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Karen Horney Karen Horney (1885-1952). Is Karen Horney a Freudian? Like Freud, she believed in the importance of unconscious motivation, and of sexual.

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Presentation on theme: "Karen Horney Karen Horney (1885-1952). Is Karen Horney a Freudian? Like Freud, she believed in the importance of unconscious motivation, and of sexual."— Presentation transcript:

1 Karen Horney Karen Horney (1885-1952)

2 Is Karen Horney a Freudian? Like Freud, she believed in the importance of unconscious motivation, and of sexual matters, but she believed that Freud overstressed biology

3 The Oedipal Conflict Was seen more in terms of the social interaction within the family, the conflicts, patterns of dominance etc… It involves clinging, jealousy etc… like Freud, but for different reasons: the child is negotiating his/her place in the family

4 Gender Envy Karen Horney denied the importance of penis envy (girls wishing a penis) --when it occurs, it is more a matter of social comparison. Introduces (perhaps somewhat tongue in cheek), the concept of womb envy --males wishing they could give birth to a child. Sees the fact that one gender might envy some feature of the other, as cultural rather than biological.

5 The Cause of Neurosis Karen Horney thought the main source of neurosis lied in the experience of betrayal, of not being loved, and being helpless to bring about that love, and not in the dynamics of the Oedipal conflict.

6 What is Basic Evil? Basic evil is a lack of genuine warmth and affection for the child. The parent is not so much abusive as indifferent, and unaware of the effect of his/her behavior on the child. This translates into behaviors like unjust reproaches, unpredictable changes between overindulgence and scornful rejection, unfulfilled promises, ridiculing independent thinking, disturbing friendships, spoiling the child's interest in his/her own pursuits.

7 When the Child Encounters Basic Evil The first reaction is hostility But, as the child needs the parent, and hostility threatens that bond, hostility is repressed. The repression of basic hostility results in basic anxiety: feeling lonely and helpless in a hostile world.

8 I Am not Worthy to Be Loved The "despised real self" says: I am truly a disgraceful creature, a bad person, someone no one can truly love…

9 But I Should… The ideal self says: people would love you if you were kinder, more athletic, more outgoing, more unselfish, a better friend, parent, mate. They would love you if you were more courageous, more disciplined, achieved more… This is a neurotic solution to the conflict --as no one can be such a person.

10 The Tyranny of the Shoulds A person can be driven by these demands of the ideal self. As these demands are impossible, the attempts to satisfy the "shoulds" is bound to fail. Thus self hate and feelings of false guilt increase, as well as despair and helplessness.

11 Alienation from the Self When succumbing to the tyranny of the "shoulds" individuals will: Hate themselves, not want to really know themselves, want to run from themselves Loose their own creativity as they strive to please Despair, and feel helpless in the face of their own behavior.

12 Horney's Concept of the Self The actual self: the person you actually are -- regardless of anyone's perceptions The real self: the core of your being, your potential, the need to be who you are truly (the subjective view of the actual self). The despised real self: negative view of the self, based on the lack of love and acceptance by others The ideal self: the perfect self you think you should be, so you can be loved.

13 How can I keep you from hurting me? I'll be so nice… helpful, conforming, self- effacing solution, moving toward people I'll control things, manipulate, exploit, attack if needed: the expansive solution of moving against people I'll grow my own protective shell, be independent, rebellious, or not look at painful things: the resignation solution: moving away from people

14 If those Defensive Strategies Become a Life Style Moving toward people leads to a COMPLIANT personality with these traits: Need for affection and approval Need for a dominant partner Moving against people leads to an AGGRESSIVE personality with these traits: Need for power, exploitation, prestige, admiration Need for achievement Moving away from people lead to a DETACHED personality with these traits: Need for perfection Setting narrow limits to life

15 Some Auxiliary Defenses(1) Externalization: other people become the center of the neurotic's life. Hence, feeling of inner emptiness. Creation of blind spots: inability to see how different one is from one's ideal image Compartmentalization between various areas of life ex: business, family, church

16 Auxiliary Defenses (2) Rationalization:ex: I did this to make them happy (no--to make them like you) Excessive self-control: don't want to be caught in any emotion, vulnerability Arbitrary rightness: seemingly impulsive decisions (to avoid the pain of real decision making) that are then rationalized. Elusiveness: constant clouding of issues Cynicism: assuming that self-interest is the only motivation in operation, and therefore behaving that way oneself.

17 Karen Horney's Religious Background Karen and her brother Brendt called their father the "Bible-thrower" because he would literally throw the Bible at his wife on occasion. Karen's father --though being a sea- captain-- had a rigid form of religion and was very strict. Karen's mother was more flexible.

18 About her Confirmation Karen Horney wrote in her diary: "Confirmation was no blessing for me. On the contrary, it was a great piece of hypocrisy, for I professed belief in the teachings of Christ, the doctrine of love, while carrying hatred in my heart (and for my nearest at that [her father]). I felt too weak to follow Christ. Yet I long for the faith, firm as a rock, that makes oneself and others happy."

19 Family Dynamics Karen had on-going conflicts with their father -- though she ended up marrying someone that shared some of these same authoritarian qualities. Brendt, her older brother was the preferred one. Karen felt that she had been unwanted. Karen was very attached to Brendt.

20 Depression Karen Horney struggled much with depression. Her own struggles and difficulties helped her understand the dynamics of neurosis. Her analysis of neurosis has been recognized as most insightful, and her theories are enjoying a renewal of interest.

21 The End

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