How to be Intimate with 15,000,000 Strangers : Musings on Media Psychoanalysis book cover
1st Edition

How to be Intimate with 15,000,000 Strangers
Musings on Media Psychoanalysis

  • Available for pre-order on April 6, 2023. Item will ship after April 27, 2023
ISBN 9781032355177
April 27, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
304 Pages

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Book Description

How to be Intimate with 15,000,000 Strangers is an investigation into how the fields of mental health and media can work together more collaboratively.

Drawing upon his extensive experience in media psychoanalysis, Brett Kahr explores how a rich collaboration with radio, television, film, and other forms of public outreach can be accomplished while also embracing the weight and gravitas of depth psychology. In addition to describing his work as Resident Psychotherapist at the B.B.C., Kahr also examines the ways in which references to the media enter the consulting room and provide clinicians with important insights about hidden aspects of the minds of their patients. Moreover, he investigates the historical hesitancy of psychoanalysts – experts in confidentiality – to engage with such a public arena as the media, thus providing important insights about how one can collaborate broadly and loudly while also maintaining one’s ethical commitment to silence and privacy.

This book will be of interest to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, and anyone intrigued by the intersection between media and psychoanalysis.

Table of Contents

Prologue: How to Publicise Psychoanalysis  Section 1: Introduction to Media Psychoanalysis  1. The Bulimic Lorry Driver: Championing the Media in Spite of Hesitancy and Envy  Section 2: Media Psychoanalysis in Action  2. "You have five minutes to cure the nation": My Years at the BBC  3. How to Dramatise 13,553 Sexual Fantasies in Only Forty-Seven Minutes  4. Making Slough Happy: A Television Experiment  5. On Stage at the Royal Opera House  Section 3: Television in the Consulting Room  6. Television as Rorschach: The Unconscious Use of the Cathode Nipple  7. Dr. Paul Weston and the Blood-Stained Couch: Some Critical Comments on In Treatment  Section 4: Celebrity and the Psyche  8. Fame and the Unconscious: Toxic and Inspiring Aspects of Celebrity Culture  9. On Not Being Shakespeare, Mozart, or Picasso: Creativity, Bereavement, and the Wish to Be Famous  Section 5: Uneasy Bedfellows: Freud and His Progeny Confront the Media  10. Media Monasticism and Media Whoredom: The Uncomfortable Marriage Between Psychoanalysis and Popular Exposure  11. "I think analysts are not very good as broadcasters": Donald Winnicott's Contribution to Media Psychology  12. Conclusion: The Future of Media Psychoanalysis

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Professor Brett Kahr has worked in the mental health field for over forty years. He is Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology in London and Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis and Mental Health at Regent’s University London. A trained historian, Kahr is also both an Honorary Fellow as well as the Honorary Director of Research at the Freud Museum London. He is the author of seventeen books and series editor of over seventy-five additional titles. A Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University, he is also Consultant Psychotherapist at The Balint Consultancy. He works with individuals and couples in Central London.


'This is a rare and special treat ... a gem of a read. Professor Brett Kahr combines his scintillating Freudian intellect with his forty years of experience, in radio and television, to put media itself on the couch, revealing a whole gamut of captivating insights. An absolute delight!'

Dan Chambers, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Blink Films (one of Real Screen 100’s Top 5 Non-Scripted U.K. Indies) and former Director of Programmes, Channel Five Television, UK

'Brett Kahr invites us on his extraordinary journey of popularising psychoanalysis through the media. Writing with clarity, humour, empathy, and great warmth about his long experience as the United Kingdom’s foremost media psychoanalyst, he details his adventures on television and radio as well as sharing wide-ranging reflections about celebrity culture and the history of mediated psychoanalysis. Kahr thereby contributes enormously to dissolving the secretive aura of psychoanalysis while being deeply respectful to the boundaries of a private profession. At a time where psychoanalysis through popular culture is more needed than ever, this book is essential reading for clinicians, academics, and anyone concerned about the shared future of humanity and psychoanalysis.'

Professor Jacob Johanssen, Associate Professor in Communications, St. Mary’s University, and author of Fantasy, Online Misogyny and the Manosphere and co-author of Media and Psychoanalysis: A Critical Introduction

'No one has done more to lead psychoanalysis out of the closet and into the hearts and minds of 15,000,000 – and counting – than the brilliant Professor Brett Kahr. Readers are in for a treat, because he does so in beautiful, accessible language, never compromising theoretical or ethical rigor; a rare, impressive feat.'

Dr. Steven Kuchuck, Immediate Past President of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, and Faculty, New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and the National Institute for the Psychotherapies

'How to Be Intimate with 15,000,000 Strangers: Musings on Media Psychoanalysis makes a unique contribution to clinical media psychology. Professor Brett Kahr has devoted his career to the dissemination of complex psychoanalytical concepts among the general public. In this book, he uses creative and courageous means to demystify, destigmatise, and demarginalize psychoanalysis through his collaborations with the media. Entertaining and educational, this work inspires psychotherapists and psychoanalysts to venture beyond the consulting room and to provide public outreach.'

Professor Caroline Sehon, Director of the International Psychotherapy Institute, and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School, as well as Executive Committee Board Member and Chair of the Committee on Community Psychoanalysis of the American Psychoanalytic Association

'As Radio 2’s Resident Psychotherapist, Professor Brett Kahr was one of the first brave pioneers who championed mental health on the BBC’s airways, thus fulfilling the BBC’s remit to "inform, educate and entertain". His insights have paved the way to destigmatising mental illness and have forever changed the landscape of media psychoanalysis.'

Jenny Slater, Music Project Manager, European Broadcasting Union, BBC Radio, UK