Studies on Hysteria – Anniversary Debate

Studies on Hysteria – Anniversary Debate

The Institute of Psychiatry at The Freud Museum

at the Anna Freud Centre

Is Freud and Breuer’s Studies on Hysteria still relevant today?

This special event marks the 120th anniversary of the publication of Studies on Hysteria – first published in 1895. Written by Sigmund Freud and Joseph Breuer, it was the book that launched Freud’s career and his subsequent theories of psychoanalysis. Freud’s work has been a major influence on the (psychological) model and treatment of Hysteria – now known in psychiatry as Conversion Disorder or Functional Neurological Symptom Disorder. This disorder is increasingly recognised as a common and highly disabling affliction for which there are few evidence-based treatments. Although Freud’s work – and the psychoanalytic model more broadly – have been increasingly challenged in recent years we are finding new evidence to support his theories, which are now being tested using the tools of modern neuroscience.

This event is aimed at the general public and assumes no prior knowledge or training in psychology or psychiatry. It starts with an introductory lecture on Hysteria and a review of Freud and Breuer’s book. There will then be a debate by four international experts on the disorder about whether Studies on Hysteria is still relevant to our understanding and treatment of the disorder today.


Lectures 15:00 – 16:00

15:00 – 15:30
A brief history of Hysteria
by Tim Nicholson (Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, Maudsley Hospital & Lecturer, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s college London)

15:30 – 16:00
A brief introduction to Studies on Hysteria
by Rachel Bowlby (Professor of Comparative Literature, Princeton University & University College London)

Tea Break 16:00 – 16:30

Debate 16:30-18:00

The Motion
“Freud and Breuer’s Studies on Hysteria is still highly relevant to the understanding and treatment of Hysteria as we now know it – Functional Neurological / Conversion Disorder”

Chair: Tim Nicholson

For the motion

Richard Kanaan
Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, Austin Hospital & Professor of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne

Stephanie Howlett
Consultant Psychotherapist, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield

Against the motion

Mark Edwards
Consultant Neurologist & Professor of Neurology, St George’s University of London

Alan Carson
Consultant Neuropsychiatrist Western General Hospital, Edinburgh & Honorary Senior Lecturer, Edinburgh University

Seconds out … ding ding!

Duration 11 October 2015 - 11 October 2015
Times 11 October 2015 3pm-6pm
Cost £15 Full Price / £10 Students, Concessions and Members of the Freud Museum
Venue Freud Museum London
Address 20 Maresfield gardens London NW3 5SX, ,
Contact 020 7435 2002 / /

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