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The Seeing Lens: U.S. Military Veterans Photography to Debut at Lebanon Valley College

Lebanon Valley College partnered with the Lebanon Veterans Affairs Medical Center for a photo therapy group.

Faculty and staff in the Lebanon Valley College Creative Arts Program announced that they will host a collection of photographs from The Seeing Lens: Therapeutic Photography Group on Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. in the College’s Clyde A. Lynch Memorial Hall. The exhibition includes photographic works from 12 talented veterans who participated in the program, which was created in a collaboration between Dr. Grant Taylor, LVC professor of art & art history, and staff at the Lebanon Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Most of the photographs in the exhibit were taken at the Lebanon VA. 

The Seeing Lens represents a successful partnership between Lebanon Valley College and the Lebanon VA Medical Center. Working collaboratively, staff and faculty from the disciplines of art, psychology, recreational, and social sciences designed a 10-week therapeutic photography program that provides military veterans a unique opportunity for self-discovery. This innovative, non-traditional approach to therapy engages the creative practice of photography as a new treatment modality and effective intervention for a diverse population of veterans. 

“The interdisciplinary nature of The Seeing Lens has led to striking results in the first year of the program,” said Taylor. “We take the attributes of each discipline’s practice and blend them to produce a truly innovative experience for veterans. It has been incredibly enriching on a personal level as well.”

By combining photography skills and group processing, the group provides veterans a space to discuss difficult emotions and create meaningful experiences. The therapeutic setting fosters mindfulness and creative enterprise as a primary way to reduce symptoms and increase coping skills. The Seeing Lens embraces a holistic approach to health and is driven by a desire to enhance traditional therapies and create an empowering and healing experience for veterans. 


Team Members

Amy Beth Cook, CTRS, M.S., Recreational Therapy Supervisor, Lebanon VA Medical Center

Melissa S. Cyrus, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Lebanon VA Medical Center

Teresa Stump-Klinger, LCSW, Caregiver Support Coordinator, Lebanon VA Medical Center

Grant Taylor, B.F.A., Ph.D., Professor of Art & Art History, Lebanon Valley College


About the VA

Mission Statement: To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans. 

Core values describe an organization’s culture and character and serve as the foundation for the way individuals in an organization interact with each other and with people outside the organization. The Department of Veterans Affairs Core Values and Characteristics apply across the entire VA enterprise.