Rebecca Rowan - PgCert Therapeutic Photography

Rebecca Rowan
In her former career Rebecca Rowan was used to taking shots of crime scenes but is now focusing on using her camera skills to help people after successfully completing RGU’s Therapeutic Photography course.

The 46-year-old, who is originally from Hawick, decided to sign up for the online programme after virtually meeting Dr Neil Gibson at a conference.

Rebecca tried a taster course with Dr Gibson before signing up to do the PgCert in full with the course being delivered online it meant she could balance her full-time work and childcare commitments.

She said being able to access all of the necessary materials from her home in York was a key factor in finishing it with distinction.

Rebecca said: “I am a single mother and could never have accessed this course had it not been delivered online. It has opened up a world of opportunity to me.

"The fact that I could not just learn but deliver sessions at the same time meant that I could have that real-time experience to feedback and share with the group, I could ask Neil’s advice and share with him the successes of my sessions. This gave me a sense or support and encouragement that I had never had before.”

“Another highlight was the access to the texts that we were granted permission via our student portal and library card. I would regularly go off on a tangent and read how photography was being used for different purposes and reaching such diverse communities.”

Rebecca has recently started a new role working with the National Literacy Trust in a female prison and will continue to deliver her wellbeing photography sessions through her own company, Mindful Photography UK.

She is already applying the knowledge she learned during the duration of the 12-month programme, and it is proving to have a positive impact on the lives of others.

Rebecca added: “I felt that the life and teaching experience I have gained meant that I could contextualise the theory we were learning with Neil. It gave me so much more confidence to be me and have a stronger sense of identity. I feel like I now can share the skills and learning with the groups I deliver with.

“I enjoy applying what I have learned during the course and am always keen to share the process with others. The most rewarding part of the course was when I delivered to a group of women who had survived domestic abuse, to see them also regaining their identity after years of abuse and celebrating their positive traits and attributes was so rewarding. I was able to feed these successes back to Dr Gibson and the cohort.”

The Therapeutic Photography course at RGU is the first of its kind in the world. You will develop the knowledge and skills to be able to confidently and competently use the technique in practice to enhance self-esteem, self-efficacy and empowerment.

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