Photo-therapy is a new art therapy field that uses photography as a therapeutic tool. In Israel, the first photo-therapy program was established in 2003 at the Naggar School of Photography, Media, New Music, Visual Communication and Phototherapy in Musrara, Jerusalem.

The School — familiarly know as “Musrara” — is characterized by a commitment to social change in Israel. This vision is in the spirit of the neighborhood of Musrara; its past as a poor community on the border of pre-67 Israel and its heritage as a center for the Israeli Black Panther movement of the 1970s. Musrara has created a unique model of a three-year course of study that stresses the relationship between artists and the community.

So it was only natural that an institute like Musrara  — with the endorsement of the European Graduate School in Switzerland (E.G.S) — would be first to offer the discipline of photo-therapy. Department head Orna Glass says there is a growing demand for photo therapy professionals and that graduates go on to work in various therapeutic fields.

Musrara’s final exhibitions reflect the spirit of the different departments: photography in all of its aspects: color, black and white, natural, manipulated, documentary or studio photography; musical experiments, classic and digital animation, sound and video installations.

A selection of work by photo-therapy department graduates explores intimate and often difficult topics ranging from a personal documentation of a father’s life in an elder care facility…

Mussrara-2014_Ika Rivka Iosub

Photo by Ika Rivka Iosub

Memory as represented by a house, once lived in and now abandoned…

Mussrara-2014_Ruba Raya

Photo by Ruba Raya

Emerging womanhood…

Mussrara-2014_Bella-Frankel_1+2

Photos by Bella Frenkel

An exploration of the tension between beauty and imperfection…

Mussrara-2014_Talia_Avny

Photo by Talia Avny

An absent father who returns only to die months after reuniting with his family…

Mussrara-2014_Michal-Shaviv

Photo-collage by Michal Shaviv

A rehabilitation center for women victims of prostitution…

Mussrara-2014_Sigal Roth Samai

Photo by Sigal Roth Samai

Identity…

Mussrara-2014_ Revital Stern Zivan_1+2

Photo by Revital Stern Zivan

For more information about the school’s programs and to see the full final exhibition of Musrara School graduates visit their website and Facebook page.