Visual methods

Psychotherapy and visual perception share one common term – gestalt. When in gestalt therapy the goal is to make a person grasp the reasons and relations that create the current situation in life, in visual perception we aim to come aware of the underlying ways our perception works thus making us utilise those unconscious processes called gestalt principles.

Gestalt is a german word first used in this context by Gestalt psychologist Kurt Koffka, who summed up the essence of gestalt this way

“the whole is something else than the sum of its parts”

Gestalt therapy sees a human as an entity that is more than the sum of its components. This way a person should be treated as something more than just a list of symptoms or qualities.

When it comes to utilising these methods in Mamyfu project two visual creation workshops were conducted. The photo voice session made the participants aware of their current life and their living environment, thus following the gestalt idea.

On top of that, imagining and creating a photo of a personal future was done with photo manipulation. There is an event post on the workshop here:

What does the figure on this page have to do with any of this? 

The figure has a bunch of visual elements and the question is how does your perception work? How do you group these elements. Our mind categorizes them based on shape, size and colour. Strongest cue for the grouping being colour in this example. For any artist or visual designer being on top of the gestalt principles is essential. A good understanding of what is around you, be it the visual world or your situation in life, is helping you a long way.

Tuomo Joronen