Karen HorneyPsychoanalyst and Feminine Psychologist Erica Merryweather
Biography • Born Karen Danielsen in 1885. • Born in Hamburg, Germany. • Much of Horney’s mental health issues resulted from relationships in her family. • Married Oskar Horney in 1909. • Further developed her ideas and theories of psychoanalysis in the United States. • Died in 1952. Karen and Oskar Horney with two children.
Positions • Studied medicine at several universities in Germany. • In 1920, started to work at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. • Joined the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. • Moved to New York City in 1934 to return to private practice and teaching at The New School for Social Research.
Horney’s Field of Research • “Perhaps the most important contribution Karen Horney made to psychodynamic thought was her disagreements with Freud's view of women” –AllPsych Online • Feminine Psychology • Neurosis • Self-Theory • Neurotic Needs VS
Neo-Freudianism While Horney followed Freudian theory, she disagreed with many of his ideologies, particularly Freud’s idea of ‘penis envy’. She also altered Freud’s oedipus and electra complexes.
Neo-Freudianism Freud Horney Personality Humans are a product of culture and society, and we have the ability to mold our personality. Desexualized Oedipal/Electra Complex Clinging to one parent is the result of the child’s interpretation of their relationship with one parent or another. Womb Envy Men were jealous of the female’s ability to bear children. • Personality • Humans are a product of biological, sexual, and predetermined forces. • Oedipal/Electra Complex • During the phallic stage of development, the boy sees the father as competition for the mother’s affection. Similarly, the female sees the mother as competition for the father’s affection. • Penis envy • Women were jealous of the power men held in society.
Given your knowledge of “penis envy”, what would Sigmund Freud think of successful women such as Hillary Clinton, Amelia Earheart, and Mother Teresa?
MalalaYousafzai was shot by the Taliban earlier in 2012 when she denounced their power in her community and promoted education for girls. What would groups like the Taliban think of Karen Horney’s “womb envy”? What would they think of Karen Horney in general?
Feminine Psychology “The American woman is different from the German woman; both are different from certain Pueblo Indian women. The New York society woman is different from the farmer’s wife in Idaho. . . . Specific cultural conditions engender specific qualities and faculties, in women as in men” –Karen Horney
Feminine Psychology Male-dominated societies made women feel inferior to men. Women are only known through their relationship to men. Women must be understood as individuals, not as a collective, nor as their relationship to their husbands or families.
Neurosis Neurosis is a form of a mental illness where one that is affected has trouble coping with day to day problems and suffers from severe unease and obsession.
Neurosis: Self Theory • Someone with a healthy view of themselves is able to access their full potential. • Tyranny of the Shoulds • Neurotic’s view of self is split into the ideal and the abhorred. • When someone feels they are lacking in some aspect of their life, they create a perfect view of themselves, that is not attainable. • When someone feels hated by those around them, they believe that the characteristics that make them hated, are the same ones that make up their true self. • This person is neurotic because they are constantly alternating between the two “selves”. • Since this neurotic does not have a healthy self image, they cannot realize their full potential.
Neurosis: Neurotic Needs Horney’s 10 neurotic needs are as follows: Affection Dominant partners Power Exploitation of others Social recognition Admiration Personal success Perfection Self-sufficiency Narrow one’s opportunities in life. • The child’s perception of a relationship is responsible for neurosis in adulthood. • Neurotic needs are solutions to basic anxieties, abandonment and loneliness.
Neurosis: Neurotic Needs Horney’s Neurotic Needs are Divided into 3 Behaviours and Attitudes • Compliant Personality • Aggressive Personality • Detached Personality
Neurosis: Neurotic NeedsCompliant Personality Most children use this attitude in an attempt to regain parental affection and attention. Need for affection and a dominant partner. Compliant personalities will make themselves appear inviting and pleasant in order to win the approval of others. In the event a compliant personality fears the loss of a dominant partner, they will manipulate the partner in order to make themselves look appealing. “’Look at me. I am so weak and helpless that you must protect and love me.’” –Karen Horney
Neurosis: Neurotic NeedsAggressive Personality Reaction to parental indifference is hostility. Need for power, exploitation, social recognition, admiration, and personal success. When aggressive personalities thrive in several aspects of their life, they receive affirmation of respect and that they are important through others.
Neurosis: Neurotic Needs Detached Personality • When neither aggression, nor compliance work to eliminate basic anxiety, a neurotic will become detached with society. • Need for perfection, self-sufficiency, and small life. • Detached personalities value privacy about all else out of fear of being rejected if they expressed their true selves. • Detached personalities don’t want to be restrained by any form of guidelines.
Neurosis: Neurotic Needs • Horney’s ten needs are seen to varying degrees in every person. • A neurotic person will make these needs central to their behaviour, personality, and how they appear to others. • The need to ensure these needs are constantly being met is imperative to the ability of the neurotic to live happily.
Significance and Important Contributions • Mother of feminine psychology. • 14 works on feminine psychology written between 1922 and 1937 compiled in book. • First woman to present paper on feminine psychology at an international conference held by Sigmund Freud. • One of first social scientists to challenge Freud’s androcentric view of society. • Views on neurosis are preeminent in comparison to other views.