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The distinguished American bibliophilic website,, has kindly chosen Professor Brett Kahr’s book on sexual fantasies, Who’s Been Sleeping in Your Head?:  The Secret World of Sexual Fantasies (New York:  Basic Books) – published in the United Kingdom as Sex and the Psyche (London:  Allen Lane / Penguin Books) – as one of its core titles.

In response, Professor Kahr has supplied brief reviews of his five favourite books on the “secret underbelly of sexual psychology”.

Please click on the following link:

The best books on the secret underbelly of sexual psychology

By Brett Kahr

Why am I passionate about this?

I have worked in the mental health profession for over forty years. Currently, I serve as Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology in London, and as Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis and Mental Health at Regent’s University London, as well as Honorary Director of Research at the Freud Museum London. I also hold posts as Chair of the Scholars Committee of the British Psychoanalytic Council and as Honorary Fellow of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, and I have authored eighteen books and have served as series editor for some eighty-five further titles.  Read more…


Hidden Histories of British Psychoanalysis:  From Freud’s Death Bed to Laing’s Missing Tooth

Professor Brett Kahr



The Balint Consultancy is delighted to announce that Professor Brett Kahr has just published his eighteenth book, entitled Hidden Histories of British Psychoanalysis:  From Freud’s Death Bed to Laing’s Missing Tooth, which appears as one of the inaugural titles in the “Freud Museum London Series”, published by Karnac Books.

On Friday, 17th November, 2023, at 4.00 p.m., Professor Kahr will have the opportunity to discuss this book “in conversation” with Susanna Abse, the former Chair of the British Psychoanalytic Council and a current Trustee of Freud Museum London, at Sigmund Freud’s old home at 20, Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX.

Here is the link to the event:

Freud’s 4 pm Session: Hidden Histories of British Psychoanalysis

And here is the link to the publisher’s website:

And here are the endorsements for the book, written by several esteemed members of the psychoanalytical community:


“Based upon painstaking archival research and personal interviews with the London glitterati of psychoanalysis (e.g., John Bowlby, Enid Balint, Pearl King, R.D. Laing), Brett Kahr, the most eloquent, enlightened, and entertaining historian of psychoanalysis, offers us yet another masterpiece.  Replete with luminous and dark glimpses into the development of psychoanalysis in the United Kingdom and into the virtuosity and whims, even madnesses, of his dramatis personae, Kahr’s book is as informative as it is a pleasure to read!”

Professor Salman Akhtar, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, Jefferson Medical College, and Training and Supervising Analyst, Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia, whose many books include Tales of Transformation:  A Life in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, and, more recently, the multi-volume Selected Papers of Salman Akhtar.


“This is a very sneaky book.  Ostensibly it is a series of tales from the history of Anglophone psychoanalysis in the twentieth century.  But, in reality, it is a readable, often funny, account by the best historian of psychoanalysis of his generation, Brett Kahr.  As much autobiography as historical account, it shows what happens when a brilliant mind meets an intractable object.  The essay on the young student Brett Kahr and R. D. Laing’s missing tooth is itself worth the price of the volume, and has the possibility of becoming the classic essay on the pitfalls of celebrity.”

Professor Sander L. Gilman, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus at Emory University, and author of numerous books, including Seeing the Insane:  A Cultural History of Madness and Art in the Western World and The Case of Sigmund Freud:  Medicine and Identity at the Fin de Siècle.


“Using storytelling, clinical and research tools, Brett Kahr’s sorcery brings to life several well-known personalities in the British psychoanalytic panoply – its “superstars” as well as its “bad boys”.  While profoundly respectful, Kahr’s thoughtful critique of rigorously sourced archival papers, oral history research, and personal interviews rewards the readers with much wisdom and inspiration from foundational figures of psychoanalysis.”

Professor Joan Raphael-Leff, Ph.D., Retired Professor of Psychoanalysis at University College London and at the University of Essex, and Leader of the Academic Faculty of Psychoanalytic Research at the Anna Freud Centre, whose many books include Between Sessions and Beyond the Couch, and, more recently, The Marion Milner Tradition:  Lines of Development:  The Evolution of Theory and Practice Over the Decades.


“Brett Kahr has earned a reputation as the eminent narrator and in-depth analyst of the vagaries and the most protracted motifs that animate the legacy of psychoanalysis.  In an engaging and well-documented fashion, Kahr takes us back to the contingent elements that, together, gave psychoanalysis in the United Kingdom its inescapable force and necessary radiance.  Kahr’s Hidden Histories is a labour of love that in its caring attentiveness humanises the great figures on whose shoulders it stands.  Highly readable and greatly enticing, this latest addition to the Freud Museum’s and Karnac’s new promising series, will speak to professionals, historians, and the wider public alike.”

Professor Orna Ophir, Ph.D., Associate Director of The DeWitt Wallace Institute for Psychiatry, Weill-Cornell Medical College, New York, and a Member of the History of Psychoanalysis Committee of the International Psychoanalytical Association, and author of Schizophrenia:  An Unfinished History.


Rubenesque is not a dirty word

Susie Orbach

How did the Flemish master’s pink, plump women become offensive to modern eyes? Blame Twiggy

The Daily Telegraph September 23rd 2023



Professor Brett Kahr





In this compelling book, the first in the new “Freud Museum London Series”, Professor Brett Kahr describes how Sigmund Freud endured innumerable emotional pandemics during his eighty-three years of life, ranging from unsubstantiated accusations by medical colleagues to anti-Semitic abuse, the loss of one daughter to Spanish flu and the arrest of another child by the Gestapo, to his own painful cancer treatments and his final flight from Adolf Hitler’s Austria.  Freud navigated these personal and political tragedies while simultaneously creating a method of healing which has helped countless millions deal with unbearable trauma and distress.

Kahr argues that, by having created psychoanalysis, Freud not only saved himself from destruction but also provided the rest of the world with the means to achieve a form of psychological vaccination against emotional and mental distress.

The Freud Museum London and Karnac Books have joined forces to publish a new book series devoted to an examination of the life and work of Sigmund Freud alongside other significant figures in the history of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, and depth psychology more broadly. The series will feature works of outstanding scholarship and readability, including biographical studies, institutional histories, and archival investigations.  New editions of historical classics as well as translations of little-known works from the early history of psychoanalysis will also be considered for inclusion.


“A vivid account of how Sigmund Freud coped with the great ‘pandemics’ of his time, from the Great War and Spanish Flu to cancer and the Nazis.  By assessing how my great-grandfather might have addressed COVID-19 – the pandemic of our own times – Professor Kahr opens up a series of insights into the life of the man who championed the radical innovation of actually listening to people suffering from mental affliction.  Meticulously researched, and written with real pace, this book is a timely reminder of the psychological roots of our response to national trauma.” – Lord Freud, great-grandson of Sigmund Freud and President of the Freud Museum London

“Never has there been a time when Freud was needed so badly.  Post-pandemic blues would not have been new to Freud as Brett Kahr describes in his phenomenal book, which I feel was sent to save us from confusion and turmoil. A must read!” –  Jane McAdam Freud, artist, and great-granddaughter of Sigmund Freud.

“Brett Kahr’s immersion in Freud – the gift that keeps on giving – will help us survive the trauma of pandemics in our own lives.  Kahr draws insightful parallels from Freud’s own struggles and serves as a timely and fascinating reminder of the ubiquitous nature of pandemics and why suicide isn’t the answer.” –  Professor the Baroness Hollins, Past President of the British Medical Association, Past President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Professor Emerita at St. George’s Hospital Medical School, University of London.


Prologue: Fundraising for Freud

Introduction:  “Wouldn’t it be better if we all killed ourselves?”

Chapter 1:  The Fraudulent Jewish Pervert:  Navigating Decades of Collegial Hatred

Chapter 2:  The Great War and the Spanish Flu:  An Imprisoned Son and a Dying Daughter

Chapter 3:  From Compulsive Cigar-Smoking to Deadly Carcinoma:  Freud’s Battle with Physical Pain

Chapter 4:  Death Wishes and the Nazis:  How Freud Escaped from Austria

Chapter 5:  Freud’s Recipe for Creativity and Survival:  The Writing Cure and the Role of Penetrativity

Conclusion:  If Sigmund Freud Could Have Supervised Anthony Fauci


Scholarly Clarifications




Publisher: Karnac Books

Published: September 2021

Format: Paperback

Pages: 300

Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.73 x 23.4 cm


Karnac Books Shop.

Freud Museum London Shop.

Freud’s Pandemics: Surviving Global War, Spanish Flu and Nazis – Brett Kahs



y Professor Brett Kahr

            Professor Brett Kahr published his fifteenth book earlier this year, entitled Dangerous Lunatics:  Trauma, Criminality, and Forensic Psychotherapy (Confer Books, 2020;

            One of the inaugural titles released by the new psychotherapeutic press Confer Books – Publishers of the Mind – this book examines the nature of criminality across the centuries.  

            Drawing upon his interest and training in both psychoanalysis and history, Kahr examines the ways in which our ancestors have treated criminal offenders from ancient times until the present day, exploring the growing humanisation of forensic mental health.

            In olden times, criminals would be tortured and executed; fortunately, nowadays, many countries have adopted a more compassionate approach to treatment and rehabilitation, facilitated by the developments in the fields of forensic psychotherapy and forensic psychoanalysis, which offer in-depth, ongoing treatment, in an effort to help offender patients to work through the traumata which have propelled them to commit violent crimes.

            This book reached the Number One spot on the Karnac Books best-sellers list shortly after its release.

            Herewith we include the Table of Contents for interested parties, as well as kindly endorsements from two of the United Kingdom’s leading forensic psychoanalytical specialists:



The Man Who Shot His Mother and Father in the Face.

Chapter One.

Torture and Execution:  Ancient Remedies for Perpetrators.

Chapter Two.

The Medicalisation of Insanity:  Hereditary Taint and the Criminal Brain.

Chapter Three.

The Freudian Challenge:  Towards a Humanisation of Offenders.

Chapter Four.

The Growth of Forensic Psychotherapy:  From Punishment to Treatment.

Chapter Five.

Paedophilia:  The Sexualisation of Trauma.

Chapter Six.

Murder:  The Castration of Safety.


Blue-Sky Thinking:  The Future of Forensic Mental Health.


“Only Brett Kahr could produce such a masterpiece as Dangerous Lunatics.  Written in a stunning literary style, Kahr’s book combines his unique expertise as a clinician and as an historian to tell this vital tale about how we have treated criminals throughout the ages and how we might do much, much better in the future!”

Professor Estela V. Welldon, Emeritus Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy, Portman Clinic, London, and Honorary President for Life of the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy.

“What a magnificent book!  A carefully researched ‘tour de force’, encompassing a history of criminality and madness through exquisitely described stories.  It offers hope that one day we might actually rehumanise the dehumanised, making the world a safer place for all.”

Dr. Carine Minne, Consultant Psychiatrist in Forensic Psychotherapy, Portman Clinic and Broadmoor Hospital.


Brett Kahr’s Top Ten Books of 2019

Brett Kahr’s Top Ten Books of 2019

Professor Brett Kahr has recently published his “Top Ten Books” list of 2019 on the Confer website, which tends to be read by 80,000 to 100,00 people per annum. To learn which books made it onto Professor Kahr’s list, please visit Confer.

Image Source: Confer


Recently Written By Susie Orbach

Foreword in Frances Aviva Blane FAB., Starmount Publishing London 2019

“And Then There is Oedipus” in Contemporary Psychoanalysis Vol 54, No 4,  2019

“Climate Sorrow” in This Is Not A Drill, Penguin Random House, 2019

Foreword in Intellectual Disability and Psychotherapy: The Theories, Practice and Influence of Valerie Sinason. Ed. Alan Corbett, Routledge Oxford and New York, 2019


November, 2019, Update From Professor Brett Kahr

November, 2019, Update From Professor Brett Kahr

BrettKahr Podium

            During the last two months, Professor Brett Kahr has published two new books, Bombs in the Consulting Room:  Surviving Psychological Shrapnel (Routledge, 2020) and, also, Celebrity Mad:  Why Otherwise Intelligent People Worship Fame (Routledge, 2020), with a third one, On Practising Therapy at 1.45 A.M.:  Adventures of a Clinician (Routledge, 2020), scheduled for publication on 6th December, 2019.

Additionally, five of his previously published books have been re-released in new hardback editions:  Forensic Psychotherapy and Psychopathology:  Winnicottian Perspectives; The Legacy of Winnicott:  Essays on Infant and Child Mental Health; Tea with Winnicott; Coffee with Freud; and New Horizons in Forensic Psychotherapy: Exploring the Work of Estela V. Welldon.

Kahr has also published a number of papers, including:

Kahr Brett (2019).  ‘Slashing the Teddy Bear’s Tummy with a Carving Knife’:  The Infanticidal Roots of Schizophrenia.  British Journal of Psychotherapy, 35, 399-416.

Kahr, Brett (2019).  Promiscuous Virgins and Celibate Whores:  Traumatic Origins of the Erotic Tumour.  Journal of Psychological Therapies, 4, 105-119.

Kahr, Brett (2019).  The First Mrs Winnicott and the Second Mrs Winnicott:  Does Psychoanalysis Facilitate Healthy Marital Choice?  Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 9, 105-131.

Kahr, Brett (2019).  On Winnicott’s Marriages:  A Response.  Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 9, 151-153.

Kahr, Brett (2019).  A Neglected Work of Genius:  John Bowlby on “Hysteria in Children.  Attachment:  New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 13, 144-151.

Kahr, Brett (2019).  John Bowlby and the Birth of Child Mental Health. Attachment:  New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 13, 164-180.

Kahr, Brett (2019).  Penile Trauma and Genital Exhibitionism:  From Castration Anxiety to Verbal Potency.  International Journal of Forensic Psychotherapy, 1.

(Currently in press, due for publication in December, 2019).

Shorter pieces include a “Book Clinic”, which appeared in The New Review magazine of The Observer newspaper, as well as a brief essay on Sigmund Freud’s death bed, published in Athene, the magazine of the Freud Museum London, and archived on the museum’s website:

Kahr, Brett (2019).  Book Clinic:  A Weekly Series Answering Readers’ Questions.  The New ReviewThe Observer.  20th October, p. 51.  [].

Kahr, Brett (2019).  Freud’s Death Bed:  Notes on the ‘Invalid Couch’ at Maresfield Gardens.  Athene:  Magazine 2019, pp. 6-9.  [].

In addition to these publications, Kahr has presented a number of talks, which include lectures on the history of psychiatry, on schizophrenia, and on hysterical and obsessive-compulsive neuroses for the newly-inaugurated “Diploma in Psychopathology:  Theory and Practice”, sponsored by the continuing professional development organisation Confer, for which Kahr serves as Senior Course Director.  Additionally, he has delivered keynote addresses to the Severnside Institute for Psychotherapy in Bristol and to the West Midlands Institute for Psychotherapy in Birmingham on the psychotogenic impact of unconscious parental death wishes.  He also spoke at J.W.3 in North London with colleague Dr. Valerie Sinason as part of a special event on “How Freud Fled the Nazis”.  Most recently, he has delivered the first two lectures of a new course on “Understanding Psychotherapy:  A Social History of the Mind”, at Imperial College in the University of London, co-sponsored by the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy and chaired by its Chief Executive, Professor Sarah Niblock.  Additionally, he facilitated a day-long workshop with live webcast for Confer, at Foyle’s bookshop in Central London, on “The Pleasures and Perils of a Psychotherapeutic Career:  How to Flourish in the Impossible Profession”.

Other activities have included a radio interview for Men’s Radio Station on the psychological implications of climate change as well as an interview for Radio Perth in Australia about the psychology of celebrity.  Kahr has also become Consultant Editor to the newly founded periodical The International Journal of Forensic Psychotherapy, the official publication of the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy, supervised by the Editors-in-Chief, Jessica Collier and Dr. Carine Minne – two distinguished forensic mental health practitioners.


Professor Brett Kahr Recommends Some Books For Blended Families

Professor Brett Kahr Recommends Some Books For Blended Families


For The Guardian newspaper’s “Book Clinic” Professor Brett Kahr considered the following question:

“My partner and I have been dating for some time and are committed to each other in the long term. We are about to introduce our respective children to one another. There are four of them aged between six and 11. What books could we read to set us up for success with our blended families?”

You can learn which books Professor Kahr warmly recommends by reading the full article at





During the last month, Professor Brett Kahr has published two new books, Bombs in the Consulting Room: Surviving Psychological Shrapnel (Routledge, 2020) and, also, Celebrity Mad: Why Otherwise Intelligent People Worship Fame (Routledge, 2020).

The first book, Bombs in the Consulting Room, describes Kahr’s work with challenging and dangerous patients and explores some of the complex situations that often emerge in clinical psychotherapeutic practice (

The second book, Celebrity Mad, derives from the talk that he delivered some years previously at St. Thomas’s Hospital, London, as the Lionel Monteith Memorial Lecture, in honour of one of the founders of the British psychotherapy movement. This book explores not the psychology of the celebrity, but, rather, the psychology of the crowd, and what infantile factors propel us to become so preoccupied with the intimate lives of others (