On June 26, girls ages 13 to 18 will have the opportunity to participate in Girl Vision, an expressive photography workshop that will explore themes of self-acceptance and healthy emotional expression.
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a professional photographer, I will be guiding teens through a series of photography exercises that encourage the use of creativity, while also helping them reflect on wellness topics essential to their emotional growth.
I initially developed this program with the sole aim to teach teens how to use their digital cameras/cell phones cameras as a method of self-expression. However, after teaching several workshops I realized that there was a very natural way for me to blend in education related to healthy emotional tools, such as mindfulness and self-compassion.
For example, one of my favorite tools to teach is the practice of self-kindness, rather than self-criticism. I introduce the topic and then participants will head outside to use the creative elements of photography to visually express self-kindness. At the end of the workshop, each teen will choose one photograph as their reminder to practice self-kindness in their daily life.
The feedback I have received from past participants has been very positive, with teens saying that they are excited to have a new visual language for their thoughts and feelings. Also, I was thrilled to read on a feedback form, “I can’t wait to tell my friends about the practice of self-kindness.” It’s pure joy for me to share my love of photography and, at the same time, help teens be a bit kinder to themselves.
The 1-5 p.m. afternoon workshop on Sunday, June 26 will be held in the Leesburg Historic District, which will offer a beautiful backdrop for photographs. Participants need a digital camera or cell phone camera. Workshop size is limited to 12 participants. Just a few spots remain. Register at www.juliemccarter.org/girlvision
All images are provided courtesy of Julie McCarter and were taken by participants in previous Girl Vision workshops.
Julie McCarter is a licensed clinical social worker with more than ten years of experience. Julie uses an integrative approach to treatment which includes cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based practices and therapeutic photography. She has a holistic approach to treatment that encourages clients to connect with their inner wisdom as a source for healing. Learn more about her practice at www.juliemccarter.org or follow her practice on Facebook.