Ruth MackBrunswick

Psychoanalyst Ruth Mack Brunswick served as a crucial sounding board for Sigmund Freud, helping him revise his theories on the importance of the mother in the early shaping of the psyche. Brunswick earned her medical degree from Tufts in 1922 before taking psychoanalysis from Freud in Vienna, sparking both a friendship and a long professional association. She taught at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute and joined Freud’s inner circle, doing innovative work on treatment of psychosis and personality disorders. When Freud’s famous “Wolf-Man” patient began showing new symptoms, Freud asked Brunswick to treat him. After Brunswick moved to the US, she taught at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and served on the editorial board of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. Beginning in 1938, she worked tirelessly to get Austrian Jewish psychoanalysts the visas they needed to escape to America, creating a model for members of other professions to rescue Jewish colleagues. After returning to the US, she switched from teaching to private practice before her death from a fall at age forty-six.

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Date of Birth

Chicago, IL
United States

Date of Death
Psychologist, Professor, Editor

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Ruth Mack Brunswick." (Viewed on August 4, 2020) <>.


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