Tea with Winnicott

Author(s) : Brett Kahr, Illustrator : Alison Bechdel

Part of The Interviews with Icons Series - more in this series

Tea with Winnicott

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : February 2016
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 300
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Category 2 :
    Popular Psychology
  • Catalogue No : 37363
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782203421
  • ISBN 10 : 1782203427

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Also by Alison Bechdel

Coffee with Freud

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Donald Winnicott is currently the most popular author in contemporary psychoanalysis. His writings are cited in bibliographies even more frequently than those of Sigmund Freud. And yet how many mental health professionals have actually managed to read and digest the nearly twenty published volumes of Winnicott’s books, chapters, essays, reviews, and letters?

Professor Brett Kahr, an award-winning biographer and scholar of long-standing, has resurrected Donald Woods Winnicott from the dead and has invited him for a memorable cup of tea at 87 Chester Square – Winnicott’s London residence – in which the two men discuss Winnicott’s life and work in compelling detail.

After digesting Kahr’s highly accessible “posthumous interview” with Winnicott, readers will have come to acquire a thorough overview of Winnicott’s corpus of writings, and will appreciate the historical context in which he scripted his pioneering psychoanalytical contributions.

A highly creative exercise in “imaginative non-fiction”, this book – the first in a new series entitled Interviews with Icons – will delight novices and experienced professionals alike.

Lavishly illustrated by Alison Bechdel, winner of the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” award, with original drawings of Winnicott based on unpublished photographs of Winnicott from Kahr’s own archive, this book will be the perfect guide for both Winnicott students and scholars, and the ideal gift for colleagues with an interest in the man and his work.

Reviews and Endorsements

Read a review of this title in 'BMJ Blogs: Medical Humanities'

‘A scintillating blend of history, biography, journalism, theatre, juicy trivia, and theoretical explication, Brett Kahr’s book-length “interview” with Winnicott is the best gift a reader of psychoanalysis can receive. As a writer, I experienced admiration and envy. As a reader, I experienced pleasure and gratitude. Seamlessly identifying with Kahr, I felt that I had met Winnicott in person myself. What a rare treat indeed!’
––Professor Salman Akhtar, Training and Supervising Analyst, Philadelphia Center of Psychoanalysis

‘Another Brett Kahr tour de force! Indefatigable historical skills, playful popularising genius, and a deep love and knowledge of Winnicott underpin this amusing and informative imaginary conversation with his hero and posthumous friend. A rare psychoanalytic treat: fun, readable, intellectually robust, gossip-busting, and authentic. Winnicott would be delighted.’
––Professor Jeremy Holmes, Visiting Professor, University of Exeter

‘As a child, I often witnessed Winnicott coming to tea with my parents. With the very same playfulness and artfulness that is Winnicott’s legacy, Brett Kahr has captured the sparkle, mischief, and magic that Winnicott embodied in person. Never gossipy, but informative and quirky, often hilarious, this book provides an evocation of the authentic Winnicott. A well-crafted guide to the history of British psychoanalysis.’
––Dr Oliver James, psychologist and author of Britain on the Couch, They F*** You Up: How to Survive Family Life, Affluenza, and Love Bombing

‘Brett Kahr brings his deep scholarship to this engaging and imaginative homage to Winnicott. The great theorist, empathic doctor, and proponent of play and creativity could have no better tribute. In Tea with Winnicott, Professor Kahr has loosened his tie and has let the world see his humour, his wisdom, and his humanity. This is a treat of a read.’
––Dr Susie Orbach, psychoanalyst and author of Fat is a Feminist Issue, The Impossibility of Sex, and Bodies

‘What a joy of a book! Brett Kahr is a most unique writer. I know of few, if any, colleagues, who have the capacity to be so creative, so scholarly, and so playful. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr Winnicott on a number of occasions in the 1960s, and I certainly recognise the man that Kahr has brought back to life in this instructive and entertaining cup of tea! This book will be essential reading not only for newcomers to Winnicott, but for experienced practitioners too.’
––Dr Estela V. Welldon, Emeritus Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy, Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, London

'This book is a wonderful introduction to the work of Donald Winnicott, and as a trained psychoanalytic psychotherapist, I found it helpful to have a guide along the way. I have read several such books and this is the one I would choose.I hope this can help communicate some of the developing interest in psychoanalytic understanding to the current generation of learning disability professionals.'’
––David O'Driscoll, visiting research fellow, Hertfordshire Partnership University, in Community Living Vol. 30 No. 2, Winter 2016

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.

More titles by Brett Kahr

Alison Bechdel is an American cartoonist. Originally best known for the long-running comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, she came to critical success in 2006 with her graphic memoir Fun Home, which was subsequently adapted as a musical and won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2015. She is a 2014 recipient of the MacArthur 'Genius' Award.

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