Tea with Winnicott

Author(s) : Brett Kahr, Illustrator : Alison Bechdel

Tea with Winnicott

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D.W. Winnicott: A Biographical Portrait

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Donald Winnicott is currently the most popular author in contemporary psychoanalysis. His writings are cited in bibliographies even more frequently than those of Sigmund Freud. And yet how many mental health professionals have actually managed to read and digest the nearly twenty published volumes of Winnicott’s books, chapters, essays, reviews, and letters?

Professor Brett Kahr, an award-winning biographer and scholar of long-standing, has resurrected Donald Woods Winnicott from the dead and has invited him for a memorable cup of tea at 87 Chester Square – Winnicott’s London residence – in which the two men discuss Winnicott’s life and work in compelling detail.

After digesting Kahr’s highly accessible “posthumous interview” with Winnicott, readers will have come to acquire a thorough overview of Winnicott’s corpus of writings, and will appreciate the historical context in which he scripted his pioneering psychoanalytical contributions.

A highly creative exercise in “imaginative non-fiction”, this book – the first in a new series entitled Interviews with Icons – will delight novices and experienced professionals alike.

Lavishly illustrated by Alison Bechdel, winner of the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” award, with original drawings of Winnicott based on unpublished photographs of Winnicott from Kahr’s own archive, this book will be the perfect guide for both Winnicott students and scholars, and the ideal gift for colleagues with an interest in the man and his work.

Reviews and Endorsements

Read a review of this title in 'BMJ Blogs: Medical Humanities'

‘A scintillating blend of history, biography, journalism, theatre, juicy trivia, and theoretical explication, Brett Kahr’s book-length “interview” with Winnicott is the best gift a reader of psychoanalysis can receive. As a writer, I experienced admiration and envy. As a reader, I experienced pleasure and gratitude. Seamlessly identifying with Kahr, I felt that I had met Winnicott in person myself. What a rare treat indeed!’
––Professor Salman Akhtar, Training and Supervising Analyst, Philadelphia Center of Psychoanalysis

‘Another Brett Kahr tour de force! Indefatigable historical skills, playful popularising genius, and a deep love and knowledge of Winnicott underpin this amusing and informative imaginary conversation with his hero and posthumous friend. A rare psychoanalytic treat: fun, readable, intellectually robust, gossip-busting, and authentic. Winnicott would be delighted.’
––Professor Jeremy Holmes, Visiting Professor, University of Exeter

‘As a child, I often witnessed Winnicott coming to tea with my parents. With the very same playfulness and artfulness that is Winnicott’s legacy, Brett Kahr has captured the sparkle, mischief, and magic that Winnicott embodied in person. Never gossipy, but informative and quirky, often hilarious, this book provides an evocation of the authentic Winnicott. A well-crafted guide to the history of British psychoanalysis.’
––Dr Oliver James, psychologist and author of Britain on the Couch, They F*** You Up: How to Survive Family Life, Affluenza, and Love Bombing

‘Brett Kahr brings his deep scholarship to this engaging and imaginative homage to Winnicott. The great theorist, empathic doctor, and proponent of play and creativity could have no better tribute. In Tea with Winnicott, Professor Kahr has loosened his tie and has let the world see his humour, his wisdom, and his humanity. This is a treat of a read.’
––Dr Susie Orbach, psychoanalyst and author of Fat is a Feminist Issue, The Impossibility of Sex, and Bodies

‘What a joy of a book! Brett Kahr is a most unique writer. I know of few, if any, colleagues, who have the capacity to be so creative, so scholarly, and so playful. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr Winnicott on a number of occasions in the 1960s, and I certainly recognise the man that Kahr has brought back to life in this instructive and entertaining cup of tea! This book will be essential reading not only for newcomers to Winnicott, but for experienced practitioners too.’
––Dr Estela V. Welldon, Emeritus Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy, Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, London

'This book is a wonderful introduction to the work of Donald Winnicott, and as a trained psychoanalytic psychotherapist, I found it helpful to have a guide along the way. I have read several such books and this is the one I would choose.I hope this can help communicate some of the developing interest in psychoanalytic understanding to the current generation of learning disability professionals.'’
––David O'Driscoll, visiting research fellow, Hertfordshire Partnership University, in Community Living Vol. 30 No. 2, Winter 2016

About the Author(s)

Professor Brett Kahr is Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, in the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology, London, and, Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Psychotherapy and Mental Health at the Centre for Child Mental Health. A registrant of both the British Psychoanalytic Council and the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, he has written or edited eight books and serves as Series Editor or Co-Editor to the “Forensic Psychotherapy Monograph Series” and the “History of Psychoanalysis Series” for Karnac Books. He is also a Trustee of the Freud Museum London. He has worked in the mental health field for over thirty-five years. His most recent book is Coffee with Freud, and his forthcoming book is entitled Winnicott’s Anni Horribiles: The Creation of ‘Hate in the Counter-Transference’.

More titles by Brett Kahr

Alison Bechdel is an American cartoonist. Originally best known for the long-running comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, she came to critical success in 2006 with her graphic memoir Fun Home, which was subsequently adapted as a musical and won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2015. She is a 2014 recipient of the MacArthur 'Genius' Award.

More titles by Alison Bechdel

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