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Karen Horney 1885 - 1952. Neurotic Needs Affection and approval Partner to take over one’s life Restrict one’s life within narrow boundaries Power, control.

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Presentation on theme: "Karen Horney 1885 - 1952. Neurotic Needs Affection and approval Partner to take over one’s life Restrict one’s life within narrow boundaries Power, control."— Presentation transcript:

1 Karen Horney

2 Neurotic Needs Affection and approval Partner to take over one’s life Restrict one’s life within narrow boundaries Power, control over others, and façade of omnipotence Exploit others and get the better of them Social recognition or prestige Personal admiration Personal achievement Self-sufficiency and independence Perfection and unassailability

3 Neurotic Needs and Personality Disorders Affection and approval Partner to take over one’s life Restrict one’s life within narrow boundaries Power, control over others, and façade of omnipotence Exploit others and get the better of them Dependent, Histrionic, Borderline, Narcissistic Dependent, Borderline Dependent, Avoidant, Paranoid Antisocial, Narcissistic, Borderline, Paranoid, Histrionic, Obsessive Compulsive Antisocial, Narcissistic, Borderline

4 Neurotic Needs and Personality Disorders Social recognition or prestige Personal admiration Personal achievement Self-sufficiency and independence Perfection and unassailability Narcissistic, Histrionic Antisocial, Narcissistic Avoidant, Paranoid, Schizoid, Schizotypal Narcissistic, Borderline, Avoidant

5 Karen Horney Born in 1885 in Hamburg, Germany Father was a ship’s captain –Religious –Authoritarian Mother was somewhat upper class comparatively

6 Karen Horney 4 siblings from previous marriage and an older biological brother (darling of family) Felt deprived of her father’s affections and became her mother’s “little lamb” –Still felt basically unwanted and unloved Around age 12 developed crush on brother –Pushed her away –First bought of depression

7 Karen Horney Entered medical school in 1906 Married in 1909 –3 daughters Mother died in 1910 Began psychoanalysis First affair in 1911 –Need for men seemed compulsive but not all consuming

8 Karen Horney 1923: Attempted to kill self by swimming out to sea –Marriage failing –Brother died –Extreme depression

9 Karen Horney Moved into apt. with daughters in 1926 Moved to New York in 1930/32 –Developed theories –Practice psychotherapy –Wrote books Died in 1952

10 Theory Have an innate drive for positive personal growth (self realization) –Pathological behavior results when this is blocked Disturbed interpersonal relationships are at the core of all healthy and unhealthy (neurotic) personality functioning

11 Theory Neurotics show patterns of extreme and inflexible approaches to handling interpersonal relationships –“…the center of psychic disturbances are unconscious strivings developed in order to cope with life despite fears, helplessness, and isolation. I have called them “neurotic trends” [neurotic needs].

12 Theory Safety and satisfaction are the two primary needs Under ideal conditions, a child will feel loved, protected, and safe Under less than ideal conditions, a child feels vulnerable, helpless and abandoned producing basic anxiety –“the feeling a child has of being isolated and helpless in a potentially hostile world” –Is the result of parental indifference Called this “the basic evil” As much perception as intention

13 Theory Parental indifference and the conflict it produces results in defensive ways of perceiving oneself. –Despised real self (fallible true self) Repressed hostility turns toward self and further proves ones unworthiness and sense of being unlovable –Self contemot Six major ways of manifestation:

14 Theory Relentless demands on self –“Tyranny of the should” Merciless self-accusation –Constantly berate self Self-contempt –Ridicule that prevents striving for improvement or achievement Self-frustration –Don’t believe we deserve to enjoy things Self-torment –Inflict harm and suffering on self Self-destructive actions and impulses –Overeating, addictions, reckless behavior

15 Theory Then create the image of the idealized or ideal self to defensively restructure the despised real self The drive toward actualizing the ideal self is called the neurotic search for glory. Manifests as: –Need for perfection »Attempt to mold the whole personality into the idealized self »“Tyranny of the should”

16 Theory Manifests itself (cont) –Neurotic ambition »Compulsive drive toward superiority »Although desire to excel at everything, often channeled into area most likely to succeed –Drive toward a vindictive triumph »“its chief aim is to put others to shame or defeat them through one’s very success; or to attain the power…to inflict suffering on them – mostly of a humiliating kind” »Most destructive of the three

17 Theory Later added : –Real self True core of persons being Contains all potential of growth and health (possible self) Damaged by parental indifference Alienation from this and adoption of the idealized self is called the core neurotic conflict

18 Theory Basic anxiety around parental indifference makes the child angry and resentful toward parents Called this basic hostility Creates conflict and anxiety for child –Child needs parents and wants to approach them –On the other hand hates them and wants to punish them This is the basis of neurosis

19 Theory A child deals with this by adopting one of three relationship strategies : –Accentuate dependency and move toward the parents –Accentuate hostility and move against the parents –Give up on the relationship and move away from the parents Calls these the basic conflict

20 Theory Moving Toward People: “If you love me, you will not hurt me” –Compliant Personality Intense needs for affection and approval Need for a partner Need to restrict ones life within narrow boundaries Goal is to achieve harmony with others and avoid friction

21 Theory –Compliant Personality May mask underlying feelings of need to compete, excel, and dominate, or feelings of rage, anger and hostility Called this the self-effacing solution –The ideal self is the despised self –Qualities of suffering, helplessness and martyrdom

22 Theory Moving against people: “ If I have power, no one can hurt me” –Aggressive Personality Need for control and power as protection against feelings of helplessness Need to excel by exploiting others Success and prestige are measures of their self worth Driven by insecurity, anxiety, and hostility Called this the expansive solution –Ultimate attempt to actualize the ideal self

23 Theory Moving away from people: “If I withdraw, nothing can hurt me” –Detached personality Detached from human affairs Resigned to an emotionally flat life Protection from being hurt by others Intense needs of self sufficiency and perfection

24 Theory –Detached personality Narrow limits of life so that will not have to be dependent on others Remove selves from “inner battlefield” of their own conflicts Called this the solution of resignation

25 Theory Healthy people move between these and use what is appropriate when needed Neurotics mainly emphasize one of the Neurotic solutions –Two less emphasized remain at work in the unconscious

26 Auxiliary Conflict Solutions Creation of Blind Spots –Type of denial –Refusal to see the discrepancy between their behaviors and the idealized self

27 Auxiliary Conflict Solutions Compartmentalization –Life compartmentalized with different rules for each –What happens in one has not effect or link to another –Situational ethics Rationalization –Using logical, plausible, but inaccurate excuses to justify one’s perceived weaknesses, failures, or inconsistencies.

28 Auxiliary Conflict Solutions Excessive self control –Avoidance of emotions (good or bad) Arbitrary rightness –Because of difficulty in taking action, will appear to arbitrarily make decisions (showing one is arbitrarily right or in charge) (dogmatism)

29 Auxiliary Conflict Solutions Elusiveness –Postpones making any decisions, voice any opinions, etc. –If I am not committed to anything, I can’t be wrong; If I am not wrong I can’t be criticized Cynicism –Doesn’t believe in anything –By not believing in anything, I am immune to the disappointment of being committed to something shown to be false.


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