It’s International Women’s Day today and as a firm of females, we thought we should celebrate the day with a special mention to some of the female psychologists that have inspired us throughout the ages.
The first of which is Professor Mary Main, an American Psychologist. We have Mary to thank for the groundbreaking innovations she unearthed back in the 70s and 80s around attachment styles which can be transmitted from mother to child. She developed the Adult Attachment Interview which is still used today in clinical practice to measure adult attachment patterns. This has been one of the most important discoveries in attachment research and helps inform a lot of our practice today.
Next up, we also love the work of Patricia Crittenden. Also an American, Pat is best known for her development of attachment theory and worked under the supervision of Mary Main. She developed the Dynamic-Maturational Model of Attachment and Adaptation which changed the way we as psychologists think about attachment patterns – rather than viewing insecure attachment strategies as problematic, instead, we should consider them as self-protective adaptations that help keep a child safe in a potentially dangerous situation. Pat has published 5 books and over 100 research journal articles.
To add to our female powerhouses, we also have Anna Gomez. Anna is a Clinical Psychologist who has creatively developed EMDR therapy for children and adults with severe and complex trauma. We use her teachings and ideas every day in our clinical work.
To add to the list, we also have Melanie Klein who shook the world of psychoanalysis as she suggested that children too could be psychoanalysed. This ran counter to both Sigmund and Anna Freud’s assertions. Melanie developed play therapy for children which emphasised the role of the mother-child relationship and is still widely used in psychotherapy today.
We also love Edith Egar. Edith is a Holocaust survivor as well as a psychologist. She specialises in post-traumatic stress disorder and has written an international bestseller, The Choice. This book is so good that it actually inspired our assistant psychologist, Imogen, to enter the world of psychology. Edith explains that every autonomous individual has the freedom to define their attitude and choose their actions in the face of adversity. We think it’s such an important message and one that gives agency back to the individual.
Finally, although there are so many more (!), we also love the work of Dr Marget Wilson. Marget taught and supervised Andrea, our Pocket Family founder, during her MSc in Forensic Psychology. Marget’s work is so innovate and is hugely applicable to the real world. She aims to identify and predict terrorist behaviour as well as understand how people behave in the wake of a distressing event, such as the fire in King’s Cross in 2005. Her work led to a national policy change in the management of emergency fire exits.
As you can see, these women are pretty special ladies. They have changed the world of psychology and touched so many people’s lives. This really is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the number of amazing female psychologists we have today.
If you’ve been inspired by any female psychologists too, we’d love to know, so please do send in your suggestions!
Happy International Women’s Day today!
Pocket Family Psychologist