A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

A picture from the photo exhibition “Masks” created by the participants of the Therapeutic Photography Workshop, held jointly by BIU’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee and “Enosh – The Israeli Mental Health Association.”Therapeutic photography is a treatment method which uses photography as a therapeutic tool to cope with mental illnesses.

Photography is a medium which enables us to visually self- reflect on our thoughts and desires, and provides the therapist with a tool through which they can reflect on the patient’s personal world,” says photo therapist Shaya Ei-Magor, Head of the Safed-Kiryat Shmona district at Enosh. “Photography is the intersection between the psychiatric patient who ‘puts something out there,’ and the viewer who gets a glimpse into the photographer’s inner world. The image’s artistic effect enables a subtle closeness, sometimes to the point of blurred boundaries between the normative and the impaired.”

The 10-week therapeutic phototherapy course for individuals suffering from severe mental illness was delivered under the auspices of the Raphael Program, founded by Prof. Mary Rudolf, Head of the Department of Population Health at BIU’s Azrieli School of Medicine in the Galilee. The Raphael Program operates a social incubator where select organizations from the Galilee region work with the School to develop innovative solutions to advance the health of local residents.