthood. This level has the following stages of reasoning:
Stage 3 - The Golden Rule - or maintaining mutual relationships
Stage 4 - Social concern and conscience - "What if everybody did it?"

Level 3 - Postconventional morality: People now recognize conflicts between moral standards and make their own judgments on the basis of principles of right fairness and justice. If reached at all, it will usually come in early adulthood. This level has the following stages of reasoning:
Stage 5 - Morality of contract, of individual rights and of democratically accepted law - valuing the will of the majority and the welfare of society.
Stage 6 - Morality of universal ethical principles - they act in accordance with internal standards, knowing that they would condemn themselves if they did not.

Kolhberg later added a seventh stage of “Why be moral?" where the person questions the existance of morals in the first place. The person starts to see morality from a meta-perspective.

Monday, February 07, 2005


MSN Search has found -1 links to this site.

How do you get a negative link?