Therese Benedek

Therese Benedek was a pioneer of women’s psychosexual psychology, doing groundbreaking research on the connections between women’s hormones and their emotions. Benedek trained as a pediatrician before becoming a psychoanalyst. She began working as a research assistant at the Neurological-Psychiatric Clinic at the University of Leipzig in Germany in 1920 and opened the first private practice in Leipzig the following year. She continued her work in Germany after the Nazi takeover, only leaving in 1936 to become a training analyst at the Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis, where she worked for thirty-four years. She served as president of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society from 1958–1959. In 1952, she wrote Psychosexual Functions in Women, about women’s emotional responses to hormone fluctuations in the sexual cycle. She also wrote extensively on parenthood, family dynamics, and depression. In 1972, the Therese Benedek Research Foundation was established in her honor.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Therese Benedek." (Viewed on April 17, 2021) <>.


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