STAT

Photos, even selfies, have the power to heal

Photographs that establish an "I-Thou" relationship between the photographer and the subject can have immense healing power.

It is easy to deride “selfies” and the scads of photos that people today often compulsively take and share with their cellphones. But let’s not write them all off as meaningless. As I’ve seen in my parents’ remarkable journey from the doomed Jewish ghetto in Lodz, Poland, and in my psychiatry practice, photographs have immense power to heal.

My parents grew up in Lodz, which then was home to one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe. On Feb. 8, 1940, the Nazis established the Lodz ghetto. My father, Abraham Bursztajn, was condemned to be part of a sanitation crew called the

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from STAT

STAT6 min read
Opinion: The Indian Pharmaceutical Industry Is In Denial Over Drug-quality Charges
If Americans are expecting India to improve the quality of the medicines it makes, they will be waiting a long time for that to happen.
STAT4 min readSociety
Opinion: More State Spending On Health Care May Be Eroding Americans’ Health
In many states, investing in communities lags, squeezed aside by increased spending on health care. That sets up a vicious cycle leading to increased rates of premature deaths and costly…
STAT4 min readPolitics
Opinion: Economic Barriers To Organ Transplants From Living Donors Must Be Removed
Many people would willingly donate a kidney or part of the liver but can't afford to. It's time to reduce barriers — including economic ones — so anyone who wants…