Freud Museum London: Psychoanalysis Podcasts A treasure trove of ideas in psychoanalysis. History, theory, and psychoanalytic perspectives on a diverse range of topics.

December 3, 2019  

In Hubris: The Road to Donald TrumpPower, Populism, Narcissism David Owen analyses and describes the mental and physical condition of political leaders past and present with a particular view that what went before paved the way to President Trump.

Of recent leaders there have been depressives, alcoholics, narcissists, populists and those affected by hubris syndrome and driven by their religious beliefs, as in Bush and Blair. But Donald Trump, a world-class narcissist, presents a completely different set of issues. This book is the first to place him in his historical, political, philosophical and medical context.

It is appropriate that it should come from someone uniquely qualified to do so. A writer on Military Conversations of 1906-14, the War Cabinet in 1940 and UK foreign policy post Brexit. David Owen was British Foreign Secretary 1977-79 and EU peace negotiator in the Balkans 1992-95. Also he has served on the board of several large international companies with interests in Russia, the US and the UK. As a former neuroscientist he has written extensively on hubris syndrome in journals like Brain and in 2008 in his classic book, In Sickness and In Power, still in print in a revised edition from 2016.

Part of an exciting series of talks and events which coincide with the exhibition ‘Freud, Dali and the Metamorphosis of Narcissus’, on display until 24 February 2019.

December 3, 2019  

In the wake of #MeToo, we have begun to talk more openly about the widespread harm inflicted by men on women. But little has been said about the fact that many of these men are also fathers.

Join author Katherine Angel for a discussion on her latest book Daddy Issues with Josh Cohen.

Bold, challenging and nuanced, Daddy Issues examines the place of fathers in contemporary culture and asks how the mixture of love and hatred we feel towards our fathers can be turned into a relationship that is generative rather than destructive. If we are to effectively dismantle patriarchy, it is vital that fathers are kept on the hook.

“A timely, necessary work from one of our most vital thinkers. Moving with ease across psychoanalysis, popular culture and literary criticism, weaponising the thought of Woolf, Winnicott and Solanas, Daddy Issues flips the familial script and takes aim at all our Daddies: domestic, cultural, patriarchal, even presidential. The result is a wincingly perceptive, deeply engaged book, one that takes us into the dark heart of a cultural fixation, then shows us, with deep care and empathy, the way back out.”—Sam Byers, author of PERFIDIOUS ALBION

Katherine Angel is the author of Unmastered, A Book on Desire Most Difficult to Tell (Penguin, FSG). Katherine has a PhD in the history of sexuality and psychiatry from the University of Cambridge, and teaches creative and critical writing at Birkbeck, University of London.

Josh Cohen is a psychoanalyst in private practice, and Professor of Modern Literary Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of many books, including How to Read Freud (2005), The Private Life (2013) and, most recently, Not Working (2019).

Every day more modalities emerge on the mental health scene, all competing to help people suffer less and thrive more.

These include talk therapies, somatic approaches, medications and other biological treatments from harm reduction programs to transcranial magnetic stimulation, life coaching, popular and accessible self-help groups, online programmes, men’s groups, women’s groups, podcasts and mental health apps (including ones like Woebot, in which app users can have a “conversation” with an artificial-intelligence therapist). Add these choices to insurance companies’ demands for time and cost efficiency, and providers of open ended talk therapies, such as psychoanalysis, need to explicitly articulate what they uniquely have to offer.

Within the context of this climate and broader conversation, Dr. Yael Baldwin will address the unique place and role of Lacanian psychoanalysis, with its emphasis on the importance of human speech and the effects of the signifier (a linguistic term for the sounds we produce, hear, or write during speech) as it relates to the formations and workings of the unconscious, the constitution of the ego, the profound role of lack, loss, and desire in our lives, and ultimately the Lacanian ethics of subjective responsibility as these relate to treatment.

Dr. Yael Baldwin is a clinical psychologist, Professor of Psychology and Chair of Social Sciences at Mars Hill University, and the author of many articles, anthology chapters, and books on Lacan, including: Let’s Keep Talking: Lacanian Tales of Love, Sex, and Other Catastrophes.  Most recently, she has a chapter entitled “On an ex post facto Syllabary” in Reading Lacan’s Ecrits: From ‘Signification of the phallus’ to ‘Metaphor of the subject.” 

June 24, 2019  

Artist Emma Smith with guests specialising in child development, children’s rights, and psychoanalysis.

Join artist Emma Smith for an evening of discussion with special guests from the fields of child psychotherapy and democratic education, and specialists in twentieth century feminist, psychoanalytic and social history.

Emma will introduce her exhibition, Wunderblock, and invite the panel to join her in unpacking some of the research, key themes, and ideas behind it. Areas for discussion will include the history of state interest and intervention into child development after the Second World War, the post-war emphasis on the accountability of the mother, and Emma’s interest in children and young people’s agency and ability to influence the world around them.

The event will cover the exhibition’s post-war context as well as contemporary approaches to working with children and young people. It will encourage reflection on the extent to which post-war research and debate still influences our attitudes to children and young people, mental health, teaching, and parenting.

Emma will be joined by Dr Shaul Bar-Haim from the University of Essex, Dr Helen McCarthy from the University of Cambridge, leading educator Ramin Farhangi, and child therapist and psychoanalyst, Antje Netzer-Stein.

Wunderblock is curated by Rachel Fleming-Mulford, and is commissioned by Birkbeck, University of London for the Hidden Persuaders Project, funded by the Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Fund.

Speaker biographies:

Dr Shaul Bar-Haim is a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Essex. Shaul’s research specialisms include the intellectual history of psychoanalysis and other twentieth-century 'psy' disciplines, the history of childhood, and critical theory. His forthcoming book is The Maternalists: Psychoanalysis, Motherhood, and the British Welfare State, University of Pennsylvania Press (2020).

Ramin Farhangi is a leading educator and advocate for democratic schooling. He is the cofounder of Ecole Dynamique (2015, Paris). This is based on the Sudbury concept, where the school is run by a direct democracy in which students and staff are equal in rights. Ramin is also the cofounder of EUDEC France, a network of 38 democratic schools and 30 projects. His TEDx talks have reached nearly 400 000 views.

Dr Helen McCarthy is University Lecturer in Modern British History at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of St John's College. Her current book project explores histories of women, mothering and paid work in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and will be published as Double Lives: A History of Working Motherhood by Bloomsbury Books in 2020.

Antje Netzer-Stein is a child and adolescent psychotherapist, a child and adult psychoanalyst, and a fellow of the British psychoanalytic society. Currently she works in private practice across a range of ages and teaches at the Tavistock Clinic, the Institute of Psychoanalysis and abroad. Previously she worked for many years as a consultant child psychotherapist in the adolescent and young adult service of the Tavistock.

April 9, 2019  

This book is about how we have relationships with our children, what gets in the way of a good connection and what can enhance it.

Psychotherapist and Author, Philippa Perry joins us to discuss her latest book, The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad that You Did), Published 3rd of March 2019.

The most influential relationships are between parents and children. Yet for so many families, these relationships go can wrong and it may be difficult to get back on track. In this book Philippa Perry shows how strong and loving bonds are made with your children and how such attachments give a better chance of good mental health, in childhood and beyond. Almost every parent loves their children, but by following the refreshing, sage and sane advice and steps in this book you will also find yourselves liking one another too.

Philippa Perry has been a psychotherapist for the past twenty years. A faculty member of The School of Life, she has presented several documentaries including The Truth about Children Who Lie for BBC Radio 4 and Being Bipolar for Channel 4. Most recently, Philippa has worked on a BBC Radio 4 programme, The Age of Emotion (forthcoming), and contributed towards the radio documentary Humiliation. She lives in London with her husband, the artist Grayson Perry, and her cat Kevin. They have one grown up daughter, Flo.

February 26, 2019  

Freud’s dream of a botanical monograph contains a reproach directed against him for having neglected the science of botany. In botany post-Linneaus, a vision of plant sexuality emerges that resembles in its freedom from constraints Freud’s account of the polymorphously perverse character of human sexuality before it comes under control of the Oedipus complex. My paper will argue that for modern artists working in a surrealist idiom, many of them women, botany – acting in concert with psychoanalysis – offers the means to defy restrictive norms governing gender and sexual relations. I will survey various artists where I believe this to be the case, examining in depth Helen Chadwick’s “Piss Flowers” (1991-2), cast from cavities produced by peeing into snow. When inverted, these casts present a surprising analogy to the pistils and stamens of a typical, bisexual flower. Drawing subversively upon Freud’s urethral eroticism, combined with her knowledge of Linnaeus, the “Piss Flowers” (created at a moment when Chadwick was collaborating with AIDS charities) propose a queer alternative to human sexual dimorphism.

February 26, 2019  

...a disappointment, an ear, and a snail.

February 26, 2019  

Salvador Dalí’s proposition for Symbolically Functioning Objects (1931) made an important contribution to the establishment of objects as a major priority for surrealism. In line with the surrealist group’s research strategies, this novel category of objects is presented in the framework of a game, one in which the construction of assemblages by participants is answered by a second phase of interpretation in terms of unconscious motivations. The challenges of such interpretation, however, were by no means unfamiliar to surrealists. Just a few years earlier, issue 9-10 of the group’s journal La Révolution surréaliste (1927) had published an exclusive extract of Freud’s The Question of Lay Analysis, while at least one psychoanalyst – Jean Frois-Wittmann – was close to the group at the turn of the decade, supporting the sense that Dalí’s appropriation of psychoanalytic method is carried out in a highly informed context, even if to very different ends: symbolism, eroticism, mobility are all harnessed in such a way as to reveal an extravagant complicity between subjects, objects and the motivations crossing between them. A conversation between analysis, play and the object is at stake here, one in which none of these parameters emerge unchanged.

February 26, 2019  
February 26, 2019  

This paper explores Freud and Dalí’s rather different ideas about censorship. Starting with their comically perplexing meeting, it will also look at the myth of the ‘crazy artist’ in the context of Freud’s ideas about the unconscious and narcissism.

December 17, 2018  

Lisa Appignanesi discusses her new book, Everyday Madness: on Grief, Anger, Loss and Love (September 2018) with Adam Phillips.

‘The small translucent bottle of shampoo outlived him. It was the kind you take home from hotels in distant places. For over a year it had sat on the shower shelf where he had left it. I looked at it every day.”

After the death of her partner of thirty-two years, Lisa Appignanesi was thrust into a state striated by rage and superstition in which sanity felt elusive. The dead of prior generations loomed large and haunting. Then, too, the cultural and political moment seemed to collude with her condition: everywhere people were dislocated and angry.

In this electrifying and brave examination of an ordinary enough death and its aftermath, Appignanesi uses all her evocative and analytic powers to scrutinize her own and our society’s experience of grieving, the effects of loss and the potent, mythical space it occupies in our lives.

With searing honesty, lashed by humour, she navigates us onto the terrain of childhood, the way it forms our feelings of love and hate, and steers us towards a less tumultuous version of the everyday.

This book may be short, but life, death, madness, love, and grandchildren, are all there seen through the eyes of a writer who is ever aware of the historical and current vagaries of woman’s condition.


Everyday Madness: on Grief, Anger, Loss and Love is available
from the Freud Museum Shop.

‘Appignanesi luminously conveys the wayward emotions that make bereavement a language that is hard to understand, yet speaks to us every day when we experience a great loss. You will find all of life in this rewarding, scholarly and entertaining conversation about freedom, Freud, fury, enduring love, and how mythic and modern families haunt each other’
Deborah Levy

‘Wonderful, moving, extraordinary. It is sui generis. I feel enormously privileged to have read it – twice. Its structure is remarkable – an enacting of the last two years. Bravo bravo’
Edmund de Waal

Lisa Appignanesi has been a university lecturer in European Studies and was Chair of the Freud Museum London. Her works of non-fiction include ‘Freud’s Women’ (with John Forrester), a biographical portrait of Simone de Beauvoir, and a history of cabaret. She has edited ‘The Rushdie File’ and a number of books on contemporary culture, as well as producing various films for television. Lisa Appignanesi lives in London with her two children.

Adam Phillips is a practising psychoanalyst and a visiting professor in the English department at the University of York. He writes regularly for the London Review of Books, the Observer and the New York Times, and he is General Editor of the Penguin Modern Classics Freud translations. His most recent book is In Writing and he recently curated an exhibition, The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined, at the Barbican, London.

December 13, 2018  

Why does the myth of Narcissus continue to fascinate and provoke the contemporary artistic imagination?

In what ways does classical mythology in general hold up a mirror to the anxieties and aspirations of the here-and-now?

This lecture will address these and other questions relating to the enduring power of ancient myth – above all, the tales of metamorphosis contained in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Writer and academic James Cahill will discuss how these stories have continued to infiltrate and inspire the art of the last hundred years, both overtly and in more oblique or unexpected ways, while also giving fundamental shape to modern literature and psychoanalysis. He will argue that Salvador Dalí’s iconic reimagining of the Narcissus myth stands at the crux between different modes of ‘response’ to the classical, looking simultaneously backwards (to the mythologizing paintings of the Renaissance, for instance) and forwards to the experiments of conceptual art and postmodernism – at once an illustration of the ancient myth and an enactment of its subliminal themes.

Part of an exciting series of talks and events which coincide with ‘Freud, Dali and the Metamorphosis of Narcissus’ on display at the museum from 3 October 2018 – 24 February 2019.

James Cahill is a writer based in London. He is the lead author of Flying Too Close to the Sun, a major new survey of classical myth in western art published by Phaidon in 2018. His book Ways of Being, an anthology of artists’ statements, was published this summer by Laurence King. In 2017 he completed a PhD at Cambridge University examining the relationship between contemporary British art and the classical tradition. He previously studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art and Oxford University. His writing has appeared in publications including ApolloThe Burlington MagazineElephantThe Erotic ReviewFriezeThe Los Angeles Review of Books, The London Review of Books, and The Times Literary Supplement. He has authored or co-authored books on artists including Angus Fairhurst, Maggi Hambling and Richard Patterson, and has curated exhibitions at King’s College London and the Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cambridge. His PhD research led to a postdoctoral fellowship (2017-18) at King’s College London, where he helped to set up Modern Classicisms, a multidimensional research project exploring the connections between antiquity and modern art.

Flying Too Close to the Sun, by Phaidon Editors, with an introduction by James Cahill
is available from the Freud Museum Shop.


October 22, 2018  

Join distinguished art historian and curator, Dawn Ades as she discusses her latest exhibition ‘Freud, Dali and the Metamorphosis of Narcissus’ with psychoanalyst Darian Leader.

Dalí was a passionate admirer of the father of psychoanalysis and finally met him in London on July 19th 1938. This year marks the 80th anniversary of this event. A new exhibition at the Freud Museum will explore the connection between the two men, starting from their one meeting, to which Dalí brought his recently completed painting The Metamorphosis of Narcissus.

The painting, on loan from the Tate, will be the central point in the exhibition for an exploration of the extensive influence of Freud on Dalí and on Surrealism. Also considered will be Freud’s own attitude to painting, illuminated by his response to this encounter with Dalí.

Part of an exciting series of talks and events which coincide with ‘Freud, Dali and the Metamorphosis of Narcissus’ on display the Museum from 3 October 2018 – 24 February 2019.

Dawn Ades is Professor Emerita of the History and Theory of Art at the University of Essex, Professor of the History of Art at the Royal Academy, a former trustee of Tate (1995-2005) and of the National Gallery (2000-2005) and a Fellow of the British Academy. In 2013 she was appointed CBE for services to higher education.

The many exhibitions she has organized or co-curated, in the UK and abroad, include Dada and Surrealism Reviewed (1978); Art in Latin America: the Modern Era 1820-1980 (1989); Dalí’s Optical Illusions (2000); Salvador Dalí: the Centenary Exhibition (2004); Undercover Surrealism: Georges Bataille and Documents (2006); Close-Up: Proximity and Defamiliarisation in Art, Photography and Film (2008); and Dalí/Duchamp, (Royal Academy and the Dalí Museum 2017-18).

Darian Leader is a psychoanalyst working in London and a member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research and of The College of Psychoanalysts-UK. He is the author of several books including: ‘Why do women write more letters than they post?’; ‘Freud’s Footnotes’; ‘Stealing the Mona Lisa: What Art Stops Us From Seeing’; ‘Why do people get ill?’ (with David Corfield) , ‘The New Black: Mourning, Melancholia and Depression’, ‘What is Madness?’ , ‘Strictly Bipolar’ and ‘Hands’, and frequently about contemporary art.

June 15, 2018  

Despite Freud’s traditional views on women, psychoanalysis was one of the first professions to open its doors to them. Feminists past and present may have contested Freud’s ever-changing understandings of femininity. They have also elaborated on them. 

In this discussion, Lisa Appignanesi co-author of the now classic Freud’s Women and psychoanalyst Susie Orbach, founder of the Women’s Therapy Centre and author of that perennial bestseller Fat is A Feminist Issue explore what women past and present have contributed to psychoanalysis.

Freud's Women is held in conjunction with the Freud Museum London's winter exhibition, So This is the Strong Sex, Early Women Psychoanalysts.

Lisa Appignanesi is Chair of the Royal Society of Literature and the Man Booker International Prize. Her many books include Mad, Bad and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors and Trials of Passion: Crimes in the Name of Love and Madness.

Susie Orbach is a leading psychoanalyst. Amongst her many books are Bodies and In Therapy. Founder of the Women's Therapy Centre and the Women's Therapy Centre Institute, Susie has recently received the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Psychoanalytic Council.

June 15, 2018  

Open Discussion 

Solitary Pleasures in art and psychoanalysis is a day-long conference to accompany Solitary Pleasures, a group exhibition at the Freud Museum.

The conference, like the exhibition, reveals masturbation as a topic that can transform our understanding of human subjectivity and sexuality. Perhaps the most common form of human eroticism, it is also one of the least theorised. The conference will explore our complex sexual, erotic, and intimate encounters with ourselves and one another by viewing masturbation as an all-inclusive practice – gay, lesbian, heterosexual, bisexual, trans, queer, +, offering possibilities of a shared exchange and an intimate encounter between couples, lovers and strangers in ways that redefine desires and eroticism’s possibilities.

Conference themes:

History – the cultural history of masturbation
Talking – masturbation in clinical practice and literature
Educating – masturbation in sexual health and wellbeing
Making – masturbation in creativity and art practice

June 15, 2018  

Open Discussion 

Solitary Pleasures in art and psychoanalysis is a day-long conference to accompany Solitary Pleasures, a group exhibition at the Freud Museum.

The conference, like the exhibition, reveals masturbation as a topic that can transform our understanding of human subjectivity and sexuality. Perhaps the most common form of human eroticism, it is also one of the least theorised. The conference will explore our complex sexual, erotic, and intimate encounters with ourselves and one another by viewing masturbation as an all-inclusive practice – gay, lesbian, heterosexual, bisexual, trans, queer, +, offering possibilities of a shared exchange and an intimate encounter between couples, lovers and strangers in ways that redefine desires and eroticism’s possibilities.

Conference themes:

History – the cultural history of masturbation
Talking – masturbation in clinical practice and literature
Educating – masturbation in sexual health and wellbeing
Making – masturbation in creativity and art practice

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