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18:00 - 21:30


Standard fee £ 20.00
Student fee £ 15.00
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bpf house
Online via zoom
37 Mapesbury Rd
London, NW2 4HJ
United Kingdom

Cancelled: AUDIENCES WITH AUTHORS: How Freud Can Prevent the Next Pandemic and Other Catastrophes

Unfortunately this event has had to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. We will be rescheduling it.


for During his eighty-three years, Sigmund Freud endured innumerable emotional pandemics, ranging from vicious, unsubstantiated assaults by medical colleagues to gross, anti-Semitic abuse, as well as virological pandemics, which resulted in the death of his daughter, Sophie Halberstadt, from the so-called “Spanish Flu”.  He also underwent numerous primitive, eviscerating treatments for his fast-metastasising cancer, and during his final year of life, the Nazis nearly murdered his son, Martin Freud, and then arrested another daughter, Anna Freud. 

Extraordinarily, in spite of these overwhelming, unceasing pandemics, Freud survived and still maintained his creativity and his productivity. 

In the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19, Professor Brett Kahr delivered a fund-raising talk for Freud Museum London, exploring how Freud navigated innumerable personal tragedies and even managed to create a method of psychological healing which has helped countless millions deal with unbearable trauma and distress.  Drawing upon unpublished interviews and archival data, Kahr has painted a compelling portrait of Freud’s resilience amid catastrophe and has explored not only how Freud survived but, also, what lessons contemporary governments and health care organisations can learn from his wisdom.

In his recently published Freud’s Pandemics:  Surviving Global War, Spanish Flu, and the Nazis – the launch title of the “Freud Museum London Series”, released by Karnac Books – Kahr has argued that, by having inaugurated the modern mental health profession, Freud not only saved himself from destruction but also provided the rest of the planet with a form of psychological vaccination against emotional pandemics, thus creating the very bedrock of psychological herd immunity which, in spite of the constant global challenges, has prevented a more sinister mental apocalypse.

In this “Audiences with Authors” event, Dr. Poul Rohleder, Chair of the Scientific and Applied Activities Committee of the British Psychotherapy Foundation, will interview Kahr about his latest work and will discuss what lessons Freud can continue to teach us about the deep-seated death wishes which continue to savage our planet.

“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.


About the author:

Professor Brett Kahr has worked in the mental health profession for more than forty years.  He is Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology in London and, also, Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis and Mental Health at Regent’s University London.  Kahr is Chair of the Scholars Committee of the British Psychoanalytic Council and, also, Honorary Director of Research at the Freud Museum London.


A Consultant Psychotherapist at The Balint Consultancy, he works in private practice with individuals and couples in Central London.  He is a member of the British Psychotherapy Foundation and an Honorary Fellow of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy.


A trained historian, this is Kahr’s sixteenth book.


****** Please note this is a hybrid event - if you would like to attend online please specify or if you would prefer to attend at the bpf house please specify. I will send a confirmation email to all registrants a week before to confirm their preference. Space may be limited.

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Standard fee £ 20.00
Student fee £ 15.00
bpf trainees £ 0.00