Professor Brett Kahr has worked in the mental health field since 1976.
He is Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology in London, in the United Kingdom, and, also, Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis and Mental Health at Regent’s University London.
Furthermore, Professor Kahr is Honorary Director of Research at the Freud Museum London – the former home of Professor Sigmund Freud – and he has worked at the museum in a variety of capacities since its foundation in 1986, occupying such posts as Deputy Director of the International Campaign for the Freud Museum, as well as a Trustee of both the Freud Museum and of Freud Museum Publications. In addition to his current research position, he is also the Series Editor of the new “Freud Museum London Series” of titles devoted to the history of mental health, published by the newly relaunched Karnac Books. The Freud Museum London has also appointed Professor Kahr as an Honorary Fellow.
Professor Kahr holds various additional honorary posts, including that of Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Psychotherapy and Mental Health at the Centre for Child Mental Health in London. Bournemouth University in the South of England appointed him as both a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Media and Communication, in recognition of his contribution to media psychology, as well as an External Member of the university’s Centre for the Study of Conflict, Emotion and Social Justice. He also serves as Consultant in Psychology to The Bowlby Centre.
He is a Registered Psychotherapist with the Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis, a constituent college of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, as well as with the British Psychoanalytic Council, also accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care. In recognition of his services to the psychotherapy profession, the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy awarded him an Honorary Fellowship in 2021.
After years of working at the British Broadcasting Corporation as a psychological commentator, Kahr became the Special Media Adviser and, also, the Chair of the Professional and Public Relations Committee to the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. For several years, he served on its Board of Trustees as a Co-Opted Trustee. He also held the position of Delegate to the Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. More recently, he became a Member of the Chief Executive’s Communications Strategy Group.
Additionally, he has sat on the board as a member of the Council of Institutions for the British Psychoanalytic Council and, also, on that organisation’s Future Strategy Working Group. Over the years, he has worked as the Chair of its Media Advisory Group and, subsequently, he became the Chair of its Academic Membership Committee and, subsequently, of the Scholars Committee, in which capacity he and his colleagues have worked to develop greater dialogue between clinicians and psychoanalytically orientated academics.
Kahr also holds the post of Consultant Psychotherapist at The Balint Consultancy in London, offering psychotherapeutic and organisational consultations. Furthermore, he works as Advisory Editor-in-Chief of Confer Books and of Karnac Books and as a member of both the Publishing Team and Publishing Board for these imprints. A long-standing adviser to Confer Limited, he established the “Diploma in Psychopathology: Theory and Practice” and the “Certificate in Psychopathology: Theory and Practice”, awarded by the continuing professional education service Confer, and serves as its Senior Course Director.
Professor Kahr trained initially as a research psychologist, with a special interest in the cognitive processes of autistic and schizophrenic individuals, and then trained, subsequently, as an adult psychoanalytical psychotherapist and as a couple psychoanalytical psychotherapist and, also, as a forensic psychotherapist and as a parent-infant psychotherapist.
A former Marshall Scholar at the University of Oxford, a former University Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Yale University, and a former Richard William Hopkins Memorial Scholar at Cornell University, Kahr undertook his further postgraduate clinical training at the Tavistock Clinic (subsequently the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust), the Tavistock Marital Studies Institute at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology (subsequently Tavistock Relationships at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology), the Portman Clinic, the London Centre for Psychotherapy (subsequently the British Psychotherapy Foundation), the School of Infant Mental Health, the Institute of Family Therapy and the Centre for Psychosocial Studies in the School of Psychology in the Faculty of Science at Birkbeck College in the University of London, and at the British Postgraduate Medical Federation and, also, the Faculty of Clinical Sciences of University College London in the University of London.
Additionally, he trained as a medical and psychiatric historian at the University of Oxford and at the University of London, specialising in medieval psychiatry. He also holds a diploma in the history of art from the University of Cambridge.
He is the author of sixteen books, including the best-selling Sex and the Psyche, published by Penguin Books, encapsulating his multi-year research as Principal Investigator of the British Sexual Fantasy Research Project. He has also published such books as D.W. Winnicott: A Biographical Portrait, which received the Gradiva Award for Biography from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, as well as Life Lessons from Freud, commissioned by the philosopher Alain de Botton for the School of Life / Pan Macmillan series on “Life Lessons from Great Thinkers”. His more clinically orientated books include Bombs in the Consulting Room: Surviving Psychological Shrapnel as well as Dangerous Lunatics: Trauma, Criminality, and Forensic Psychotherapy.
His books and chapters have appeared in American, Australian, Brazilian, British, Canadian, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish editions. His title Tea with Winnicott, chosen as one of the “Books of the Year” in The Guardian newspaper in 2016, has appeared subsequently in Farsi and Japanese and Spanish editions and Turkish editions, and its companion volume, Coffee with Freud, has appeared in Farsi and Japanese and Turkish translations. His most recent book, Freud’s Pandemics: Surviving Global Warfare, Spanish Flu, and the Nazis, appeared in September, 2021. He has also served as series editor for more than seventy-five further book titles on such diverse topics as forensic psychotherapy, the history of psychoanalysis, and couple psychoanalysis.
A media psychologist who began broadcasting in 1984, he worked for many years as Resident Psychotherapist on B.B.C. Radio 2, and, also, as Spokesperson for the B.B.C.’s mental health campaign “Life 2 Live”, broadcasting to an average of 15,000,000 people weekly in the United Kingdom.