Recent News from Professor Brett Kahr

February, 2018.

During the latter months of 2017, Professor Brett Kahr had the privilege of delivering a number of lectures to various organisations.  He had the pleasant experience of speaking to the Academic Faculty of the Anna Freud Centre in London on his work with profoundly disabled patients.  He also had the enjoyable opportunity of talking to the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing, at Wolfson College, University of Oxford, sharing a platform with its Director, Dame Professor Hermione Lee, the eminent biographer, and with Andrew O’Hagan, the noted novelist.  Kahr spoke about his works of “imaginative non-fiction”, namely, his “posthumous interviews” with Sigmund Freud and Donald Winnicott, in his books Coffee with Freud and Tea with Winnicott.  Additionally, he addressed the West Midlands Institute of Psychotherapy in Birmingham on the treatment of sexual symptoms; and he spoke about Freud’s psychiatric humanitarianism to the Caspari Foundation for educational psychotherapists.  He also talked to the College for Sexual and Relational Therapy on the dilemmas facing contemporary psychosexual practitioners, and he delivered a talk to Tavistock Relationships on the marital life of the famous psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, based on archival research and personal interviews with family members, exploring what lessons Winnicott’s marriages might teach contemporary couple psychologists.  Kahr also facilitated a day-long workshop at Tavistock Relationships on the traumatic origins of sexual fantasy, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the publication of his book Sex and the Psyche.

In terms of new publications, his book on Life Lessons from Freud has now appeared in two separate editions in Farsi.  His obituary of the distinguished psychoanalyst Dr. Robert Langs has been published in the Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling Psychology Reflections, while his obituary of the much-loved British psychotherapist Dr. Alan Corbett has appeared in the British Journal of Psychotherapy.  His article on “hostliness” in the art of psychotherapy has been published in The Psychotherapist, the newsletter of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, while his tribute to Karnac Books of London and, also, his reminiscences of Dr. R.D. Laing have been printed in New Associations, the newsletter of the British Psychoanalytic Council.  He has also written a foreword for the new, extremely moving memoir, Growing Up Alexander:  My Life with a Psychoanalytic Pioneer, by Ilonka Venier Alexander, granddaughter of one of Sigmund Freud’s leading disciples, Professor Franz Alexander – one of the landmark figures in the history of psychosomatic medicine.  His book review of Ruby Wax’s manual on mindfulness appeared in The New Review of The Observer.

Most recently, Brett Kahr published his tenth book, an edited Festschrift entitled New Horizons in Forensic Psychotherapy:  Exploring the Work of Estela V. Welldon (Karnac Books, 2018), in honour of the eightieth birthday of his esteemed former teacher and supervisor, the great Dr. Estela Welldon.  The book appears in the “Forensic Psychotherapy Monograph Series”, which Kahr has curated for the past twenty-one years, and contains essays by many of Welldon’s former trainees.  In addition to the editorial work by Kahr, the book contains his chapters on the history of forensic psychoanalysis – about working with offender patients over the last century – as well as his chapter on the perpetration of acts of sadism by non-forensic patients.  The International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy hosted a book launch at the Freud Museum London at which both Kahr and Welldon spoke.

In terms of media appearances, Kahr has recently been interviewed by broadcaster Gyles Brandreth for a documentary about the psychology of change, which appeared on B.B.C. Radio 4, and he has just participated in a ten-hour radio series on Sigmund Freud for France Culture, currently in production for broadcast during the summer of 2018.  Additionally, Kahr gave two interviews for the popular psychology podcast “Shrink Rap Radio”, in which Dr. David Van Nuys interviewed him about Tea with Winnicott and Coffee with Freud.

Kahr’s two most recent books are currently in press and will be published later in 2018.  The first, Bombs in the Consulting Room:  Surviving Psychological Shrapnel, explores Kahr’s work with dangerous and challenging patients.  The second, Celebrity Mad:  Why Otherwise Intelligent People Worship Fame, based on his Lionel Monteith Memorial Lecture at St. Thomas’s Hospital Medical School, examines the unconscious roots of celebrity worship.  Both books will appear from Routledge / Taylor and Francis.