Karen Horney

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Disagreeing with Freud on many issues and paying close attention to feminine psychology were only a few contributions that Karen Horney made to the world of Psychology. She had very different views on Neurosis and how it played a part in a person’s life.

Karen Horney was born on September 16, 1885 near Hamburg, Germany (Muskingum, 1999). Her father was Berndt Danielson and Clotilde Danielson. Berndt was a ship captain and Karen was grateful when he was out to see. She was deprived from her father’s affection and this affected her life in a dramatic way. She was always striving for his attention. She had painted a picture of her father disciplining the other children. She had developed a crush on her brother Brendt, who was preferred by her father, and he did not return the affection to Karen. At this moment was when Karen had her first bout of depression.

Karen was very close to her mother, and she faced another bout of depression when her mother passed away in 1911. She began Medical school in 1906 where she met her husband Oscar Horney and married him in 1909. Just before her mother passed away, she had the first of three daughters in 1910. After her mother passed away she decided to study psychoanalysis.

In 1923 her husband’s law firm collapsed and he came down with meningitis. He became meaner then he was before and was an enormous strain on their all ready strained relationship. Her brother also passed away at this time and the depression that had always riddled Karen was back again. At one points he swam out to see, and thought about committing suicide (Boeree, 1997). Karen and her daughters moved to the US in 1926.

Horneys theory of neurosis was of one of a day to day life. She saw neurosis as a way to make life more manageable and bearable. As she said, this is a way to seem like we are doing ok when we may be sinking. She developed ten patterns of needs in her experiences. The neurotic needs are as follows:

1. The neurotic need for...
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