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The Writer’s Dilemma

A New Podcast with Susie Orbach

Blog News and Events

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

Full details and tickets at:

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We are very pleased to announce that the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy has awarded Professor Brett Kahr an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his lifetime contributions to the mental health profession.

Kahr has contributed to the organisation since its founding in 1993 and has, over the years, served as its Special Media Adviser, as a member of the Board of Trustees, and as a member of the Chief Executive Officer’s Creative Strategy Group.  He also became Spokesperson for the organisation’s campaign on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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June, 2021.


The Balint Consultancy is delighted to announce that Professor Brett Kahr has recently been appointed as Honorary Director of Research at the Freud Museum London.  Professor Kahr has maintained a long-standing relationship with the museum, having worked there as Deputy Director of the International Campaign for the Freud Museum during its first year of operation and, subsequently, having served three terms of office as Trustee of both Freud Museum London and of Freud Museum Publications.  In this new role he will help to support the museum and its scholars with the development of historical-archival research on the life and work of Sigmund Freud and the growth of psychoanalysis.  

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Susie Orbach interview with Katie Wix

Author of ‘Deliacy’, Katy Wix, interviews Dr Susie Orbach on her seminal classic, ‘Fat Is A Feminist Issue’.

Youtube link:

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Olivia Laing & Susie Orbach

7:00pm LOCATION Free to Register Online Via Zoom BUY TICKETS


On Bodies, Protest, Gender and Freedom: hear the acclaimed author Olivia Laing discuss her timely new book, Everybody, in conversation with leading psychotherapist Susie Orbach.

1 OL by Sophie Davidson

Olivia Laing Everybody

Olivia Laing is the author of three acclaimed works of non-fiction, To the River, The Trip to Echo Spring and The Lonely City, which has been translated into seventeen languages. Her first novel, Crudo, was a Sunday Times bestseller and won the 2019 James Tait Memorial Prize. She’s a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 2018 was awarded a Windham-Campbell Prize for non-fiction. Laing writes on art and culture for many publications, including the Guardian, New York Times and
. Her collected writing on art, Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency, was published in 2020. She lives in Suffolk.


Susie Orbach In conversation

Susie Orbach is a psychoanalyst and writer. She co-founded The Women’s Therapy Centre in 1976 and is the author of many books including Fat is a Feminist Issue, Hunger Strike, On Eating, The Impossibility of Sex, Bodies, and In Therapy. Susie has a clinical practice seeing individuals and couples.

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The Hidden Spring: A Journey to the Source of Consciousness

Mark Solms in conversation with Susie Orbach

Available On Demand at

Please note: this event has already taken place therefore booking is for recording access only. On booking, your unique access codes will be included in your Eventbrite confirmation email and will have access for 30 days.

Tickets are offered on a pay-what-you-can basis, with a suggested donation of £10. Thank you in advance for your support of the museum at this very difficult time.

Booking closes at 11.30pm on 31 July 2021.


The era-defining book that will forever change the way you understand your mind.

‘To say this work is encyclopaedic is to diminish its poetic, psychological and theoretical achievement. This is required reading’ – Susie Orbach, author In Therapy

‘Truly a remarkable book. It changes everything’ – Brian Eno

Join psychoanalyst, neuropsychologist and author, Mark Solms as he discusses his latest publication, The Hidden Spring: A Journey to the Source of Consciousness with psychoanalyst, psychotherapist, writer and social critic, Susie Orbach.

The neuropsychologist who discovered the brain’s mechanism for dreaming returns with a jaw-dropping insight into human consciousness that reframes everything we know about the workings of the mind.

How does the mind connect to the body? Why does it feel like something to be us? For one of the boldest thinkers in neuroscience, solving this puzzle has been a lifetime’s quest. Now at last, the man who discovered the brain mechanism for dreaming appears to have made a breakthrough.

The very idea that a solution is at hand may seem outrageous. Isn’t consciousness intangible, beyond the reach of science? Yet Mark Solms shows how misguided fears and suppositions have concealed its true nature. Stick to the medical facts, pay close attention to the eerie testimony of hundreds of neurosurgery patients, and a way past our obstacles reveals itself.

Join Solms on a voyage into the extraordinary realms beyond. More than just a philosophical argument, The Hidden Spring will forever alter how you understand your own experience. There is a secret buried in the brain’s ancient foundations: bring it into the light and we fathom all the depths of our being.

The Hidden Spring is available to purchase via the Freud Museum London online shop >>Author Balint ConsultancyPosted on Categories News and Events

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Susie Orbach on BBC Radio 4

A Point of View, BBC Radio 4 at 8.50pm on Friday, February 19th

and 8.45am on Sunday, February 21st 2021

and on BBC Sounds

A Sense of an Opening

A Point of View

As a psychotherapist, Susie Orbach spends her working days helping people find words to express their emotional dilemmas. 

But the seesaw of the pandemic presents particular challenges. 

“We are not simply able,” she writes, “to breathe into a difficult situation, roll up our psychological sleeves or dig ourselves in without the emotional cost of feeling constrained, nervous, watchful, touchy.”

Producer: Adele Armstrong Show less Release date: 19 February 2021

9 minutes

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 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 (

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 (

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!

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Professor Brett Kahr’s Top Ten Books 2020

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 ‌  ‌

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