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Embracing Photo-Therapy as a Transformative Tool

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

Mother kisses her baby boy son with compassion and care in an airplain. Bright background. Mid day photo. Pail hues. Gray and black clothing. Heel from trauma. Lose the one you love. Care for family members. Mothe's kiss.  Courage. Love. Heart to heart. Hand on shoulder. Short hair. Long hair. Soft back light.

While leading a gathering for families with members facing mental challenges, it struck me how life can unexpectedly deal difficult blows beyond our control. Coping with one's own mental health struggles is one thing, but navigating the path when it's your child who grapples with mental illness is an entirely different journey.

During a session, a mother in her son's thirties expressed her longing to connect with him. She showed a photo she had taken—a door adorned with magnets bearing words like Love, Compassion, Hope, and Happiness. She explained her wish for her son to experience these emotions. Yet, as she spoke, I sensed her desire for her son's well-being surpassed under her own. I believe in aligning reality with life's needs, and it seemed this mother was reluctant to fully embrace both her son's condition and the reality they faced. It felt like a closed approach to me, and it made me feel there is a wall infront of me.

I pointed out the closed door in her photo, drawing a parallel in my mind only to what seemed like a closed attitude. She seemed unaware of it at the time, focusing on the words. When I made a comment: "The door is closed, the door is closed in your photo. Did you notice it?" Surprisingly, she admitted she hadn't, as her intention was to capture the words.

In the following session, she shared a powerful revelation. The phrase "The door is closed" had lingered in her thoughts, prompting her to send a heartfelt message to her son. She expressed unconditional love, wished him the best, and assured him of her support. After a prolonged silence, her son finally responded. I felt I had given this mother a valuable gift by encouraging her to open a door that had long remained closed.

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