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Friday, November 3, 2023
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center

Dr. Susie Orbach
 in conversation with Dr. Valerie Steele about “Food and The Body” 11.50am

Full details can be found at

model wearing a ramen ensemble while eating ramen out of a bucket hat

BH signature ramen print set, Bobblehaus, 2020. Photographed by Madeline Thomas for Bobblehaus.

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:

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.

The Hundred Year Ego

It’s 100 years since Sigmund Freud wrote The Ego and the Id, a book that reshaped the way we think about ourselves and the workings of our minds. David Baker explores the ego’s journey over the past century – from the inflated egos of dictators and the music of Hollywood films, to the mind-expanding love-ins of the hippy era and the greed is good ethos of neoliberalism. And, he asks, what can we make of claims that artificial intelligence is developing an ego of its own?

Susie Orbach, Contributor

Michael Rosen with Susie Orbach

Word of Mouth – Therapy Cure BBC Radio 4

Susie Orbach talks to Michael Rosen about the use and misuse of “therapy speak”. With the rise of mental health awareness, it seems to have leaked out of the therapist’s office and into our homes. Instead of saying someone’s getting on our nerves, we talk about “boundaries”; instead of accusing someone of lying, we call them a “gaslighter”; instead of telling someone we’re listening, we say we’re “holding space”. 
But do these words mean what we think they do? And do they help or heighten the issues we are trying to discuss?

We don’t have to be overwhelmed by climate anxiety. Feel the pain, then act.

Susie Orbach

We might be scared and not know what to do. But as a new film reveals, that can help.

Film-maker Josh Appignanesi, right, in a still from his film My Extinction. Photograph: Publicity image

It doesn’t matter which week we choose. There is always a climate emergency; an emergency we can close our ears and eyes to. Two weeks ago, it was the blanketing of New York in a cloud of smoke from Canada. Last week, Beijing recorded the hottest June since records began. All over the world, sea levels rise. Drought or flooding ensues. And the loss of habitats and species. We can get frightened and find it hard to hold the knowledge of what is occurring.

As filmmaker Josh Appignanesi shows in his new film My Extinction, which will be released on 30 June, allowing himself to feel the real-time effects of climate change is uncomfortable. Appignanesi, who recycles yet makes car commercials, turns the camera on himself as his climate concerns start to make him feel disgruntled. He feels put out and inconvenienced. And he ends up getting far more involved in climate work than he’d ever thought possible.

Read further…

Professor Kahr’s Latest Book on Media Psychoanalysis.

On 31st May, 2023, Professor Brett Kahr’s seventeenth book will be published, entitled 

How to Be Intimate with 15,000,000 Strangers: Musings on Media Psychoanalysis.

This book describes the relationship between psychoanalysis and the media, and chronicles Kahr’s own work as a mental health broadcaster, having worked as Resident Psychotherapist at the British Broadcasting Corporation and having appeared on over 1,000 radio and television programmes over the years.

Publisher’s Website.

Amazon Website.

Professor Brett Kahr

This new publication appears in the “Psychoanalysis and Popular Culture Series”, edited by Professor Caroline Bainbridge and Professor Candida Yates, founder of “Media and the Inner World” – a project commissioned by the Arts Research Council, which has integrated mental health workers with cultural practitioners and academics.


“No one has done more to lead psychoanalysis out of the closet and into the hearts and minds of 15,000,000 – and counting – than the brilliant Professor Brett Kahr.  Readers are in for a treat, because he does so in beautiful, accessible language, never compromising theoretical or ethical rigour; a rare, impressive feat.”

Dr. Steven Kuchuck, Immediate Past President of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, and Faculty, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and the National Institute for the Psychotherapies. 


“This is a rare and special treat … a gem of a read.  Professor Brett Kahr combines his scintillating Freudian intellect with his forty years of experience, in radio and television, to put media itself on the couch, revealing a whole gamut of captivating insights.  An absolute delight!”

Dan Chambers, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Blink Films (one of Real Screen 100’s Top 5 Non-Scripted U.K. Indies) and former Director of Programmes, Channel Five Television.


“Brett Kahr invites us on his extraordinary journey of popularising psychoanalysis through the media.  Writing with clarity, humour, empathy, and great warmth about his long experience as the United Kingdom’s foremost media psychoanalyst, he details his adventures on television and radio as well as sharing wide-ranging reflections about celebrity culture and the history of mediated psychoanalysis.  Kahr thereby contributes enormously to dissolving the secretive aura of psychoanalysis while being deeply respectful to the boundaries of a private profession.  At a time where psychoanalysis through popular culture is more needed than ever, this book is essential reading for clinicians, academics, and anyone concerned about the shared future of humanity and psychoanalysis.”

Professor Jacob Johanssen, Associate Professor in Communications, St. Mary’s University, and author of Fantasy, Online Misogyny and the Manosphere and co-author of Media and Psychoanalysis:  A Critical Introduction.


How to Be Intimate with 15,000,000 Strangers:  Musings on Media Psychoanalysis makes a unique contribution to clinical media psychology.  Professor Brett Kahr has devoted his career to the dissemination of complex psychoanalytical concepts among the general public.  In this book, he uses creative and courageous means to demystify, destigmatise, and demarginalize psychoanalysis through his collaborations with the media.  Entertaining and educational, this work inspires psychotherapists and psychoanalysts to venture beyond the consulting room and to provide public outreach.”

Professor Caroline Sehon, Director of the International Psychotherapy Institute, and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School, as well as Executive Committee Board Member and Chair of the Committee on Community Psychoanalysis of the American Psychoanalytic Association.


“As Radio 2’s Resident Psychotherapist, Professor Brett Kahr was one of the first brave pioneers who championed mental health on the B.B.C.’s airways, thus fulfilling the B.B.C.’s remit to “inform, educate and entertain”.  His insights have paved the way to destigmatising mental illness and have forever changed the landscape of media psychoanalysis.”

Jenny Slater, Music Project Manager, European Broadcasting Union, B.B.C. Radio.