Sigmund Freud is considered the father and founder of psychoanalysis; however, numerous women contributed to its development and practice. Lou von Salome, Karen Horney, Sabina Spielrein and Anna Freud were instrumental in forming one of the leading psychological theories of the 20th century. Although the implications of each woman’s work are different, they individually made a unique impact on the development and practice of psychoanalysis in specific ways. Lou von Salome contributed much to the development of psychoanalysis through the arts, as she was a prolific writer and novelist. Karen Horney eventually broke with Freud and developed her own version of psychoanalysis, incorporating feminine psychology and criticizing the phallocentric and patriarchal nature of Freud’s theories. Sabina Spielrein contributed the “death instinct” to psychoanalysis, although Freud did not credit her fully for this development. Anna Freud, the youngest child of Sigmund and Martha Freud, was the founder of psychoanalytic child psychology along with Melanie Klein. She focused on the ego in childhood and ways to encourage its healthy development. Although each matriarch of psychoanalysis extended the ideas and theories of Sigmund Freud, they have not been given the credit they deserved.
Keywords: Psychoanalysis, women, history, mothers.