Writing with light: phototherapy with a street-involved youth
LE3 .A278 2004
Master of Education
The research conducted in this thesis looked into phototherapy as a medium for change in the life of a street-involved youth. The literature reveals much support for the use of phototherapy, yet there is no specific research inquiring into this technique with this population. The participant was a 21 year old male who had recently transitioned from street life. Historical family photographs, current images and photos created in the process were used to explore the narrative of his past, present and future. Through photography there was an exploration of meaning within his life story, the view of his community, and how this process was helpful. The process of collecting data covered 4 months (8 meetings). Interview sessions were audio recorded and ranged from 1 hour to 5 hours; each photographic exploration was audio recorded individually. Findings revealed phototherapy was an effective way to connect with, elicit narrative and change from a street-involved youth. The phototherapeutic process through these time periods enabled the participant to explore his inner voice and express it outwardly. It provided opportunity to gain closure on meaningful issues, draw focus on the here and now, and develop understanding of how the past and present inform, but do not dictate the future.
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