Professor Brett Kahr

In this final lecture for the course on “Psychopathology: Theory and Practice”, Professor Brett Kahr will review the work that we have undertaken thus far, reminding us of the importance of diagnosis, aetiology, and treatment in the study of psychological distress. In particular, he will focus on the question of aetiology – the causal factors of mental illness – and will review the historical tension between supporters of the biopathogenic approach and the psychopathogenic approach.

Professor Kahr will then explore the many sub-varieties of psychogenic variables that contribute to the aetiology of psychopathology, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse, as well as macro-separations (e.g., bereavement and abandonment) and micro-separations (e.g., brief losses and misattunements).

He will conclude by examining the hitherto neglected role of unconscious parental death wishes towards infants and children as aetiological factors in the development of severe psychopathological states.

About the Speaker

Professor Brett Kahr has worked in the mental health profession for over forty years. He is Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology in London and, also, Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Psychotherapy and Mental Health at the Centre for Child Mental Health. A Consultant Psychotherapist at The Balint Consultancy and a Consultant in Psychology to The Bowlby Centre, he is also a Trustee of the Freud Museum London and of Freud Museum Publications.