I feel I need to talk about my own experience with phototherapy and how it planted the seed in my mind to start the Soul Exposure PhotoTherapy. I hope that the story of my journey and the journeys of others will help in the greater understanding of emotions, acceptance and caring for these emotions.
The idea of photographing emotions and vulnerabilities started about 10 years ago with Ruth Solis, who was my roommate and my soul sister. We had been living together for 5-6 years by then and knew each other’s trials and tribulations with life and the relationships within it. Ruth had started her photography business – Solislife Photography – and had an amazing talent of capturing beautiful moments in peoples’ lives.
At the time I was going through quite a struggle with my recovery from an emotionally abusive relationship, facing a lot of grief and loss. Not just the loss of a relationship, but the loss I felt of my perception of who I was, my worth and my self image. Also, several self-destructive patterns had emerged during the relationship. Ruth thought it would be great to capture what was happening to me and call it phototherapy.
We decided on three personas I identified with, and which were present within me at the time. Firstly, I looked to this angry and dominant (but sexy) woman who is fearless and very open with her sexuality. Then came the vulnerable inner child, who needed to not feel the emotional pain but would inflict physical pain to avoid it. The third persona was a confident woman, who would emerge after the healing took place.
We didn’t know what we were doing – I had not even started my Masters program in psychology at the time, and was still quite unaware of my own emotional journey – but Ruth’s idea came to life, and I was able to embody these personas and emotions as Ruth captured them. I was able to feel and heal each emotion without fear of hurting myself or others. I was able to be vulnerable without feeling judged. Now, 10 years later, I am able to look at these photographs and see how much growth I’ve made, and remind myself how much strength I have within me to overcome life’s challenges. Ruth completed one more phototherapy project with another friend, and we realized that this was something special and powerful.
We have spoken about it often through the years, and had always wanted to do something more with this amazing, healing idea. Now, finally, I am able to fulfill my dream to offer this powerful therapeutic project to others here in Orlando. And perhaps the best news is that Ruth Solis, my wonderful Soul Sister, will be the photographer capturing Soul Exposure PhotoTherapy in Los Angeles! So in my world, DREAMS they do come true! Much love.