Bombs in the Consulting Room: Surviving Psychological Shrapnel

Author(s) : Brett Kahr

Bombs in the Consulting Room: Surviving Psychological Shrapnel

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : September 2019
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 304
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 93267
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782206606
  • ISBN 10 : 1782206604
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What does one do when a dangerous paedophile, six feet and seven inches in height, threatens to kill you? How does one manage when a brain-damaged, psychotic patient spits on the office floor two hundred times during the first consultation? And what does one say when one member of a warring couple reveals the most horrific acts of sexual cruelty?

In perhaps his most gripping book to date, Professor Brett Kahr offers colleagues a detailed glimpse into the challenge of working with highly distressed and disturbing individuals in long-term psychotherapy. Kahr explains the ways in which such deeply troubled people hurl “bombs” into the consulting room, leaving considerable “psychological shrapnel” in their wake.

The book contains five sensitively and compellingly written clinical chapters, followed by several historical chapters which explore the ways in which Donald Winnicott attempted to manage the bombs in his consulting room, often of his own making. Kahr then examines the pioneering contribution of Enid Eichholz (later Enid Balint) who, during the Second World War, created marital psychoanalysis as a means of dealing with couples ravaged by actual wartime bombs. The book concludes with an historico-clinical chapter on how sensitive and sophisticated classical interpretation can reduce the impact of clinical bombs. Kahr even provides us with an examination of his favourite “top ten” interpretations in the history of psychoanalysis!

A unique and helpful volume, written by a practitioner steeped equally in psychoanalysis and history, Bombs in the Consulting Room: Surviving Psychological Shrapnel will be essential reading for anyone who has ever felt frightened while treating patients.

About the Author(s)

Professor Brett Kahr has worked in the mental health profession for over forty years. A clinical registrant of both the British Psychoanalytic Council and the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, he is Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology in London and, also, Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis and Mental Health at Regents University London.

Over the decades, Kahr has worked in the National Health Service and in private practice in Central London with both individuals and couples. He is currently Consultant Psychotherapist to The Balint Consultancy and, additionally, Consultant in Psychology at The Bowlby Centre. He also serves as Chair of the Scholars Committee of the British Psychoanalytic Council, as well as Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Psychotherapy and Mental Health at the Centre for Child Mental Health.

Professor Kahr is the Honorary Director of Research at Freud Museum London and, also, an Honorary Fellow of the museum. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of the International Campaign for the Freud Museum from 1986-1987 and, more recently, as Trustee of both Freud Museum London and of Freud Museum Publications from 2011-2020.

In addition to his clinical practice, Kahr has collaborated with the media in order to promote mental health knowledge. Formerly Resident Psychotherapist on BBC Two, broadcasting about mental health issues to millions of listeners, he has appeared on over one thousand radio and television programmes. In recognition of his work in this field, he has become Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University. The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy recently awarded him an Honorary Fellowship for his contributions to public service.

Professor Kahr is the author of sixteen books and series editor of more than seventy-five additional titles on a wide range of subjects.

His solo-authored books cover a range of topics, including clinical investigations of extreme psychopathology and forensic mental health, such as his titles, Bombs in the Consulting Room: Surviving Psychological Shrapnel, as well as Dangerous Lunatics: Trauma, Criminality, and Forensic Psychotherapy. He has also written on Sex and the Psyche, a Waterstones Non-Fiction Bestseller and a chosen title in the Sunday Times Book Club, based on his study of the traumatic, unconscious roots of over 20,000 adult sexual fantasies, as well as Celebrity Mad: Why Otherwise Intelligent People Worship Fame. His historically orientated books include the very first biography of Donald Winnicott, entitled D.W. Winnicott: A Biographical Portrait, which received the Gradiva Award for Biography, as well as the popular titles, Life Lessons from Freud, Tea with Winnicott, and Coffee with Freud. Most recently, he has released Freud's Pandemics: Surviving Global War, Spanish Flu, and the Nazis, the inaugural title in the new Freud Museum London Series of history books, published by Karnac Books exploring not only how Sigmund Freud navigated the tragedies of his own lifetime but, also, how he would have handled the COVID-19 pandemic and what lessons our world leaders might learn from those pioneering psychoanalytical concepts.

Professor Kahr has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Karnac Books and has produced many books with this publisher and has also served as series editor or series co-editor or consultant to four of its monograph series. More recently, he has become Series Editor of the Freud Museum London Series, hosted by Karnac Books in association with Freud Museum London, as well as Advisory Editor-in-Chief to Karnac Books and to its sibling imprint Confer Books.

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