Karen Horney

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KAREN HORNEY

1. Topic: Karen Horney

2. Perspective Question: How do the strategies a person uses to cope with Basic Anxiety result in the formation of the personality—moving towards, moving away, moving against others?

3. Establish Mindset:

a. What are 3 situations that make you insecure?

b. What do you think are the constant patterns that generates the insecurity?

c. How did you cope with each situation?

d. What is the common strategy you discovered for how you coped?

4. What is the Need? Karen Horney recognized that the existing personality theories were over-focused on “male psychology” and she sought to correct that and present a “feminine psychology.” She expanded on Sullivan’s idea about the social environment and gave a more psychological explanation regarding the child’s responding to that environment. Her theory of neurosis began moving more towards what later became the cognitive movement describing patterns of coping that were dysfunctional.

5. Goal Questions:

a. What are the two basic needs and how does it result in the conflict leading to Basic Anxiety?

b. How does Basic Anxiety come from having these two basic needs?

c. How do the strategies a person uses to cope with Basic Anxiety result in the formation of the personality—moving towards, moving away, moving against others?

6. Key Terms:
a. Two Basic Needs
b. Basic Anxiety
c. The Hostile World:
d. Basic Hostility
e. Ten Neurotic Needs (Strategies of Coping):
f. Three General Categories / Strategies
g. Basic Theory of Neurosis

h. Socially Induced Anxiety:

7. Illustration:

a. What are examples of a young child (e.g., age 2-3) showing a conflict between dependence on the parents versus resentment towards them?

b. What are examples of a youth (age 12-14) showing a conflict between dependence on the parents versus resentment towards them?

c. What are the “strategies of coping” would the child and youth most likely try? (focus on the examples of Neurotic Needs and 3 coping strategies)

d. How would you expect Basic Anxiety to show itself for the child and the youth?

8. Significance: Karen Horney developed a theory that has been very influential both in recognizing and seeking to correct the male bias in the other theories and in developing a framework that eventually led to the development of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and the Cognitive Therapies. She also gave more depth in explaining the nature of the child’s experience to the social environment and how certain coping strategies become personality patterns that can be neurotic or healthy.

9. Karen Horney’s Basic Motivational Theory:

a. CONFLICT naturally occurs in the form of Basic Anxiety due to the fact people have 2 Basic Needs that we have to cope with.

i. The Two Basic Needs:

1. Satisfaction of physical needs

2. Safety to feel wanted, loved, etc.

3. Please note than these two basic needs formed Abraham Maslow’s foundation for his hierarchy of needs. Maslow expanded on Horney’s basic premise. We can combine his hierarchy of needs into her theory and form a way to adapt Maslow’s theory into a counseling framework.

4. Discussion: How can you expand the 2 Basic Needs into a Christian understanding? [Maslow’s model allows us to bring in the Meta-Level needs which we can use within a Christian framework to include our need for God]

b. When we experience isolation and helplessness in a potentially hostile world we experience insecurity.

i. The Hostile World for a child is socially induced anxiety when the child feels isolate or separated...
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