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.


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


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


CelebrityBombsImageDuring 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 (

Brett Kahr’s Top Ten Psychotherapy Books – 2018

brett-colourProfessor Brett Kahr certainly knows something about the art of authoring books. Over the years he has written or edited twelve volumes, and has served as series editor of some fifty further titles. Earlier this year, he published New Horizons in Forensic Psychotherapy: Exploring the Work of Estela V. Welldon (Karnac Books, 2018), and, most recently, How to Flourish as a Psychotherapist (Phoenix Publishing House, 2019), a “cradle to grave” portrait of the working life of the everyday psychotherapy practitioner.

Please visit the Confer website to see Professor Kahr’s recommendations of the ten best psychotherapy books of 2018.

In Therapy: The Unfolding Story

Susie_Orbach_In_Therapy_Expanded_CoverThis latest book from Susie Orbach, published in January 2018, is a comprehensive and expanded edition of her bestselling, In Therapy: How Conversations with Psychotherapists Really Work.

From the back cover of In Therapy: The Unfolding Story.

Worldwide, an increasingly diverse and growing number of people are seeking therapy.  We go to address traumas, to break patterns of behaviour, to confront eating disorders or addiction, to talk about relationships, or simply because we want to find out more about ourselves.

Susie Orbach has been a psychotherapist for over forty years.  Also a million-copy bestselling author, The New York Times called her the ‘most famous psychotherapist to have set up couch in Britain since Sigmund Freud’.  Here, she explores what goes on in the process of therapy through a series of dramatised case studies.

Insightful and honest about a process often necessarily shrouded in secrecy, In Therapy: The Unfolding Story is an essential read for those curiouis about, or considering entering, therapy. This complete edition takes us deeper into the world of therapy, with 13 further sessions and a new introduction.


Recent Publications

Brett Kahr has published Coffee with Freud, part of the Karnac Books “Interviews with Icons” series, in which he resurrects Sigmund Freud for a “posthumous interview” in which he discusses his life and work.  The book contains a great deal of unpublished or little-known historical material about Freud derived from Brett’s interviews with some of the last surviving Freud students and associates and from archival information contained in the Sigmund Freud Papers at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.


His earlier book in this same series, Tea with Winnicott, has now appeared in Spanish translation as Tomando el Té con Winnicott.

Brett’s essay on “Sexual Cruelty in the Marital Bed:  Unconscious Sadism in Non-Forensic Couples” has appeared in French translation in the psychoanalytical journal Dialogue.  The English version will appear in the forthcoming book on Sadism:  Psychoanalytic Developmental Perspectives, edited by Balint colleague, Amita Sehgal.

Brett has also written an historical essay for the Oxford University Press website on “Winnicott’s Banquet of 1966”, to mark the publication of The Collected Works of D.W. Winnicott in twelve volumes, edited by Lesley Caldwell and Helen Taylor Robinson on behalf of the Winnicott Trust (

Forthcoming Publications

During the last several months, Brett Kahr has had three journal articles accepted for publication. His paper on “ ‘How to Cure Family Disturbance’: Enid Balint and the Creation of Couple Psychoanalysis” will appear in the next issue of Couple and Family Psychoanalysis. His article on “Ursula Longstaff Bowlby (1916-2000):  The Creative Muse Behind the Secure Base” will appear in the next issue of Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis. And his clinical essay on “A Psychoanalytical Approach to Profound Disability” will be published in the next issue of the British Journal of Psychotherapy.

brett-colour-600He has also served as Series Editor for two publications which have appeared in his monograph series and for which he has written forewords.  Dr. Anna Koellreuter’s book What is This Professor Freud Like?: A Diary of an Analysis with Historical Comments – the publication of her grandmother’s hitherto unknown diary of her analysis with Sigmund Freud in the 1920s – represents a crucial publication for Freud Studies. And Dr. Alan Corbett’s book on Psychotherapy with Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse: The Invisible Men, has already received recognition as a useful clinical contribution to this important area of psychological practice, following Corbett’s interview on Woman’s Hour.  The former title appears in “The History of Psychoanalysis Series” from Karnac Books and the latter title in its “Forensic Psychotherapy Monograph Series”.

Susie Orbach’s Books of the Year

Susie Orbach’s books of the year for The Guardian.

Human Acts

“It is hard not to put Han Kang’s Human Acts (translated by Deborah Smith, Portobello) at the top of the list. Her way of telling about the events of a 10-day insurgency in Gwangju, South Korea, in 1980 and its psychological, spiritual and political aftermath opened my eyes to the cruelty and viciousness perpetrated on the youth of that city. Her writing is spare and yet clotted with emotion. I had to stop, and then I had to carry on.



Looking at human acts from another perspective, I greatly enjoyed Brett Kahr’s Tea with Winnicott (Karnac), an imagined encounter with the psychoanalyst and paediatrician Donald Winnicott, after his death. Formal yet playful with beautiful drawings by Alison Bechdel – a brilliant present for anyone interested in the life and work of this great clinician and thinker.


In light of the US election, a read of Andrew Samuels’ A New Therapy for Politics? (Karnac) wouldn’t go amiss.”