A New Podcast with Susie Orbach
Thursday, 7 March
Beyond the Couch: Psychoanalyst Perspectives with Susie Orbach
The Brent Centre presents an enlightening evening with Susie Orbach, where we’ll delve into fascinating psychoanalyst perspectives.
Freud Museum London 20 Maresfield Gardens London NW3 5SX
On 5th March, 2020, Professor Brett Kahr delivered his very last “in-person” lecture prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus across the United Kingdom. On that occasion he had the privilege of speaking about “Sub-Clinical Psychopathy” to a group of students on the Diploma in Psychopathology course sponsored by Confer.
Subsequently, he has had to navigate the technological complexities of Microsoft Teams and Zoom and has delivered a number of guest lectures on-line.
In June, 2020, he presented a talk to the Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication at Imperial College London on behalf of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, exploring the history of psychotherapy exactly one hundred years ago, in 1920. He returned to Imperial College London in October, 2020, to deliver two more on-line lectures on the history of mental health, the first entitled, “How to Fix a Hole in the Head: A History of Psychotherapy from Trephination to the Talking Cure”, and the second entitled, “Sigmund Freud: Archaeologist of the Mind”, for the course on “Understanding Psychotherapy: A Social History of the Mind”. In January, 2021, he spoke once again at Imperial College, lecturing on “My Very First Patient”, as part of a new course on “Understanding Psychotherapy: Through the Psychotherapists’ Eyes”.
Also, in June, 2020, he presented a live-streamed talk on “How Freud Would Have Handled the Coronavirus: Lessons from a Beacon of Survival” for the Freud Museum London, in which he explored the ways in which Sigmund Freud had to navigate a number of “coronavirus”-type experiences of his own, ranging from the influenza pandemic of 1918 to the German invasion of Austria in 1938. This talk inspired Kahr to write his next book, Freud’s Pandemics: Surviving Global War, Spanish Flu, and the Nazis, due to appear in the autumn of 2021. He presented a variant of this talk, based on his archival research, about the ways in which the great British psychoanalyst, Dr. Donald Winnicott, survived both the Spanish flu of 1918 and, also, the Hong Kong flu of 1968. Kahr had the pleasure of presenting this lecture to the Anna Freud Centre Academic Faculty for Psychoanalytic Research, part of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, under the gracious chairpersonship of Professor Joan Raphael-Leff.
Other on-line lectures included a talk on “The Traumatic Basis of Psychopathology” for students on the Diploma in Psychopathology and, also, the Graduation Address to the W.P.F. training organisation on “How to Flourish as a Psychotherapist Amid a Global Pandemic”, based on his recent book How to Flourish as a Psychotherapist (Phoenix Publishing House, 2019).
In October, 2020, he presented his clinical research on ‘ “When Mummy Wants You to Die”: Can Infanticidal Wishes Be Survived?’, to the Wimbledon Guild, part of the Wimbledon Guild of Social Welfare, in London. Also, in October, 2020, and in November, 2020, he delivered two “overnight” seminars on “Sexual Symptoms, Erotic Tumours, and Conjugal Aneurysms: The Traumatic Roots of the Unhappy Bedroom”, and on “Why We Do Not Invite Patients to Move into Our Spare Bedrooms: Donald Winnicott and the Biographical Origins of ‘Hate in the Counter-Transference’ ”, to the Couple, Child and Family Psychotherapy Association of Australasia, based in Forestville, New South Wales, Australia. He especially enjoyed sharing his clinical and historical research with these most welcoming colleagues from overseas.
And in January, 2021, Kahr spoke about his research on Dr. Donald Winnicott as part of a seminar on the “Winnicotts in National Crisis”, organised by the American social worker and historian Joel Kanter. He also introduced the new seminar scheme organised by the Scholars Committee of the British Psychoanalytic Council, which launched on 29th January, 2021, featuring presentations on the psychology of racism delivered by Ivan Ward, Deputy Director of Freud Museum London, and by Fakhry Davids, a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society.
In addition to his work as teacher and lecturer, Professor Kahr has continued to publish books and chapters and papers. In 2020, he produced four books: Dangerous Lunatics: Trauma, Criminality, and Forensic Psychotherapy(Confer Books, 2020), as well as Bombs in the Consulting Room: Surviving Psychological Shrapnel (Routledge / Taylor and Francis Group, 2020); Celebrity Mad: Why Otherwise Intelligent People Worship Fame (Routledge / Taylor and Francis Group, 2020); and On Practising Therapy at 1.45 A.M.: Adventures of a Clinician (Routledge / Taylor and Francis Group, 2020). His publishers at Routledge selected him as a Featured Author for 2020 (https://www.routledge.com/go/featured-author-brett-kahr).
His chapter on the “The Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology, 1920-2020” has appeared in the special centenary volume, The Tavistock Century: 2020 Vision (Phoenix Publishing House, 2021), designed to celebrate the founding of the Tavistock Square Clinic for Functional Nervous Disorders in 1920 (now known as the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust). A shortened version of this essay has appeared in the journal Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, edited by our colleague Dr. Christopher Clulow. Future chapters, currently in press, include a study of Donald Winnicott’s famous child psychoanalytical patient known as “The Piggle”; a tribute to the great and much-missed British psychoanalyst Marion Milner; as well as a study of forensic disability psychotherapy.
He has also produced his popular annual column of “Brett Kahr’s Top Ten Books” for the Confer website (https://www.confer.uk.com/brett-kahrs-books-of-2020.html).
Quite apart from his teaching and writing, Professor Kahr has devoted most of his time during these challenging months to his clinical practice, extremely grateful that, due to the wonders of the landline telephone, he and his patients have continued to work uninterruptedly. He very much awaits reopening his Central London office in a post-vaccinated world!
|Professor Brett Kahr certainly knows something about the art of authoring books. Over the decades, he has written or edited fifteen volumes and has served as series editor for more than sixty-five further titles.
Most recently, he has produced Dangerous Lunatics: Trauma, Criminality, and Forensic Psychotherapy – a study of the childhood origins of extreme violence (e.g., paedophilia and murder) – one of the six inaugural titles from Confer Books – the new publishing arm of Confer Limited.
Confer takes great pleasure in having invited him to share with us, once again, his recommendations of the ten best books of the year.DISCOVER MORE
“When mummy wants you to die” can infanticidal wishes be survived ?
Presented by Wimbledon Guild Counselling Training
A one hour ZOOM special event reading with Professor Brett Kahr Please note events are live stream only they are not recorded
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About this Event
About the event
Do some parents really hope that their children will die?
Although Sigmund Freud wrote extensively about death wishes in the family, he devoted far more attention to the child’s desire to kill the parent and, also, any unwanted siblings, rather than upon the parent’s desire to murder the child. Donald Winnicott elaborated upon parental death wishes, especially in his classic essay “Hate in the Counter-Transference”, albeit rather briskly. Building upon these foundational psychoanalytical contributions, Brett Kahr will draw upon his work with psychotic and forensic patients and, also, with normal-neurotic individuals, to explore the many ways in which maternal and paternal death wishes and death threats towards babies and children become internalised over time and, ultimately, contribute to the development of severe psychopathology.
In this special event for the Wimbledon Guild, Professor Kahr will explore the concept of the “infanticidal attachment”, examining how early death threats can damage the very foundations of the ego structure, resulting in psychosis, suicidality, criminality, severe eating problems, life-threatening addictions, and a host of other extreme psychological states. Drawing upon extensive case material, he will consider how intensive, long-term psychoanalytically orientated treatment can contribute to the neutralisation of such toxic “infanticidal introjects”.
Professor Brett Kahr has worked in the mental health profession for over forty years. He is Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology in London, and, also, Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis and Mental Health in the Regent’s School of Psychotherapy and Psychology at Regent’s University London. He is, additionally, a Trustee of the Freud Museum London and of Freud Museum Publications, and, also, a Trustee of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, as well as Chair of the Scholars Committee of the British Psychoanalytic Council.
Author of fifteen books, including the best-selling Sex and the Psyche, as well as the popular books Tea with Winnicott and Coffee with Freud, he has also served as series editor for sixty further titles. His most recent books include: Bombs in the Consulting Room: Surviving Psychological Shrapnel; Celebrity Mad: Why Otherwise Intelligent People Worship Fame; and Dangerous Lunatics: Trauma, Criminality, and Forensic Psychotherapy.
He works full-time in independent practice and as a Consultant Psychotherapist to The Balint Consultancy.
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Psychotherapy is increasingly part of people’s lives as they work through trauma, relationship breakdown and behavioural problems. As a private and confidential process how do we let people know what therapy is like?
And why do we need therapy?
Why is the couple important to family life?
Why does listening matter?
These and other questions are considered by Susie Orbach and Esther Perel, therapists and writers who are at the forefront of demystifying the process of therapy.
Here is a BBC interview with them.
On 11th October 2019 Susie Orbach spoke at the Extinction Rebellion’s XR Writer’s Event in Traflagar Square, London.
She previously contributed a chapter entitled “Climate Sorrow” to This Is Not A Drill, published by Penguin Random House, 2019.
In July 2019, Susanna began a new venture making short films for Channel 4 News exploring our current political, personal and social struggles in a climate of uncertainty and great division. The series is called Britain on the Couch and so far Susanna has interviewed people and politicians across the country on her purple couch from Grimsby to London. One of the first films, focussed on the feelings of two men working in the fishing industry and more recently Susanna interviewed Tom Watson, the deputy leader of the Labour Party about his life, Brexit and his feelings around the botched Operation Midland investigation into historic childhood sexual abuse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb2AP6_CEho
This Event is a part of the Therapy and Social Change Seminar Series
What can the world of psychotherapy and counselling contribute to wider social justice and progressive social change? Lynne Gabriel and Kate Smith interview one of the most socially influentially psychotherapists in the world, Dr Susie Orbach
On 24th June 2019, the Royal Society of Literature inducted Dr. Susie Orbach into its prestigious, distinguished fellowship.
This is without doubt the highest honour in the literary world, and it is wonderful that Susie has become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She has made a landmark contribution to literature in so many ways.