Register here to join our In Conversation Live with Michael Brearley OBE
Michael Brearley OBE, Psychoanalyst and retired English Cricketer who captained Cambridge University, Middlesex, and England, will be joining Professor Sir Simon Wessely, RSM immediate Past-President, for a conversation about his career in cricket and psychoanalysis, his efforts to integrate different career pathways in sport and psychoanalytics, and how sport encourages people to become the selves they have the potential to be.
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Michael Brearley OBE is a Psychoanalyst in London and previous President of the British Psychoanalytical Society (2008-2010), the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), and Chair of the World Cricket Committee. He has taught psychoanalytic topics at the Institute of Psychoanalysis, Psychoanalysis Unit at University College London (UCL), and abroad. He also writes and gives talks on psychoanalysis, films and sports. In his previous years, Michael was a professional cricketer, who, amongst other clubs, captained the England team in 31 test matches.
Throughout his life, Michael has always questioned, how does one integrate conflicting desires and tendencies in the self? A major theme that encouraged him to intertwine contrasting career paths to satisfy his interests.
Michael was torn for a long time between cricket and philosophy, after attending Cambridge University, where he read Classics and Philosophy, he played cricket professionally for 18 months. He then went back to philosophy and became a Lecturer in philosophy at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne. In 1971, he returned to cricket to captain Middlesex for the next 12 years. Middlesex won the Championship four times during his last seven years as captain, and the Gillette Cup twice.
For two winters in the 1970s, Michael worked as a nursing assistant in a Clinic for Disturbed Adolescents. It was this experience that gave him the conviction he needed to confirm his decision to train as a psychoanalyst.
Michael was selected to play cricket for England at the advanced age of 34. In 1977, he was made captain, which lasted until 1980. He then was recalled to captain against Australia in 1981 and retired from professional cricket in 1982.
In 1985, Michael published The Art of Captaincy, and qualified as a psychoanalyst, and has worked as such since then. He has kept some connection with cricket as a part-time journalist and lecturer, becoming more involved from 2007.
Since 2018, Michael has written and published three books, On Form, On Cricket and Spirit of Cricket, all aimed at integrating his passions for cricket and psychoanalysis.
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