Freud Museum London

Freud's couch
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Listed house in Hampstead where Sigmund Freud and his family lived after fleeing the Nazis in 1938. The Museum was founded in 1986. It has featured in numerous films and TV broadcasts and hosts regular exhibitions and events. It is available for hire for filming and evening functions.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Wed 12.00-20.30
Thurs-Sun 12.00-17.00

Admission charges

Adults: £9.00
Senior Citizens: £7
Concs: £5.00 (with valid student ID card, children aged 12-16, unemployed persons, disabled persons)
Under 12s: Free


  • Museums Association

Additional info

Our library, study and research facilities are open by appointment only.

Sigmund Freud's large collection of Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Oriental antiquities and his library. His study with the psychoanalytic couch preserve his working environment. A reference library, archive and picture library document the history of psychoanalysis.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Personalities, Social History

Key artists and exhibits

  • Freud's couch; Dali portrait of Freud; Brouillet print of Charcot; Abu Simbel print; photographs of Yvette Guilbert, Princess Marie Bonaparte, Lou Andreas-Salome, Charcot, Freud family.
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Breathe Exhibition image

Fay Ballard and Judy Goldhill: Breathe

  • 16 May — 18 July 2018 *on now

BREATHE presents two thought-provoking contemporary artists, Fay Ballard and Judy Goldhill, who both explore the central theme of parental loss throughout their practice.

Fay was seven when her mother, Mary, died suddenly of pneumonia, fighting for breath in the last moments of her life. She died in Spain in 1964, while the family were together on holiday. Fay never discussed her mother with her father again. However, 45 years later, the death of Fay’s father in 2009 unearthed unresolved, deep-seated feelings about her mother which she has been exploring in drawings ever since.

Judy’s father died of polio when she was one. He spent the last three months of his life encased in an iron lung. Judy has been considering unresolved questions about her father since returning to Central Saint Martin’s ten years ago, to complete an MA in Fine Art. Her dissertation was an investigation into the only building built by her architect father, addressed in relation to her own artistic practice. She has continued this theme in her artist’s books, particularly Carbon Copy.

Compelled by the spirit of place and architectural edifices, Judy has had access to the restricted portals of the nuclear industry in the UK, and later to the major astronomical observatories of North and South America, exploring the idea of making the invisible visible.

Breath, and the act of breathing, permeate the work of both artists, consciously and unconsciously, referencing not only personal loss, but also life as a creative force - Fay through drawing; Judy through photography, film and artist’s books.

This exhibition examines the work of these two captivating artists as an excavation into their traumatic losses, and considers the reparative function of personal, and wider, creativity.

Fay Ballard is visiting artist at Hammersmith hospital, helping patients in the Auchi Acute Dialysis Ward make art at their bedsides. She sits on the Arts Committee for Imperial Health Charity. Fay exhibits regularly, most recently at Charing Cross hospital and Pi Artworks (2017). Fay is invited to speak about her work at universities, art schools, and recently at Freud Museum London.

Judy Goldhill, a photographer and artist, exhibits her photographs as well as producing artist’s books, which have been acquired by major international collections. She won The Birgid Skiold Award for Excellence at the London Artist’s Book Fair held at the Whitechapel Art Gallery. Carbon Copy is a time line of her father’s life. It was recently displayed at the Tate Archive Library, and has been acquired by Tate, The British Library, Leeds College of Art and The Brotherton Library. She is currently Artist-in-Residence in the Astro-Physics department at University College London.

Caroline Garland is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society, a psychoanalyst who founded the Unit for the Study of Trauma and Its Aftermath in the Adult Department of the Tavistock Clinic. Caroline also initiated and curated the Tavistock’s own art collection, and is herself an award-winning and published poet (aka Beatrice Garland). In 2001, she won the National Poetry Prize. She took part in ‘Loss and Recovery: Conversation between Poets and Psychotherapists’, a symposium at Freud Museum London, 2013. Caroline has published and broadcast widely, including being one of the lead clinicians in the ground-breaking BBC television series on the Tavistock Clinic, Talking Cure.


Opening hours:
Wednesday - Sunday, 12.00 - 17.00

Admission Charges

Adults: £8.00
Senior Citizens: £6.00
Concessions: £4.00 (students with valid ID cards, children aged 12-16, UK unemployed persons - with proof, disabled persons)
Children under 12: Free


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Eros Sculpture

Psychoanalysis and Philosophy

  • 19 April — 5 July 2018 *on now

Freud was famously ambivalent about philosophy: on the one hand, pouring scorn on academic philosophers who dismissed the notion of the unconscious mind on the pretext that it involved a logical contradiction – while on the other, stating proudly in his autobiography that after a long detour through medicine and psychotherapy he had finally returned to the philosophical preoccupations of his youth. The course will examine the ways in which psychoanalysis and philosophy inform each other, and intersect with each other - sometimes in mutual support and sometimes in sharp conflict. We begin with the great philosophers of the past who influenced and inspired Freud and later psychoanalysts, then, in the second half of the course, turn to contemporary philosophers who have reflected on psychoanalysis, either critically, or with the aim of clarifying the nature of its contribution to the understanding of the human condition.

Tutor: Keith Barrett BA PhD - having received his PhD from the Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London, Dr Barrett specialises in both philosophy and psychoanalysis and has taught at several leading institutions, including Imperial College and Birkbeck College.

Week 1: Introduction. Freud’s study of philosophy as an undergraduate. The deep philosophical background to the emergence of psychoanalysis: the Enlightenment vision vs Romanticism.

Week 2: Schopenhauer. The formative influence on Freud’s thinking of the philosophy of Schopenhauer. ‘The World as Will and Representation’.

Week 3: Nietzsche. Anticipations of psychoanalysis in the philosophy of Nietzsche. Freud and Jung and their different relationships to Nietzsche. Psychoanalysing philosophy.

Week 4: Plato. ‘Eros’ in Plato and Freud. Freud’s view of homosexuality and Plato’s philosophy. Plato’s ‘Symposium’. Freud between Plato and Nietzsche.

Week 5: Spinoza. Sometimes referred to as ‘the philosopher of psychoanalysis’, we will examine Spinoza’s understanding of the mind/body relationship, and his views on freedom and happiness. Spinoza’s ‘Ethics’

Week 6: Popper and Grunbaum. The 20th century debate over the scientific status of psychoanalysis. Grunbaum’s ‘The Philosophical Foundations of Psychoanalysis’

Week 7: Ricoeur and Habermas. The debate over the interpretation of psychoanalysis as hermeneutics. Ricoeur’s ‘Freud and Philosophy’

Week 8: Levinas and Buber. Psychoanalysis and the philosophy of the ethical relation to the other. Levinas’ ‘Totality and Infinity’ and Buber’s ‘I and Thou’

Week 9: Marcuse and Girard. Philosophical responses to Freud’s analysis of society. Marcuse’s ‘Eros and Civilisation’ and Girard’s ‘Violence and the Sacred’. Freud and violence.

Week 10: Foucault. Foucault’s earlier view of psychoanalysis in ‘Madness and Civilisation’, and his later view in ‘History of Sexuality, vol 1’.

Week 11: Lacan. Lacan’s appropriation of philosophy for the ends of psychoanalysis. Hegel, Heidegger and Freud, according to Lacan.

Week 12: Derrida. Derrida’s relation to psychoanalysis. Derrida vs Lacan. Derrida in the Freud archives: ‘Archive Fever’


Gomez, L. ‘The Freud Wars: an introduction to the philosophy of psychoanalysis’ (Routledge 2005)

Ricoeur, P. ‘On Psychoanalysis’ (Polity 2012)

Orange, D.M. ‘Thinking for clinicians: philosophical resources for contemporary psychoanalysis and the humanistic psychotherapies’ (Routledge 2010)

Braddock, L. ‘The academic face of psychoanalysis: papers in philosophy, the & Lacewing, M. (Eds) the humanities and the British clinical tradition’ (Routledge 2007)

Cavell, M. ‘Becoming a subject: reflections in philosophy and psychoanalysis’ (Oxford UP 2006)

Tauber, A. ‘Freud, the reluctant philosopher’ (Princeton U.P. 2010)

Seung, T.K. ‘Nietzsche’s epic of the soul: Thus Spoke Zarathustra’ (Lexington Books 2005)

Chapelle, D. Nietzsche and psychoanalysis’ (SUNY Press 1993)

Della Rocca, M. ‘Spinoza’ (Routledge 2008)

Janaway, C. ‘Schopenhauer’ (Oxford U.P. 1994)

Beck, M.C. ‘The quest for wisdom in Plato and Carl Jung: a comparative study of the healers of the soul’ (Edwin Mellen Press 2008)

Grunbaum, A. ‘The Foundations of psychoanalysis: A philosophical Critique’ (U of California P 1984)

Habermas, J. ‘Knowledge and Human Interests’ (Heineman 1972)

Mills, J. (Ed) ‘Rereading Freud: psychoanalysis through philosophy’ (SUNY Press 2004)

Frie, R. ‘Subjectivity and intersubjectivity in modern philosophy and psychoanalysis: a study of Sartre, Binswanger, Lacan and Habermas’ (Rowman & Littlefield 1997)


Full price: £190

Friends of the Museum: £160

Students/concessions: £130

Advance booking essential


Book cover for On the Couch: A Repressed History of the Analytic Couch from Plato to Freud

On the Couch: A Repressed History of the Analytic Couch from Plato to Freud

  • 20 June 2018 7-8:30pm

The Freud Museum London's most iconic item is undoubtedly Freud's famous psychoanalytic couch, but where did the couch originate? And why did it play such an important role in the history of psychoanalysis? Author and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Nathan Kravis will explore these themes alongside a panel of academics as they discuss his latest publication, “On the Couch: A Repressed History of the Analytic Couch from Plato to Freud” (2017).

Suitable for

  • 18+


Full Price: £10
Friend of the Museum: £8
Student concession: £8


Black and white copy of a painting of St George slaying the dragon

A Weekend of Discontent

  • 23 — 24 June 2018 12-6pm

Inspired by art historian Kenneth Clark’s documentary series of the 1960s, the recent BBC Civilisations programmes told a story of beauty, diversity, creativity and achievement from cultures across the world and throughout history.

But there is another story of ‘civilisations’ which is about the cost of civilisation on the lives of those who inhabit them. This is the collective human condition that Freud explores in his book Civilisation and its Discontents (1930), which forms the inspiration behind ‘A Weekend of Discontent’ at the Freud Museum.

Academics and psychotherapists, poets and performers will challenge conventional wisdom by engaging with Freud’s landmark study to ponder some of the difficult questions it raises and investigate the relevance of Freud’s views to our troubled times.

What are the discontents of 'civilised' life today?

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17
  • 14-15


£9 (adults)
£7 (concessions)


Group psychology and the analysis of the ego

Group Psychology & The Analysis of the Ego

  • 24 June 2018 1-6pm

For the discontent of our times we propose a marathon reading of Freud’s Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego.

First published in 1921, the text raises questions about the role of the leader today, tribalism, the triumph of modern masses, and what separates the individual from his or her subjectivity and lived history.

This event will breathe fresh life into this classic text and help both readers and listeners to think about our own era in the beautiful context of Freud’s final home on the 80th anniversary of his arrival in London.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • Any age


The event is free with admission ticket to the Museum, which can be purchased on the day. There are no tickets and audience members can come and go as they please. This is a staged reading and interactive performance.


Exhibition, Judy Goldhill, Fay Ballard, Cornelia Parker

'Avoiding the Object', Talk by artist Cornelia Parker, O.B.E., chaired by Jon Stokes

  • 26 June 2018 7-8:30pm

This is the third in the series of talks 'On Loss and Creativity', which coincide with the exhibition Breathe by artists Fay Ballard and Judy Goldhill.

“I resurrect things that have been killed off... My work is all about the potential of materials — even when it looks like they've lost all possibilities.”

Cornelia Parker is well known for her large scale, often site-specific, installations. Her engagement with the fragility of existence and the transformation of matter is exemplified in two key works: Dark Matter, a cartoon-like reconstruction of an exploded army shed, and Heart of Darkness, the formal arrangement of charred remains from a forest fire. Through a combination of visual and verbal allusions her work triggers cultural metaphors and personal associations, which allow the viewer to witness the transformation of the most ordinary objects into something compelling and extraordinary.

In 1997 she was shortlisted for the Turner Prize and in 2010 she was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts and became an OBE. Her work is held in numerous collections worldwide including Tate, London; British Council, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Yale Center for British Art, Connecticut. She was made the UK’s official Election Artist for the 2017 General Election.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17


Full price: £10
Friends of the Museum: £7
Students/Concessions: £7


Moses; Psychoanalysis and religion, Freud, Jung, Kristeva

Psychoanalysis & Religion: Freud, Jung, Kristeva

  • 30 June 2018 10am-6pm

Freud is famous for portraying religion as a collective neurosis of mankind.
He argued that religious beliefs give expression to wish-fulfilling illusions, serving the immature emotional needs of the child living on within the adult.

Such illusions – he sternly maintained – should be cast aside and replaced by ideas corresponding to reality – namely, the materialistic world view that emerges gradually but inescapably from the cumulative process of scientific observation.

This is one side of Freud – expressing his self-image as an ‘Enlightenment philosophe’ (in Peter Gay’s accurate phrase). But there is another side to Freud – unfortunately less widely known – for in the later works he develops a subtle and complex theory of society, in which religion plays a much more positive – even vital – role. Seen from this perspective, religion may be regarded as necessary for our psychological well-being – even for the survival of human kind.

We will explore a range of psychoanalytic interpretations of religion, examining different views of its function and significance in the lives of human beings.

Suitable for

  • 18+


Full price £70
Friend of the Museum £65
Student £60
Student Friend of the Museum £50

(Memberships and valid student IDs must be shown on the door)


fragile phallus

The Fragile Phallus

  • 1 July 2018 9am-5pm

The latest string of sexual assault and harassment scandals invites critical reflection into the structure of masculinity.
While much of the media focus has been on abuses of power, popular responses such as the #MeToo movement have emphasised the everydayness of sexual harassment, shifting the focus to masculinity as such.

Psychoanalysis has long held that masculinity is not a biological given, nor is it simply the sum total of patriarchal values operating on an individual. Rather, it is characterised by a peculiar, fraught and anxious relation to the psychical emblem known as ‘the phallus’.

How might psychoanalysis enrich popular notions of ‘fragile’ and ‘toxic’ masculinity?
This conference brings together perspectives from psychoanalysis and beyond to bring out some of these troubling (and troubled) dimensions of the subjective structure popularly known as ‘masculinity’.

Suitable for

  • 18+


Full Price: £65

Student/concession: £50

Member of the Freud Museum: £45

Student/concession member of the Freud Museum: £40


Fay Ballard and Judy Goldhill

'Endings, Loss and Grief' with author Julian Barnes

  • 3 July 2018 7-8:30pm

The final event in the series of talks ‘On Loss and Creativity’, which coincide with the exhibition Breathe by artists Fay Ballard and Judy Goldhill.

Julian Barnes – Winner of 2011 Man Booker Prize and author of Nothing to Be Frightened Of – in conversation with Jon Stokes

Julian Barnes has written movingly about his personal experiences of loss and grief in Levels of Life and in Nothing to Be Frightened Of, a memoir on mortality that touches on faith and science and family as well as a rich array of exemplary figures who over the centuries have confronted the same questions he now poses about the most basic fact of life: its inevitable extinction. He will talk about his attitude to death and what brought him to write these two books.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • Any age


Full Price £10
Friend of the Museum £7
Concession £7


Dream Catcher

Dreams: The Unconscious Revealed

  • 8 July 2018 2:30-3:30pm

Dreams are both mysterious and mundane: we all dream, and most dreams are unremarkable and forgotten almost immediately on waking. However, there are some dreams that conjure extraordinary visions, confusing emotions and puzzling events. The earliest human civilisations believed that dreams were of great significance and contained messages from the spirit world which could only be understood by skilled interpreters. Dream books, containing images and their supposed meanings, existed in ancient Egypt as early as 2000 BCE. Through the ages, dreams have remained a constant source of fascination for human beings, with many societies believing that they bring visions of the future, a means of moral self-improvement or direct messages from a higher being.

Sigmund Freud published The Interpretation of Dreamsin 1899 (although dated 1900) in which he set out his theory that dreams are a form of wish fulfilment, where the forbidden, unconscious desires of the id find expression in harmless dream images, which are acceptable to the ego and superego and enable us to stay asleep. In this one-hour workshop, we will exchange ideas about dreams and reflect on how Freud’s theory could be applied to your own experience of dreaming.

Please note:
You will not undergo any form of dream analysis; any ideas raised will be purely speculative and not designed to be a substitute for analysis with a qualified professional.

Suitable for

  • 18+


Full price: £10
Students/concessions: £8


Book cover

The Place of Breath in Cinema, davina Quinlivan

  • 9 July 2018 7-8:30pm

From Henry Gray’s beautiful scientific illustrations of the lungs in his anatomical study of the human body to rather more abstract, evocative images of stillness and silence in the films of Chantal Akerman and Lars von Trier, the foregrounding of the breathing body, air and other forms of airy presences (dust, mist, fog) have long been the subject of Davina Quinlivan’s groundbreaking research into the place of breath in cinema.

Davina Quinlivan is the author of The Place of Breath in Cinema (EUP, 2014) and Filming the Body in Crisis: Trauma, Healing and Hopefulness (Palgrave: 2015), and a Senior Lecturer in Critical and Historical Studies at Kingston School of Art, Kingston University


£11/ £9


Alien female looking at faces without body

PROJECTIONS: Science Fiction Cinema – Outer Space as Inner Space

  • 14 — 21 July 2018

Science fiction films portray phenomena that reach beyond the provable realms of mainstream science, featuring artificial intelligence, alien worlds, extrasensory perception, advanced technology and intergalactic travel. Such stories sometimes produce political or social commentary, expressing complex philosophical concerns related to the human condition.

Depicting endless possibilities in the vastness of the cosmos, science fiction is a unique genre in cinema, revealing insights about our collective unconscious and inner worlds. In this 2-day course, we will regard outer space as a grand metaphor for the human psyche, relying on psychoanalysis as the theoretical framework to uncover hidden emotional activity manifested in symbolic form.

Sigmund Freud believed that, because of the unconscious, we are aliens to ourselves. Beneath the threshold of awareness, there are irrational fears, buried memories, conflicting desires and secret dimensions to ourselves that we would rather not confront at an individual level and in wider society. This might explain the tendency in science fiction cinema to convey extraterrestrial lifeforms as hostile, invading and threatening the human species – it is simply a manifestation in outer space of an internal perception. The process of creating and watching these visual metaphors involves catharsis, releasing psychic tension.

Suitable for

  • 18+


Full price £95.00

Friend of the Museum £85.00

Student/concession £77.00

Student Friend of the Museum £67.00


toy figurines around a table

Relationships: An Introduction to Transactional Analysis

  • 15 July 2018 2:30-3:30pm

Developed by psychiatrist Eric Berne in the 1950s, TA is a form of psychoanalytic theory and type of therapy which Berne described as both neo- and extra-Freudian. TA focuses on the characteristics of social interactions and how internal ego states determine how effectively we communicate with others.

In this one-hour workshop, we will explore how communication is helped or hindered by complementary and crossed transactions and how psychological game-playing is widespread in many of our relationships and social situations.

Tickets include admission to the Museum.

Suitable for

  • 18+


£8 - £10


Freud Museum London
20 Maresfield Gardens
Greater London




020 7435 2002


020 7431 5452

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.