Like written diaries, where we document events of the day, our thoughts, challenges or vent our emotions, etc, and this being a therapeutic activity, self-portraits can be a sort of diary with therapeutic benefits. Christina Nunez, who wrote the article "The self-portrait, a powerful tool for self-therapy", in the March 2009 European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, suggests that creating an image of yourself can be like using a "punching bag". You can take photos of yourself when you cry, dance, when you are angry, and this allows you to release your emotions and vent into the camera and express yourself. Jason Harris took a self-portrait every day for 12 years, even through his battle with cancer. Check out his video here. http://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/self-portrait-every-day-for-12-years-capturing-a-journey-through-life/. You may also like this short clip of a girl who took a self-portrait each day over a 5 year period and then created a time lapse video. http://www.youtube.com/user/madandcrazychild/featured. I also created this self-portrait for a photo assignment titled "This is soooo not me". It was an interesting process; when thinking about what I am not, it lead me to think about what I am at this time in my life and all that this means.
Anyway, here is the link for the journal article I mentioned and I hope you check out the links above.