1: Introduction to Neo-Freudian Theory
2: Alfred Adler's Individual Psychology
3: Carl Jung's Analytic Psychology
4: Erik Erikson's Ego Psychology
5: Karen Horney's Feminine Psychology
6: Harry Stack Sullivan
7: Erich Fromm
of her Time
the most important contribution Karen Horney made to
psychodynamic thought was her disagreements with
Freud's view of women. Horney was never a
student of Freud, but did study his work and
eventually taught psychoanalysis at both the Berlin
and New York Psychoanalytic Institute. After
her insistence that Freud's view of the inherent
difference between males and females, she agreed to
leave the institute and form her own school known as
the American Institute for Psychoanalysis.
many ways, Horney was well ahead of her time and
although she died before the feminist movement took
hold, she was perhaps the theorist who changed the
way psychology looked at gender differences.
She countered Freud's concept of penis envy with
what she called womb envy, or man's envy of woman's
ability to bear children. She argued that men
compensate for this inability by striving for
achievement and success in other realms.
also disagreed with Freud's belief that males and
females were born with inherent differences in their
personality. Rather than citing biological
differences, she argued for a societal and cultural
explanation. In her view, men and women were
equal outside of the cultural restrictions often
placed on being female. These views, while not
well accepted at the time, were used years after her
death to help promote gender equality.
was also known for her study of neurotic
personality. She defined neurosis as a
maladaptive and counterproductive way of dealing
with relationships. These people are unhappy
and desperately seek out relationships in order to
feel good abut themselves. Their way of
securing these relationships include projections of
their own insecurity and neediness which eventually
drives others away.
of us have come in contact with people who seem to
successfully irritate or frighten people away with
their clinginess, significant lack of self esteem,
and even anger and threatening behavior.
According to Horney, these individuals adapted this
personality style through a childhood filled with
anxiety. And while this way of dealing with
others may have been beneficial in their youth, as
adults it serves to almost guarantee their needs
will not be met.
identified three ways of dealing with the world that
are formed by an upbringing in a neurotic family:
Moving Toward People, Moving Against People, and
Moving Away From People.
Toward People. Some children who feel a
great deal of anxiety and helplessness move toward
people in order to seek help and acceptance.
They are striving to feel worthy and can believe the
only way to gain this is through the acceptance of
others. These people have an intense need to
be liked, involved, important, and
appreciated. So much so, that they will often
fall in love quickly or feel an artificial but very
strong attachment to people they may not know
well. Their attempts to make that person love
them creates a clinginess and neediness that much
more often than not results in the other person
leaving the relationship.
Against People. Another way to deal with
insecurities and anxiety is to try to force your
power onto others in hopes of feeling good about
yourself. Those with this personality style
come across as bossy, demanding, selfish, and even
cruel. Horney argued that these people project
their own hostilities (which she called externalization)
onto others and therefore use this as a justification
to 'get them before they get me.' Once again,
relationships appear doomed from the beginning.
Away From People. The final possible
consequence of a neurotic household is a personality
style filled with asocial behavior and an almost indifference
to others. If they don't get involved with
others, they can't be hurt by them. While it
protects them from emotional pain of relationships,
it also keeps away all positive aspects of
relationships. It leaves them feeling alone