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Karen Horney

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Karen Horney
Karen Horney is one of the preeminent figures and founders of modern psychoanalysis. Although her ideas are not widely taught today or accepted as a basis of psychoanalysis in and of themselves, her ideas of social and environmental influences are “integrated into modern psychoanalysis therapies and personality development theory” (Quinn). She was a contemporary of Sigmund Freud and was one of his early followers. Yet Horney joined the class of neo-Freudians after her research and writing led her to develop and establish psychoanalytical theories that ran counter to Freud's ideas. She objected to the Freudian psychology of women, which instigated the search for her own theories for the causes of neurosis. This in turn led to her personality development theory. Horney devoted her professional life to clinical studies and deriving therapies based upon her own observations, theories, and beliefs. “ The foundation of her study rested on the tenet that social, cultural, environmental, and parental factors, influences, and issues shape child development more so than do biological factors” (Hendricks). In a further divergence from Freudian theories, Karen Horney believed gender based neurotical problems were reflections of other disturbances in the relationships within the child's life rather than integrated biological drives. She used the merging of cultural values into a person's personality as a measuring rod for normal personality adjustment or maladjustment. Her therapy goal was to re-unite the troubled individual with the person's real self, initiating an awareness of self-realization through long term therapy and increasing awareness pertaining to the real self. Using self-realization as the entire foundation of positive mental health and adjustment, she discarded all ideas and theories whereby instincts, biology, or instinctual behaviors played any significant part in mental balance. Horney omitted any other anxiety producing relationships as well. She


References: Hendrick, Ives. Facts and Theories of Psychoanalysis. New York: Alfred A. Knopf; 1967. Horney, Karen. Neurosis and Human Growth. New York: W. W. Norton and Co., Inc.; 1950. Horney, Karen. New Ways in Psychoanalysis. New York: W. W. Norton and Co., Inc.; 1939.

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