Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Surgical Instruments

Originally posted on September 2, 2016

One of the ironies of my life is that although I ended up in psychiatry, as a kid I wanted to be a surgeon. I had no idea what was involved. But since I needed surgery (as a kid—and in pretty much cured me), this lovely article in LIFE magazine on February 11, 1946 was fascinating indeed! On page 60 they showed surgical instruments (below) and I was hooked.


Alas, I was a bit clumsy and in addition, fascinated in medical school with medical psychology—that’s what they call it in the U.K.—in the USA it’s called “psych-iatry.” (The suffix "-iatry” suggests that it’s a medical specialty, as different from merely a study of, which is an “-ology.”)

But near the mid-20th century psychoanalysis (which also includes much psych-ology was at its height. In the last 2 decades of the last century it’s become more medical and medicine oriented) was at its height.

By the later 1960s and beyond I became more involved with alternative non-psy- choanalytic approaches. This picture, it occurs to me, could also portray symbolic-ally the variety of technical interventions that are involved in psychodrama.

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