Karl Abraham: Life and Work, a Biography is the first complete biography of Karl Abraham (1877-1925), a close colleague and friend of Sigmund Freud and one of the most important pioneers of psychoanalysis. Join us for a drinks reception launching the publication, followed by a talk by the author, Anna Bentinck van Schoonheten introduced by Professor Brett Kahr.
This event is kindly supported by The Embassy of the Netherlands.
Abraham was the first psychoanalyst in Germany, where he brought about a great flourishing of psychoanalysis. His clinical-theoretical contributions quickly became classics that have powerfully influenced the development of psychoanalytic theory. He was the first to develop a psychoanalytic theory of depression, several years before the publication of Freud’s ‘Mourning and Melancholia’. Abraham was both supervisor and analyst to Melanie Klein, on whose theoretical work he had a profound influence.
In the 1920s Abraham was the most important analyst of the psychoanalytic movement after Freud. He was president of the International Psychoanalytical Association, president of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Society, and a member of the “secret committee”. He was involved in a number of major conflicts of the early years of psychoanalysis, and after his death he was quite often blamed for them. As a consequence, Abraham, so highly valued during his life, was frequently reviled after his death.
Anna Bentinck van Schoonheten, PhD, is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Amsterdam. She is a member of the Dutch Psychoanalytic Group, the Dutch Psychoanalytic Society and the IPA, and President of the Board of the Dutch Journal of Psychoanalysis. She specializes in the early history of psychoanalysis, with a special focus on Freud and the secret committee. She has conducted extensive research on Karl Abraham and the role of the secret committee in the development of psychoanalytic theory.
Professor Brett Kahr has worked in the mental health field for over thirty-five years. He is currently Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Psychotherapy and Mental Health at the Centre for Child Mental Health in London, and Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology. He has worked in many branches of the psychotherapy profession as clinician, teacher, researcher, author, and broadcaster, having served previously as Resident Psychotherapist on B.B.C. Radio 2. Author of eight books including Life Lessons from Freud and, also, the best-selling Sex and the Psyche, he is also Series Editor of the “Forensic Psychotherapy Monograph Series” for Karnac Books and Series Co-Editor of the “History of Psychoanalysis Series”. He practices psychotherapy with individuals and with couples in Hampstead, North London, and he is a Trustee of the Freud Museum London and of Freud Museum Publications.