Karin Stephen

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Karin Stephen (née Costelloe) (1890–1953) was a British psychoanalyst and psychologist.

Karin Stephen was educated at Newnham College, Cambridge, where she became a Fellow. She married Adrian Stephen shortly before World War I; the couple, as conscientious objectors, spent the war working on a dairy farm. After the war, the couple trained as doctors and then went into analysis with James Glover; when he died in 1926, Karin continued with Sylvia Payne. Accepted as an associate member of the British Psychoanalytical Society in 1927, she became a full member in 1931.[1]

Stephen entered private practice as a psychoanalyst. She gave the first lecture course on psychoanalysis ever given at Cambridge University: the course of six lectures was repeated over several years, and formed the basis of her medical textbook Psychoanalysis and medicine.[2] She suffered from deafness and manic depression. After her husband died in 1948, her health deteriorated and she committed suicide in 1953.[1]

Leonard Woolf considered Stephen 'Old Bloomsbury'.[3]

Her papers are held in the archives of the British Psychoanalytical Society.[4]



  1. ^ a b Allie Dillon, Provenance: XP14A - Stephen, Karin (1890-1953) née Costelloe, psychologist and psychoanalyst
  2. ^ Marion Milner, 'Obituary: Karin Stephen (1889-1953)', The International journal of psycho-analysis, Vol. 35, 1954, pp.432-3
  3. ^ Hermione Lee, Virginia Woolf London: Chatto & Windus (1996), p. 263
  4. ^ Allie Dillon, Karin Stephen collection (P14)

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