Helene Rosenbach was born to a Jewish family in Przemyśl, then Austrian Galicia (now Poland). Her father was a German-speaking lawyer. Helene wanted to study medicine and was interested early in psychiatry. She trained as a physician in Vienna and Munich. After a long affair with a much older, married man, whom she considered the love of her life, she broke with him in 1910-1911. In 1912, she married Felix Deutsch, a physician and dedicated Zionist with whom she had a son. Due to the lack of male doctors in World War I, Helene Deutsch was given an unusual amount of responsibility as the first woman assistant in the Vienna University's psychiatric department, later being named head of the female ward. After learning about the ideas of Sigmund Freud, she decided to become his pupil and underwent personal analysis with him. She went on to become one of the leading figures of the so-called second generation of psychoanalysts. In 1923, Helene Deutsch went to Berlin for more analysis with Karl Abraham, and on her return established the new Vienna Psychoanalytic Training Institute, serving as its director. She was the first psychoanalyst to write a book about female psychology, Psychoanalysis of the Sexual Functions of Women (1923). In 1935, she and her family emigrated to the USA, settling in Boston, where Helene spent the rest of her career on the teaching staff of the Boston Psychoanalytic Training Institute. During World War II, she wrote a two-volume magnum opus, The Psychology of Women (1944–1945). Her collection of essays called Neuroses and Character Types appeared in 1965, and two monographs were published as books in the late 1960s. Her autobiography, Confrontations with Myself, was published in 1973.