One of the most original psychoanalysts after Freud, Karen Horney pioneered such now-familiar concepts as alienation, self-realization, and the idealized image, and she brought to psychoanalysis a new understanding of the importance of culture and environment.
Karen Horney was born in Hamburg in 1885 and studied at the University of Berlin, receiving her medical degree in 1913. From 1914 to 1918 she studied psychiatry at Berlin-Lankwitz, Germany, and from 1918 to 1932 taught at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. She participated in many international congresses, among them the historic discussion of lay analysis chaired by Sigmund Freud.Dr. Horney came to the United States in 1932 and for two years was associate director of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. In 1934 she came to New York and was a member of the teaching staff of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute until 1941, when she became one of the founders of the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis and the American Institute for Psychoanalysis.
In Neurosis and Human Growth, Dr. Horney discusses the neurotic process as a special form of human development: the antithesis of healthy growth. She unfolds the different stages of this situation, describing neurotic claims, the tyranny of inner dictates, and the neurotic’s solutions for relieving the tensions of conflict in such emotional attitudes as domination, self-effacement, dependency, or resignation. Throughout, she outlines with penetrating insight the forces that work for and against the person’s realization of his or her potentialities.
“Neurosis and Human Growth is in my opinion the most important psychoanalytic contribution to our understanding of the human organism…since the basic work of Sigmund Freud.” (Isidore Portnoy, MD)
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