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Karen Horney 1885-1952 Born Germany-of Norwegian parents Problems with dominant father-but supportive mother Perceived self-homely-Since I cannot be beautiful.

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Presentation on theme: "Karen Horney 1885-1952 Born Germany-of Norwegian parents Problems with dominant father-but supportive mother Perceived self-homely-Since I cannot be beautiful."— Presentation transcript:

1 Karen Horney Born Germany-of Norwegian parents Problems with dominant father-but supportive mother Perceived self-homely-Since I cannot be beautiful I will be smart.” Pressed to go to medical school Married Oscar Horney in Med School-depressed & suicide attempt while in Med School 1932 came to USA Women’s Rights Advocate for her time

2 Basic Nature of Human Beings Agreed with Adler that our inherent nature is constructive and that personality is strongly influenced by cultural factors Shared Freud’s views about psychic determinism and the importance of unconscious processes Said little about the structure and development of personality

3 Neurosis Agreed with Freud, Jung and Adler that neurosis is a matter of degree, and that it results from disturbed interpersonal relationships during childhood. Parents may be dominating, overprotective, overindulgent, humiliating, brutal, perfectionistic, hypocritical, etc. Leads to:

4 Basic Anxiety Basic Anxiety: child’s fear of being alone, helpless, & insecure Children are powerless-unable to gain their place in society immediately-so must repress feelings of hostility & anger towards powerful adults, instead they need to strive to please them to get their needs met Arises from social conflicts in family and larger conflicts within society As a result, the child gives up the healthy quest for self- realization, and strives instead for safety

5 Horney’s 10 Neurotic (security seeking) Needs Affection & approval Having a “partner” Narrowly restricting one’s life Power Exploiting others Social recognition & prestige Personal achievement Personal admiration Self-sufficiency & Independence Perfection & Unassailability

6 Horney’s Styles of Adaptation to Basic Anxiety Conflict from lack of warmth, stability, respect or involvement in family or society Helplessness: get along by being compliant Aggressiveness: fighting to get by Detachment: feel best not to engage emotionally at all

7 Horney’s Neurotic Coping Strategies Moving toward people: attempting to make others happy, to gain love and to secure approval & affection Moving against people: striving for power, recognition & admiration Moving Away from people: withdrawal of emotional investment from relationships to avoid being hurt

8 The Idealized Image In most instances, the despised aspects of the neurotic’s personality and painful inner conflicts are further concealed through the development of a glamorous “idealized image.” A manipulative/compliant individual sees self as so unselfish, helpful and attractive as to deserve undying love An inherently weak and selfish, aggressive neurotic sees self as vastly superior, friendly and fair A detached individual may believe that she is so capable and self-sufficient that she never needs anything from anyone.

9 The Idealized Image (cont.) The idealized image appears very real to the individual, but inevitable failure leads to increased hatred for, and alienation from, the real self (self- contempt), leading to intensified inner conflicts and increased dependence on the idealized image. As this image becomes increasingly unrealistic, the individual feels compelled to bolster it with still greater triumphs (glory). One “should” be famous, perfect, unselfish, etc.: The “Tyranny of the Shoulds.” these feelings can also be externalized: experienced as coming from others.

10 Parental pathogenic behaviors: domination, overprotectiveness overindulgence, humiliation, etc. Basic Anxiety Safety replaces self-realization as child’s primary goal Child tries to achieve safety by moving toward, against, or away from people Repression of other two orientations Failure Increased anxiety, contempt for real self Greater need for idealized self- image Unrealistic, unattainable standards; “shoulds” The Neurotic Solution

11 Psychotherapy Goal: to unearth and resolve the patient’s deeply repressed inner conflicts. The patient needs to make two important discoveries about the supposedly lifesaving “neurotic solution: 1. it actually produces increased frustration and self-contempt 2. it conceals powerful opposing forces Have to bring the central inner conflict to light, relinquish the idealized image, and opt for the satisfaction (and challenge) of actualizing the real self.

12 Female Sexuality Early in her career, Horney conceded the existence of penis envy, but emphatically rejected Freud’s views that healthy women crave a boy child as a disguised penis substitute, or that the lack of a penis produces self-contempt and a weaker superego. “An organism biologically built for female functions cannot be ruled psychologically by a wish for masculine attributes.”

13 Female Sexuality Horney, instead, emphasized the role of cultural influences on female behavior. “If society regards strength, courage, independence and sexual freedom as masculine characteristics, while depicting frailty and dependence as inherently feminine, women will tend to believe that they deserve a subordinate position.”

14 Female Sexuality Horney argued that envy goes both ways: men envy women’s breasts, passivity and ability to bear children. She also cautioned that “penis envy” may encourage female patients to blame nature rather than their own neurotic solution for their difficulties.

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