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Psychology and Psychiatry

Sallyann Amdur Sack

The contemporary pursuit of Jewish genealogy as a popular, worldwide movement began in the 1970s. Sometimes called the “godmother” of Jewish genealogy, Sallyann Amdur Sack has played a major role in its development as a pioneer, leader, and creative force.

Psychology in the United States

Jewish women in psychology have made their most important contributions in two areas—clinical psychology and the social psychology of intergroup relationships, especially as it involves groups marginalized in our society.

Bernice L. Neugarten

Academic study of adult development and aging—now a well-established subject essential to social practice and policy and to the clinical professions—can be said to derive from the pioneering scholarship and teaching of Bernice L. Neugarten in the decades since 1950.

Margaret Naumburg

Margaret Naumburg founded the Walden School and authored many works on psychology and art therapy.

Martha Tamara Schuch Mednick

One of the most influential women in the development of the psychology of women is Martha Mednick. She was born on March 31, 1929, in New York City of working-class immigrant parents who “had an almost mystical belief in the power of education to change the condition of life.”

Margaret Mahler

Margaret Schönberger Mahler, a pioneering child analyst, began her career in Vienna but made her most important discoveries in the United States. She became a leading authority on the mother-child relationship and the separation-individuation process, which she examined in her best-known work, The Psychological Birth of the Human Infant.

Lena Levine

Lena Levine was born in Brooklyn, New York, on May 17, 1903, the youngest of seven children of Sophie and Morris Levine, Jewish emigrants from Vilna, Lithuania. Educated at Girls High School in Brooklyn, Hunter College, and Bellevue Hospital Medical College, Levine graduated in 1927, married fellow student Louis Ferber, and established a private practice in obstetrics and gynecology in Brooklyn. A daughter, Ellen Louise, was born in 1939, followed three years later by a son, Michael Allen, who developed viral encephalitis in infancy and was left severely retarded. Tragedy struck again in 1943 when Louis Ferber died of a heart attack.

Gisela Peiper Konopka

Gisela Konopka’s outstanding career in youth and adolescent services, social work, education and history is reflected in her litany: “All my life I have been fighting for justice, and for respect for all people. I abhor any arrogance related to race, religion, nationality, appearance, sex, age, intelligence, profession, money. That arrogance is wrong. What is important is what a person is, and does, for the community.”

Melanie Klein

Melanie Klein made an original and significant contribution to twentieth-century psychoanalysis through a collection of papers published between 1921 and 1963. She was a pioneer of child psychoanalysis, inventor of the ‘play technique’ which enables children to express themselves through the use of toys, founder of the British ‘object relations’ school of psychoanalysis, and an early theoretician of emotions and their significance in human development.

Lena Kenin

Popular myth suggests that during the height of her practice, Dr. Lena Kenin delivered at least half of the Jewish babies in Portland, Oregon. This joyful responsibility was not without challenges. As was more customary in the mid-twentieth century than now, expecting a child was a private affair. Most of Kenin’s patients wanted to keep their pregnancies a secret, but risked running into a friend or an acquaintance in the waiting room. Kenin designed her office so that patients could exit through another door.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Psychology and Psychiatry." (Viewed on October 2, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/psychology-and-psychiatry>.

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