Horney, Karen

Horney, Karen
orig. Karen Danielsen

born Sept. 16, 1885, Blankenese, near Hamburg, Ger.
died Dec. 4, 1952, New York, N.Y., U.S.

German-U.S. psychoanalyst.

After receiving her M.D. degree, she underwent psychoanalytic training with Karl Abraham, and from 1920 to 1932 she conducted a private practice while also teaching at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. Settling in New York City in 1934, she began teaching at the New School for Social Research. She departed from some of Sigmund Freud's basic principles, rejecting his concept of penis envy and emphasizing the need to help patients identify and cope with the specific causes of current anxieties rather than focus on childhood traumas and fantasies. Expelled from the New York Psychoanalytic Institute in 1941, she organized a new group, the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis. Her works include The Neurotic Personality of Our Time (1937) and New Ways in Psychoanalysis (1939).

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▪ German psychoanalyst
née  Karen Danielsen 
born September 16, 1885, Blankenese, near Hamburg, Germany
died December 4, 1952, New York, New York, U.S.
 German-born American psychoanalyst who, departing from some of the basic principles of Sigmund Freud (Freud, Sigmund), suggested an environmental and social basis for the personality and its disorders.

      Karen Danielsen studied medicine at the universities of Freiburg, Göttingen, and Berlin, taking her M.D. degree from the last in 1911. (In 1909 she married Oscar Horney, a lawyer, from whom she was separated in 1926 and divorced in 1937.) After a period of medical practice she became interested in psychoanalysis, and from 1913 to 1915 she studied and entered analysis with Karl Abraham (Abraham, Karl), a close associate and disciple of Sigmund Freud. From 1915 to 1920 she engaged in clinical and outpatient psychiatric work in connection with Berlin hospitals, and in 1920 she joined the teaching staff of the newly founded Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute.

      Although she adhered in the main to the outlines of Freudian theory (Freud, Sigmund), Horney early began to disagree with Freud's view of female psychology, which he treated as an offshoot of male psychology. Unaffected by the worshipful awe that held many early Freudians to received dogma, she forthrightly rejected such notions as penis envy and other manifestations of male bias in psychoanalytic theory. She argued instead that the source of much female psychiatric disturbance is located in the very male-dominated culture that had produced Freudian theory. She introduced the concept of womb envy, suggesting that male envy of pregnancy, nursing, and motherhood—of women's primary role in creating and sustaining life—led men to claim their superiority in other fields.

      In 1932 Horney went to the United States to become associate director of the Institute for Psychoanalysis in Chicago. She moved to New York City in 1934 to return to private practice and teach at the New School for Social Research. There she produced her major theoretical works, The Neurotic Personality of Our Time (1937) and New Ways in Psychoanalysis (1939), in which she argued that environmental and social conditions, rather than the instinctual or biological drives described by Freud, determine much of individual personality and are the chief causes of neuroses and personality disorders. In particular, Horney objected to Freud's concepts of the libido, the death instinct, and the Oedipus complex, which she thought could be more adequately explained by cultural and social conditions. She believed that a primary condition responsible for the later development of neurosis was the infant's experience of basic anxiety, in which the child felt “isolated and helpless in a potentially hostile world.” The various strategies the child adopts to cope with this anxiety can eventually become persistent and irrational needs that cause both neurosis and personality disorder.

      Many of Horney's ideas, rooted as they were in her wide clinical experience, were translated into a new approach to psychoanalytic therapy. She sought to help patients identify the specific cause of present anxieties, thinking that it was just as important to the goals of psychoanalysis to deal with real-life, present-day problems as it was to reconstruct childhood emotional states and fantasies. In many cases, she suggested that the patient could even learn to psychoanalyze himself.

      Her refusal to adhere to strict Freudian theory caused Horney's expulsion from the New York Psychoanalytic Institute in 1941, which left her free to organize a new group, the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, and its affiliated teaching centre, the American Institute for Psychoanalysis. Horney founded the association's American Journal of Psychoanalysis and served as its editor until her death in 1952. She also continued to write, further expounding her views that neuroses were caused by disturbances in interpersonal relationships in Our Inner Conflicts (1945) and Neurosis and Human Growth (1950). The Karen Horney Foundation was established in New York the year of her death and gave rise in 1955 to the Karen Horney Clinic. Horney's analysis of the causes and the dynamics of neurosis and her revision of Freud's theory of personality have remained influential. Her ideas on female psychosexual development were given particular attention after Feminine Psychology, a collection of her early papers on the subject, was published in 1967.

Additional Reading
Horney's life and work are examined in Jack L. Rubins, Karen Horney: Gentle Rebel of Psychoanalysis (1978); Marcia Westkott, The Feminist Legacy of Karen Horney (1986); Susan Quinn, A Mind of Her Own (1987); and Bernard J. Paris, Karen Horney: A Psychoanalyst's Search for Self-Understanding (1994).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Horney, Karen — orig. Karen Danielsen (16 sep. 1885, Blankenese, cerca de Hamburgo, Alemania–4 dic. 1952, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.). Psicoanalista estadounidense de origen alemán. Luego de recibir su grado de M.D., se formó como psicoanalista con Karl Abraham, y …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Horney,Karen Danielsen — Hor·ney (hôrʹnī), Karen Danielsen. 1885 1952. German born American psychoanalyst who emphasized the role of environmental and cultural factors in the development of neurosis. Her works include The Neurotic Personality of Our Time (1937) and… …   Universalium

  • Karen Horney — Nacimiento 16 de septiembre de 1885 …   Wikipedia Español

  • HORNEY (K.) — HORNEY KAREN (1885 1952) Née à Hambourg en 1885 d’un père d’origine norvégienne et d’une mère d’origine hollandaise, Karen Danielsen fait ses études de médecine à Berlin où elle épouse un avocat d’origine hongroise, Oscar Horney, dont elle… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Karen Horney — (16 septembre 1885 à Blankenese pres d Hambourg 4 décembre 1952) est une psychanalyste allemande d ascendance néerlandaise et norvégienne. Elle a été mariée à un riche industriel, puis, après son exil aux États Unis en 1932, elle est devenue… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Horney — noun United States psychiatrist (1885 1952) • Syn: ↑Karen Horney, ↑Karen Danielsen Horney • Instance Hypernyms: ↑psychiatrist, ↑head shrinker, ↑shrink …   Useful english dictionary

  • Karen Danielsen Horney — noun United States psychiatrist (1885 1952) • Syn: ↑Horney, ↑Karen Horney • Instance Hypernyms: ↑psychiatrist, ↑head shrinker, ↑shrink …   Useful english dictionary

  • Karen Horney — noun United States psychiatrist (1885 1952) • Syn: ↑Horney, ↑Karen Danielsen Horney • Instance Hypernyms: ↑psychiatrist, ↑head shrinker, ↑shrink …   Useful english dictionary

  • Karen — /keuh ren /, n., pl. Karens, (esp. collectively) Karen, adj. n. 1. a group of people of eastern and southern Burma (Myanmar). 2. one of these people. 3. the language of the Karen, a Tibeto Burman language of the Sino Tibetan family. adj. 4. of or …   Universalium

  • karen — (as used in expressions) Karen Christence Dinesen Horney, Karen Karen Danielsen …   Enciclopedia Universal

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