Studies on Hysteria - Anniversary Debate at The Freud Museum London

11 October 2015

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.

Images (from above)
The Lesson of Dr Charcot (detail) Lithographic print hanging above Freud's couch, after an original painting by Andre Brouillet depicting a clinical lesson on Hysteria. Freud attended such lessons during his training and was significantly influenced by Charcot.
Montogmery Clift and Susannah York in a scene from John Huston's film Freud: The Secret Passion (1962), showing Freud seated behind the patient for the first time.

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 about whether Studies on Hysteria is still relevant to our understanding and treatment of the disorder today.

More info here.

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