Two years after receiving their final treatments, 18 leukemia survivors -- diagnosed as teenagers -- participated in the Framed Portrait Experience, an intervention which integrates therapeutic photography and re-enactment therapy. In the study by researchers at the University of Houston and the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, Italy, where the intervention was developed, participants were empowered to express emotions connected to their illness in order to make meaning of their experience.
Working with a portrait photographer who was also a licensed social worker, the survivors chose three settings to take portraits that integrated meaningful objects and memories to represent their past, present and future.
Study - Co-author - Chiara - Acquati - Assistant
Study co-author Chiara Acquati, assistant professor at the UH Graduate College of Social Work, recalled a young survivor who took her "past" portrait alongside her father fixing cars. "Her father was the one who stood by her side during her cancer treatment, so he was an important part of her cancer journey," said Acquati. That survivor's "present" portrait was one of reflection -- taken deep in thought along a serene riverbank. She dressed as a street performer who makes people laugh for her "future" photo.
"The goal is...
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