Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Karen Horney

“There is no good reason why we should not develop and change until the last day we live.”
- Karen Horney
Karen Horney’s personal life
Karen Horney was born on September 16, 1885 in Hamburg, Germany and in September 22, 1932 migrated to the United Sates. Since a little girl Horney knew that she wanted to be a doctor so she enrolled in the first school in Hamburg to prepare girls for the admission exam in 1901. A couple of years after moving out of her home in 1909, she married Oskar Horney and kept studying medicine at the Berlin Medical School. In 1910 she fall into depression and went for treatment with a psychoanalyst Karl Abraham (a friend and close associate of Sigmund Freud), that experience changed her life dramatically. During the day she would continue her medical studies but at night she would write entries about her treatment with Abraham. Soon after her treatment she became part of Berlin Psychoanalytic Society and in 1912 started treating patients (Raitt).
In March 1911 Horney gave birth to her first child, Brigitte (later gave birth to two more girls called Marianne in 1913 and Renate in 1916) and in the same year she passed the state medical exams. By the 1913 she got her license to practice medicine. She continued to see psychoanalytic patients but in her home, nonetheless “She also worked as a psychiatrist at the military neurological hospital in Lankwitz. In 1917 she gave her first lecture on psychoanalysis to an audience at the Medical Society of Sexology” (Raitt). As it is clearly noticed, Horney became very well-known in in the psychoanalytic field that she became the first woman in becoming part of a psychoanalytic clinic in Berlin and was the first woman in teaching at the Berlin Psychoanalytical Institute from 1918 to 1932 (Karen Denielsen Horney). Before migrating to the United States her brother, died of a pulmonary infection and Horney became very depressed that went out to swim at the open sea with the purpose of committing suicide.
In 1927 she divorced her husband and still continued her career as a psychoanalyst.
It is believed that Horney felt a strong passion for feminine psychology because while growing up, her parents made apparent that they prefer her brother. In addition, her father made it difficult for her to attend medical school and her mother intervened so she can graduate school. 
Contributions to Psychology
            Even though Karen Horney was well-known in Berlin concerning the psychoanalytic field, her reputation boomed when she migrated to the United States on 1932. She is said to be the pioneer for the development of psychology of women, and not only that, she contributed to the theories of neurosis and anxiety (Karen Horney). In most of the cases Horney participated on international assemblies along with Sigmund Freud; however Horney was getting influenced by the new flows of the 20th century that made her change her mind about some of Freud’s ideas, specially the ones concerning women (Karen Horney Danielsen). When Horney spoke for the first time in public in 1922 the world was amazed by her speech, in which she was against Freud’s ideas of women’s envy for penis; she proclaimed that it was just the benefits of having one that women envied, not being a man (Karen Horney).
            Right after Horney migrated to the United States, she became associate director of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute for two years. Soon after, began teaching at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute until 1941when Horney totally separated from Freud’s ideas.
She took the lead in founding the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis; she was the founding dean (1941-1952) of the American Institute for Psychoanalysis and the founding editor (1941-1952) of the American Journal of Psychoanalysis (Karen Danielsen Horney).
Feminine Psychology
            Karen Horney not only was a brilliant and successful psychoanalyst, she is also one of the first women that created a new way of thinking about women, developing psychology of women. Between the years of 1922 and 1937 she wrote 14 papers which talked about how society viewed women as the second sex and how dependable of the male figure women are. Horney felt that she had the obligation as a woman to elevate her sex in society’s eyes. Her decision of speaking up for women gave Horney an important role in psychology. (Webster.edu)
Summary of Horney and Freud difference in their theories:


- Feelings and attitudes determined by culture
- Deal with problems
Driven by emotional forces
- Compulsive drives but are neurotic
- Instinctual drives or object relationships determined biologically
- Deny problems
- Ego concept without initiative executive powers
- Convulsive drives but not driven to neurosis.

- Seeking self-realization
- Help from analysis to cope with life
- Avoids self-realization
- Love for the analyst

Inner Conflicts
- Abilities to be a decent person
- Man can change
- Repressed or repressing
- Disbelief in human goodness and growth
Source: URL posted on references
            In addition to her contributions to the different fields in psychology, were established Karen Horney Clinic and the training center for therapist Karen Horney Psychoanalytic Institute, both located in New York.
            Finally Karen Horney died in New York in 1952 with around four books published.
“Like all sciences and all valuations, the psychology of women has hitherto been considered only from the point of view of men.” – Karen Horney
           "Karen Danielsen Horney." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2nd ed. Vol. 7. Detroit: Gale, 2004. 508 509. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 7 Sep. 2012.
"Karen Horney." Feminist Writers. Ed. Pamela Kester-Shelton. Detroit: St. James Press, 1996. Literature Resource Center. Web. 2 Sep. 2012.
Raitt, Suzanne. "Karen (Clementine Theodore Danielsen) Horney." Twentieth-Century American Cultural Theorists. Ed. Paul Hansom. Detroit: Gale Group, 2001. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 246. Literature Resource Center. Web. 2 Sep. 2012.

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