What happens when a veteran becomes stuck even after attending regular counselling sessions to cope with persistent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms? Veteran Photo Recovery Project team—founder and nurse practitioner Susan Quaglietti, art therapist Jeff Stadler, clinical social worker Ryan Gardner, and clinical psychologist Kristen McDonald from the Menlo Park Veterans Administration Health Care System (VAHCS) developed a new program that used art as a therapeutic intervention to process recovery themes for veterans with a mental health disorder. The Veteran Photo Recovery Project engages veterans with a mental health diagnosis such as PTSD to build a six image portfolio of photographs that create a narrative about a personal recovery theme. During the six week workshop, veterans can use process of taking pictures to spark discussions with their peers about trauma, mental health challenges, and ways to sustain recovery. The experience of using images as a reflection tool has been beneficial for veterans from all recent war time periods and as one female veteran insightfully stated, “Repression is the problem. Expression is the cure.”


View Veteran Photo Recovery Project - Vision of Warriors Documentary