Balsam becomes first U.S. woman to receive Sigourney Award

Dr. Rosemary Balsam, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry, received the award for her work refocusing psychanalytic theory on the female body.

Dr. Rosemary Balsam, associate clinical professor of psychiatry, has been awarded The Sigourney Award. She is the first woman in the United States to receive the prestigious award.

Women’s Body in Psychoanalysis book cover

The award committee lauded Balsam’s radical work refocusing psychanalytic theory on the female body. Her book, “Women’s Body in Psychoanalysis,” explored questions of female biological awareness with particular emphasis on the child bearing, sexual symbolism, intergenerational trauma, and the complexities of gender. According to the committee, while the female body has been largely overlooked, Balsam showed that retracing its attributes is critical to our understanding of mental development. The totality of her work has now been recognized as constituting a major original psychoanalytic theory, the committee noted.

Balsam will receive the award in London in July at the International Psychoanalytic Association Congress hosted by The Mary Sigourney Award Trust. The trust rewards outstanding work that advances psychoanalysis and extends its reach. The award was established in 1989 in honor of Mary Sigourney, a noted psychotherapist, activist, and philanthropist.

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