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Karen Horney

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Karen Horney practiced Neo-Freudian. Not only was she one of the few women that studied Psychoanalysis, she also believed that if one has an accurate conception of themselves, they are free to realize their potential. This was quoted from a book S.Quinn wrote. Being a female also, I found Karen particularly interesting to discuss because she is not only speaking from a woman's standpoint, but an educated standpoint that is backed by a life time's batch of information. Her theory can be applied to work by accepting the fact the basically there are some things we have to cope with and make do with it. Its all about controlling, and what better place to practice her technique than the workplace. As we have been discussing the President's personality, some of us may not like him, but we have to cope with him because he is our Commander and Chief.

Background Information

Karen Horney's career began at the Institute for Psychoanalysis in Berlin, where she taught from 1920 to 1932. Karl Abraham worked with her and regarded her as one of his most gifted analysts. Karen's first American job was as the Associate Director of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, a position she held for two years. The family eventually settled in what was then thought of as the intellectual capital of the world, Brooklyn. There, Karen became colleagues with such distinguished men as Erich Fromm and Harry Stack Sullivan. She also had the opportunity to develop her own theories on neurosis, based on her experiences as a psychotherapist. In addition, she taught at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. By 1941, Horney established and became Dean of the American Institute for Psychoanalysis, a training institute for those interested in her own Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis. The negativity surrounding her for deviating from Freud had forced her to resign. She also founded the American Journal of Psychoanalysis. Shortly after, she began teaching at the New York Medical College.


While debatable, many agree that Horney's theory of neurosis is the best that exists today. She looked at neurosis in a different light, saying that it was much more continuous with normal life than other theorists believed. Furthermore, she saw neurosis as an attempt to make life bearable, as an interpersonal controlling and coping technique. Horney thought it a mistake to think that neuroses in adults are caused by abuse or neglect in one's childhood. She, instead, named parental indifference the true culprit behind neurosis. The key to understanding this phenomenon is the child's perception, rather than the parent's intentions, she said. A child may feel a lack of warmth and affection if a parent, who is otherwise occupied or neurotic themselves, makes fun of their child's thinking or neglects to fulfill promises, for example. Using her clinical experience, Horney named ten particular patterns of neurotic needs. They are based on things that all humans need, but that are distorted in some because of difficulties within their lives.

Feminine Psychology

As the first woman to present a paper on feminine psychology at an



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