Freud’s Pandemics

Freud’s Pandemics

A Traumatological Biography

Recorded Saturday 1 October 2021

With Dr Doris Brothers and Professor Brett Kahr, and with discussants Dr Valerie Sinason and Professor Neil Vickers

CPD Credits: 3.5 hours

Sigmund Freud devoted much of his professional life to the treatment and cure of many severely traumatised patients. But it may well be that Freud actually endured far more trauma in his own private life than most of his analysands.

Quite apart from his complex childhood, filled with broken attachments and multiple bereavements, he subsequently had to navigate many decades of assaults, ranging from anti-Semitic abuse, to the near-death of his sons during the Great War, to the loss of one of his daughters from Spanish Flu, followed not long thereafter by sixteen years of painful, primitive surgeries for his metastasising oral cancer and, ultimately, by the Nazi occupation of Vienna.



Prof Brett Kahr
Freud’s Private Traumata: Surviving Horrifying Explosions

Shortly after the death of Sigmund Freud in 1939, his sister-in-law, Minna Bernays, exclaimed that anyone else who had lived such a burdened life would have committed suicide. But Freud, full of robustness, managed to persevere until the age of eighty-three. How did he survive his innumerable pandemics? In this introductory session, Brett