How to Flourish as a Psychotherapist

Author(s) : Brett Kahr

How to Flourish as a Psychotherapist

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : November 2018
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 222
  • Category :
    Individual Psychotherapy
  • Category 2 :
  • Catalogue No : 93845
  • ISBN 13 : 9781912691036
  • ISBN 10 : 9781912691
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How do you develop a truly rich and rewarding career in psychotherapy? How can you find joy in such painful work? How do you develop your skills and capacities in the field? How can you conquer your creative inhibitions? In short, how do you flourish as a psychotherapist? Brett Kahr answers these questions, and so many more, in his brilliant new book, painting a frank portrait of the world of the psychotherapist. Taking the reader through the life cycle of the therapist, he offers lots of practical advice, from assessing one’s suitability for the career, to managing one’s finances, to preparing for death. Kahr has produced a must-read, gripping account of how you can thrive in every respect in this complex and rewarding career.

How to Flourish as a Psychotherapist should be required reading for every therapist, anyone considering taking up the career, and everyone who has ever wondered what kind of person becomes a therapist.

Reviews and Endorsements

I recommend it not only to students and prospective students but to therapists at whatever stage of their career they may be. You’ll find plenty of solid evidence and inspiration to deepen and expand your practice, indeed your life.
Dr David Van Nuys, Shrink Rap Radio

I found myself responding with enjoyment and gratitude to this book… Kahr is happy to share all he has learned the long way… [and] has a very serious point to make about the importance of deriving ‘deep delight’ from our work.
Isobel Todd, Psychodynamic Counsellor, Sussex Counselling & Psychotherapy News

The book seems aimed at traditional psychoanalytic psychotherapists but its wisdom applies much more widely.
Roslyn Byfield MBACP (Accred), psychodynamic counsellor in private practice, Private Practice

This is an impressive and easy read (because it is well written and interesting) – a cradle-to-grave guide to building a successful practice – about not just surviving but “flourishing”. The book tackles all the stages of a career in psychotherapy, from choosing the most suitable course to what to do when you’re approaching retirement, and deals with real-life issues such as the envy of colleagues and back pain.
Martin Pollecoff, psychotherapist and UKCP chair, New Psychotherapist

… this detailed and candid book … provides the reader with a comprehensive and revealing description of how to build and maintain a successful psychotherapy practice. … In lively conversational style he offers fascinating and humorous scenarios and anecdotes from different stages of his career.
Caroline Hallett, British Journal of Psychotherapy

This is an impressive and easy read (because it is well written and interesting) – a cradle-to-grave guide to building a successful practice – about not just surviving but ‘flourishing’. [...] Not only did I invite Brett to join us, I bought a second copy of his book for a friend who is considering following this career path. So, think on this – greater love hath no man for a book he is reviewing than to buy two copies using money from his own pocket.
Martin Pollecoff, psychotherapist and UKCP chair, New Psychotherapist, Spring 2019

Table of Contents

Survival may not be enough

Part One
Building a Secure Base

A Noble, Complicated Passion
Mouthwash for the Mind
Zyklon B Gas in the Consulting Room
Friends with Oesophageal Cancer and Vascular Dementia

Assessing One’s Own Sanity
The Perfect Candidate
Pathological Motivations
Can We Afford to Train?

On Marrying a Library
Bibliophilia Psychotherapeutica
Curling Up with Sigmund Freud
My Three Favourite Reading Rooms

The Joys and Pitfalls of Training
A Child in a Sweet Shop
Exhausted, Frazzled, and Scrutinised
Legitimate at Last

Cultivating Brilliant Mentors
Dis-identifying from Disappointing Tutors
A Most Inspiring Lecturer from Mendoza
A Great Teacher Under Whom I Never Studied

Part Two
The Art of Prospering

Perpetual Pupils
Training Never Ends
How to Be a Medieval Monk
Swimming in Organisations

Attracting Referrals
The Art of Advertising
My Last 500 Patients
Answering the Telephone

Managing Money
Under-Charging and Over-Charging
Collecting Fees
Financial Planning for the Future

The Promotion of Expertise
Flagrant Exhibitionism or Neurotic Inhibitionism?
Generativity versus Stagnation
On Stage at the Royal Opera House

Patients as Persecutors and as Privileges
The Prevention of Burn-Out
Hate in the Countertransference
Delightful, Honourable People

Part Three
Thriving Beyond the Consulting Room

Nourishing Fledgling Colleagues
Enlivening the Classroom
On Being a Clinical Supervisor
A Little Drink After Work

Public Lecturing
My Very First Paper
The Length of the Applause
Addressing the United Nations

Daring to Research
The Humiliation of Edward Glover
A Search for the Traumatic Origins of Psychosis
Sexual Fantasies at the Dinner Table

Writing Articles and Books
The Agony of 300 Words and the Ease of 300,000
Publishing as a Relational Experience
“Not Another Book on Projective Identification”

Blue-Sky Projects
Freud Thinks Big
A Bestseller and a Serial Killer
Psychotherapists in Prison and in the Middle East

Part Four
Surviving Success

Avoiding Isolation
The Need for Solitude
Beware the Ethics Committee
Choosing the Best Dinner Parties

Navigating Envy
Winnicott’s Mutterings in Geneva
Thank God I’m Overweight
On Being Provocative

Nurturing the Ageing Spine
The Ultimate Narcissistic Injury
The Ten-Minute Gymnasium
Lounging on the Beach

Embracing Idiosyncrasy
Conquering Creative Entanglements
Mourning Unfulfilled Dreams
The Maverick in Mental Health

Preparing for Death
The Appointment of Clinical Executors
How to Retire Properly
On the Shaping of a Legacy

My Parting Thoughts

About the author

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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