Karen Horney Theorist - Essay Example

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Karen horney - theorist Karen Horney – Theorist Background Karen Horney was born on 19th September, 1885 in Hamburg, Germany, in the house of Clotlide and Berndt Danielson. Her father was a captain of a ship, a religious, noble man and an authoritarian…
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Download file to see previous pages While she presents her father as a cacophonous disciplinarian who preferred her brother Berndt over her, he seemingly brought her gifts from all over the world and even took her to three sea journeys with him – a very atypical thing for sea captains to do in those days. Nevertheless, she felt dismantled of her father’s affections, and so became extraordinarily attached to her mother, becoming, as she said, “her little lamb.” (Jones C. 1989) When she was of the age of nine, she changed her concept towards life, and became ambitious and even bellicose. She said, “If I couldn’t be pretty, I would be smart,” the only unusual thing in this was that she actually was pretty. Moreover, during this time, she aged something of a crush on her own brother. Beleaguered by her attentions, as one might expect of a teenage boy, he pushed her away. Her mother divorced her father and left him along with Karen and Berndt. In 1906, she got herself admitted in a medical school against her parents’ wishes and also against the admonition of a polite society of that particular time. At the medical school, she met a law student, named Oscar Horney, who she got married to in 1909. Karen gave birth to Brigitte in 1910, the first one of her three daughters. In 1911, her mother Sonni died but left a deep impact on the life of Karen. The bruises of these events were hard on Karen, and she became a victim of psychoanalysis. (Jones C. 1989) She had married a man who was not like her father. Oscar was tyrannical and harsh with his children unlike her father. Horney states that she did not interfere and rather considered this atmosphere good for her children. Only after a few years, she changed her perspective on childrearing. Oscar’s business collapsed in 1923 and he developed meningitis. He became an aggressive, broken man, who argued most of the times. Her brother also died in the same year at the age of 40 due to a pulmonary infection. She became very depressed, to the point of swimming out to a sea piling during holidays with the thought of committing suicide. (Quinn S. 1987) Karen along with her daughters, moved out of Oskar’s house in 1926. She moved to United States four years later in 1930. In those years, Brooklyn was the intellectual center of the world due to the arrival of Jewish refugees from Germany. It was this place where she became friends with people like Eric Fromm and Harry Stack Sullivan. Moreover, it was this place where she developed her theories on neurosis, which were based on her experiences as a psychotherapist. (Quinn S. 1987) Key Concepts and Human Nature The most important contribution, perhaps, by Karen Horney for the psychodynamic thought were her disagreements with the views of Freud about women. Horney was never a follower of Freud, but she did study his research and eventually started teaching psychoanalysis at two universities, Berlin and New York psychoanalytic institutes. After her persistence that Freud’s thought of the congenital difference between males and females was biased, she decided to leave the institute and establish her own school known as the American Institute of Psychoanalysis. (Quinn S. 1987) In several ways, Horney was far ahead of her time and although she had already died when the feminist movement took place, she was the one who changed the way psychology conceptualized males and females. She contravened the concept of Freud of penis envy with something of her own, called as womb ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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