Originally broadcast: September – December 2021

In this complete series of INTRODUCING FREUD with Keith Barrett, you will learn in detail about Freud’s seminal theories, over 5 sessions.

The whole course will take each student on a journey through Freud’s life and career. It begins with the 19th-century notion of hysteria and Freud’s training in 1886-1887 at the Salpetriere hospital in Paris. In this first lecture, you will learn about how Freud developed his understanding of the unconscious and his earliest theories of psychoanalysis. The next session will explore Freud’s own self-analysis in dreams, beginning with his most important text, The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) as well as dreams throughout his case studies. The third part will move on to his seminal theories of sexuality, from his abandoned ‘Seduction Theory’, infantile neurosis and how sexuality – in a theoretical, cultural, and personal sense – became a cornerstone of his theories. It will also reference his break with his protegee CG Jung who disagreed with Freud’s emphasis on sexuality.

The final two instalments investigate Freud’s writings and how they shaped him as a clinician as well as theoretician. The Aims and Principles of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy looks to his case studies, predominantly the ‘Rat Man’ and his ‘Dora’ case as examples of his role as a practitioner, and how this relates to the clinic today. The fifth and final session explores Freud’s most theoretical works, including texts such as Mourning and Melancholia (1915), The Ego and the Id (1923), Future of an Illusion (1927), and Civilisation and its Discontents (1929), amongst others, so that students from a wide range of backgrounds complete the course with a firm understanding of Freud and the roots of psychoanalysis.

The courses are designed to be accessible to beginners – but are also for those already familiar with Freud’s work who wish to acquaint themselves with the results of the latest research and scholarship, and up-date themselves on the recent debates addressing the intellectual issues and controversies surrounding it.


1: Hysteria and the Traumatic Neurosis
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2: Dreams and their Interpretation
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3: Sexuality
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4: Aims and Principles of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
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5: The Problem of Human Happiness
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For detailed information about each of the courses, and how to purchase individually, please visit their respective pages linked above. Please note the full course can only be purchased from this page. They each have their own reading material, provided above.

Keith Barrett BA PhD received his first degree in philosophy from Oxford University after having spent three years working as a nursing assistant in psychiatric hospitals. It was in this practical context that Keith first encountered existentialism and psychoanalysis. He then began postgraduate studies on both Freud and Heidegger, leading finally to a PhD from the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL for a dissertation on ‘Freud’s Self-Analysis’. Keith has been a philosophy teacher for over 20 years, and has been delivering courses at the Freud Museum for over a decade, where he has developed a series of introductory lectures on Freud, psychoanalysis after Freud, and the overlap of philosophy and psychoanalysis.

Freud Museum On Demand

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