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Personality Theorist Paper

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The Karen Horney was born in Germany on September 16, 1885. Her father was of Norwegian descent who was a sea captain and an authoritarian. She was turned away from religion and authority figures early in her life by her strict father. Her relationship with her father was void. Karen and her siblings called him the "Bible Thrower" because that it what he did when he got angry. Her father was not supportive of her goals and aspirations. Her mother was of Dutch descent and 19 years younger than her father. Her relationships with her mother was just the very opposite. Karen's mother was very nurturing and very supportive of Karen's goals and aspirations and encouraged her to pursue them.

In 1906, she entered medical school to earn her degree to become a doctor. In 1909, she married law student Oscar Horney and earned her medical degree from the University of Berlin in 1913. While suffering from depression caused by stress in 1915 she underwent Freudian analysis. From 1920 to 1932 she became an instructor at the Institute for Psychoanalysis in Berlin. Her marriage to Oscar was becoming distant so in 1932 she immigrated to the United States with her three daughters and takes the position of Associate Director of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. In 1934 she moved to New York and began teaching at he New York Psychoanalytic Institute. Due to her differences with Freud's theories she resigned from the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and she co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis in 1941. Karen Horney died on December 4, 1952.

The school of thought that Karen Horney falls under is Neo-Freudian. term Neo-Freudian or Psychodynamic has been used to describe those who left the Psychoanalytic society and formed their own school of thought. As Karen Horney and other respected theorists and psychologists started discussing, questioning, and revamping Freud's theories they found themselves at odds with the father of psychoanalysis in their views for the society and their theories.

These members began to break away from the Freudian camp and new theories came forth that have been well received in their own rights. The new theories still held the same beliefs of psychoanalysis and the most important view that the unconscious is an important drive in human emotions, cognitions, and behaviors. The ideas of defense mechanisms that relate to the unconscious have been maintained in many of these new theories as well as the importance of early development of the formation of personality.

As these new theories arose from psychoanalytic thought and the writings of Freud still maintain many Freudian components. Many of the disagreements revolved around the negativity of Freud's theories and his belief that most adult personality is shaped by early childhood experiences and also his failure to incorporate social and cultural influences.

Karen Horney countered Freud's concept of penis envy with what she called womb envy. She also disagreed with Freud's views on female psychology. She states that Freud's penis envy theory is inaccurate and demeaning to women. She proposed the womb envy theory in which men experience feelings of inferiority because the can not bear children. Horney argued that men compensate for this inability by striving for achievement and success in other means and realms. Karen Horney disagreed with Freud's belief that males and females were born with inherent differences in their personality. She argued for a societal and cultural explanation rather than a biological explanation. In Karen's views men and women were equal outside the cultural restrictions often placed on being female. She emphasized the women's feelings of inferiority to men point to the defects in our society and not the result of women's lack of a penis.

Horney disagreed with Freud's Oedipal complex and Freud's division of the personality into the Id, the Ego, and the Superego. She felt this theory was for another place and time. Karen Horney's personality theory had surreal similarities to Freudian theory. They both stressed the importance of early childhood but she did not agree with the psychosexual stages.



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