Rosemary Balsam, MD, 2018

Dr. Balsam’s work represents an original psychoanalytic theory that refocuses analysis on a future that is alert to neuroscience, culture and inevitably, the equality of women. Her work is radical because it establishes the female body as a missing component of psychoanalytic theory. Dr. Balsam explores the ramifications of clinical and theoretical work deeply affected by such unconscious annihilation. Through her book, Women’s Body in Psychoanalysis, Dr. Balsam investigates the impact of female biological body awareness. Childbearing potentiality, the unconscious iconic symbol of female body power and fecundity, is different but equal to the storied erect, potent phallus. Its inclusion in psychoanalytic theory enlightens complexities of gender; erotics; pleasures; violence; development; body image; and intergenerational traumas in females especially. Freud’s libidinous ego as “first and foremost a bodily ego” can be rehabilitated. The impact of sexed body awareness, right in the heart of modern psychoanalysis, challenges old and catalyzes new ideas. Dr. Balsam is the first woman in the United States to receive The Sigourney Award.