CPU’s ‘Talks From The Living Room’ with Josh Cohen

Book tickets

Organised by:

Camden Psychotherapy Unit CPU

25 March 2021

Time: 19:30 - 21:00

Price: £15

Location: online


Josh Cohen in conversation with Dr. Devorah Baum on his new book ‘How To Live. What To Do: In Search Of Ourselves In Life and Literature.’ as part of CPU’s online event series ‘Talks From The Living Room’

To book your ticket, click here.

Josh Cohen is a psychoanalyst in private practice, and Professor of Modern Literary Theory at Goldsmiths University of London. He is the author of Spectacular Allegories (1998), Interrupting Auschwitz (2003), How to Read Freud (2005), The Private Life (2013) and others as well as numerous reviews and articles on modern literature, philosophy and psychoanalysis, appearing regularly in the TLS, Guardian and New Statesman.

Dr. Devorah Baum is Associate Professor in English Literature at the University of Southampton. She is the co-director of the documentary feature film The New Man and the author of two books, Feeling Jewish (A Book for Just About Anyone) and The Jewish Joke.


What can Alice in Wonderland teach us about childhood? Could reading Conversations with Friends guide us through first love? Does Esther Greenwood’s glittering success and subsequent collapse in The Bell Jar help us understand ambition? And, finally, what can we learn about death from Virginia Woolf?

Literature matters. Not only does it provide escapism and entertainment, but it also holds a mirror up to our lives to show us aspects of ourselves we may not have seen or understood. From jealousy to grief, fierce love to deep hatred, our inner lives become both stranger and more familiar when we explore them through fiction.

Josh Cohen delves deep into the inner lives of the most memorable and vivid characters in literature. His analysis of figures such as Jay Gatsby and Mrs Dalloway offers insights into the greatest questions about the human experience, ones that we can all learn from. He walks us through the different stages of existence, from childhood to old age, showing that literature is much more than a refuge from the banality and rigour of everyday life – through the experiences of its characters, it can show us ways to be wiser, more open and more self-aware.


‘Filled with curiosity and compassion…enlightening tales and thoughtful solutions for the battles in our minds.’ – Robert Ince

‘Deftly linking literature and clinical stories Josh Cohen invites us into the ways we humans deal with inner conflicts, voids, losses, insecurities and abandonments. And he invites us to see how conflict – with its steps forward, to the side and back are part of the struggle to live a life as fully and as engaged as we can.’ – Susie Orbach

This, CPU’s new online event series is meant to make for an intimate setting in which our chosen conversationalists and you find yourself in a kind of virtual living room together. Free flowing conversations on a wide range of subjects will make for some 90 minutes shared together in warmth and light-heartedness on no less serious and thought-provoking topics and their reflections. So come, maybe with a cup of steaming tea in hand, lean back in your chair and enjoy.

Camden Psychotherapy Unit has delivered free and low-cost psychoanalytic psychotherapy since 1969. All proceeds will fund CPU’s efforts to provide access to psychotherapy for those most in need.

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