Phototherapy is quite new, but given the contemporary guidelines and technological development, a very promising method of using photography as an artistic means of expression in the field of psychological and social aid, as well as work with the vulnerable groups.
Phototherapy is suitable for children, youth, adults as well as the elderly. It can be implemented individually as well as within a group. It even encompasses very diverse forms and practices, which include or focus on the photo camera, photography, taking photographs and other creative endeavours, connected to photography with a view to positively affect psycho-physical health and social functioning of an individual. It can be meant for therapy and can reduce an individual’s problems, or it can be only a preventive activity to help strengthen one’s mental health and promote personal growth. In spite of the fact that the beginnings of the use of certain techniques of phototherapy originate from psychotherapeutic principles and methods, the techniques of phototherapy today are disseminating and are used in different expert fields, in different contexts and through different theoretical tackles.
Matej Peljhan is one of the pioneers of the phototherapy in Slovenia. He is an initiator, co-establisher and director of the Institute of the Photographic therapy which connects all professional workers and others who are interested or engaged in it. He is involved in pedagogic process in different educational institutions and manages phototherapeutic workshops with different groups focused on marginal groups as well. He is an editor and co-author of monography Phototherapy - from Concepts to Practices which is translated in English too.