Ashwood Therapy Blog

Photos: A Moment In Time

If you are over a certain age, you will probably remember when cameras didn’t have anything to do with ‘memory cards’, and when ‘film’ was the order of the day.  If you are a little younger, your first camera might have been one where the SD or compact flash card popped out of the side and straight into your computer to have a look at the photos you’d taken.  Nowadays, of course, with smart phones and their fantastic photographic abilities your photos might be automatically backed up to the cloud ready to open up on another device at your convenience, or posted straight to your preferred social network to share with friends and family.  Whatever the word ‘photo’ conjures up for you, perhaps you would agree that they form an important part of the process of remembering how things were when that happened, or the day when he said that to her.  Whether you print them off or view them on a screen, photos can take us back, and remind us of where we were at a point in time.

I sometimes think that a therapy session is like a photograph, in that when I see a client at a particular hour on a particular day, I get a ‘snapshot’ of what is going on for them and perhaps what has been happening since the last time we met.  This is useful for me to be aware of, as with a client who has a session weekly I can often notice, over time, the changes that they are making in part due to what we discuss and explore together.  It might be a change in how they approach a particular relationship, or how they view a certain event.  Maybe it is a growing acceptance of a state of affairs that is difficult to swallow, or a coming to terms with the reality of a particular situation that has previously been denied.

When we look at photos of ourselves as youngsters, or at photos of our own children or nieces and nephews, we can often see just how much the person in the image has grown – and how much they’ve changed – even if the photos were taken only 12 months or so apart.  The difference is obvious looking back, even if the changes seemed imperceptible at the time.  I conduct a review session with my clients roughly every sixth time we meet, in order to pull together the threads of our conversations and to look at where they are ‘now’ compared to where they were ‘then’.  This allows for progress and difference to be noticed and acknowledged, and perhaps for any positive changes to be celebrated and any difficulties examined.  It often provides an opportunity to see things more clearly, and to pause briefly to see what they have overcome and what remains to be looked at.  Evaluating the distance moved can give the client confidence and resolve to go forward, so that they can set their sights on where they want to be the next time we ‘take stock’.

Rob Oglesby MBACP (Accred) B.A. (Hons) BSc | Ashwood Therapy

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Photos: A Moment In Time | Ashwood Therapy Blog