According to Karen Horney in Neurosis and Human Growth , people defend themselves against feeling unsafe, unloved, and unvalued by developing interpersonal and intrapsychic strategies of defense. The interpersonal strategies involve adopting a self-effacing, expansive, or resigned solution. Each of these solutions entails a constellation of personality traits, behaviors, and beliefs, and a bargain with fate in which obedience to the dictates of that solution is supposed to be rewarded. Because people tend to employ more than one solution, they are beset by inner conflicts. In the self-effacing solution, people try to gain safety, love, and esteem through dependency, humility, and self-sacrificing "goodness.
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According to Karen Horney in Neurosis and Human Growth , people defend themselves against feeling unsafe, unloved, and unvalued by developing interpersonal and intrapsychic strategies of defense.
The interpersonal strategies involve adopting a self-effacing, expansive, or resigned solution. Each of these solutions entails a constellation of personality traits, behaviors, and beliefs, and a bargain with fate in which obedience to the dictates of that solution is supposed to be rewarded. Because people tend to employ more than one solution, they are beset by inner conflicts. In the self-effacing solution, people try to gain safety, love, and esteem through dependency, humility, and self-sacrificing "goodness.
There are three expansive solutions: the narcissistic, the perfectionistic, and the arrogant-vindictive. Narcissists are full of self-admiration, have an unquestioned belief in their own greatness, and often display unusual charm and buoyancy.
Their bargain is that if they can hold onto their exaggerated claims for themselves, life is required to give them what they want. Perfectionists take great pride in their rectitude. They have a legalistic bargain in which correctness of conduct ensures fair treatment by fate and fellow humans. Arrogant-vindictive people have a need to retaliate for childhood injuries and to achieve mastery by manipulating others. They do not count on life to give them anything but are convinced that they can reach their ambitious goals if they remain true to their vision of the world as a jungle and do not allow themselves to be influenced by their softer feelings or the traditional morality.
Resigned people worship freedom, peace, and self-sufficiency. Their bargain is that if they ask nothing of others, they will not be bothered; that if they try for nothing, they will not fail; and that if they expect little of life, they will not be disappointed.
The intrapsychic strategies are linked to the interpersonal. To compensate for feelings of weakness, inadequacy, and low self-esteem, people develop an idealized image of themselves that they seek to actualize by embarking on a search for glory. The idealized image generates neurotic pride, neurotic claims, and tyrannical shoulds. People take pride in the imaginary attributes of their idealized selves, demand that the world treat them in accordance with their grandiose conception of themselves, and drive themselves to live up to the dictates of their solution.
This tends to intensify self-hate, since any failure to live up to one's shoulds or of the world to honor one's claims leads to feelings of worthlessness. The content of the idealized image is most strongly determined by the predominant interpersonal strategy, but because the subordinate strategies are also at work, the idealized image is full of inner divisions.
As a result, people are often caught in a crossfire of conflicting shoulds. The object of therapy for Horney is to help people relinquish these self-defeating defenses and actualize their real selves. This book is a major contribution to psychoanalytic theory and has influenced the study of literature, biography, gender, and culture.
Horney, Karen. Neurosis and human growth: The struggle toward self-realization. New York : W. The neurotic personality of our time. New ways of psychoanalysis. Are you considering psychoanalysis? New York: W. Paris, Bernard. Karen Horney : A psychoanalyst's search for self-understanding.
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Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia. Neurosis and Human Growth gale. Source Citation Horney, Karen. Bibliography Horney, Karen. International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis. Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia. More From encyclopedia. Most Americans… Self-concept , Self-Concept The self is the central concept used to represent the individual in sociological social psychology.
Initially referred to by psychologists, it was then taken up by psychoanalysts without reall… Self-actualization , Self-Actualization A prominent term in humanistic psychology that refers to the basic human need for self-fulfillment. The term self-actualization wa… Self , The term self is used in several different senses.
It can refer to the ensemble of the psychic agencies, the narcissistic organization of the psyche,…. Horney, Karen Danielsen. Strategies, Self-Handicapping. Self-Affirmation Theory. Bipolar Self. Cutting and Self-Harm. Humanistic psychology. Neuroscience, Social. Neuroscience and Religion: Neurotheology. Neuroscience and Religion: Neuroepistemology. Neuroscience and Religion: An Overview.
Neuroscience and Religion. Neuroptera Lacewings. Neuropsychological Assessment. Neurotic Defenses. Neurotransmitter Systems and Memory. Neururer, Otto, Bl. Neuschwander, Cindy Neusidler, Hans. Neusidler, Melchior. Neusiedler Lake. Neusner, Jacob.
Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Towards Self-Realization
This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables. In Karen Horney's opinion, a neurotic process is a special form of human development and constitutes the antithesis of healthy growth. Man's energies are directed toward realization of his own potentialities. Under traumatic conditions, a person may become alienated from his real self and then misdirect his energies into creating and building up a false idealized self based on pride but harassed by doubts, self contempt and self hate. The goal of therapy then would be the liberation of the forces that lead to true self realization. The book is concluded with the following paragraph "Albert Schweitzer uses the term 'optimistic' and 'pessimistic' in the sense of 'world and life affirmation' and 'world and life negation.
Neurosis and Human Growth
Karen Horney was born in Hamburg, Germany, in and studied at the University of Berlin, receiving her medical degree in From to she studied psychiatry at Berlin-Lankwitz, Germany, and from to taught at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. She participated in many international congresses, among them the historic discussion of lay analysis, chaired by Sigmund Freud. In she came to New York and was a member of the teaching staff of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute until , 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 the human development, the antithesis of healthy growth.
Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization.
In it she outlines her theory of neurosis. In Horney's view, the key difference between neurosis and healthy growth is the difference between compulsive actions fueled by anxiety and spontaneous actions fueled by one's full range of emotions. If a person grows up able to maintain his or her spontaneity, that person grows up by a process which Horney calls self-realization. Horney describes self-realization as the development of a person's given potentialities, and compares it with the process of an acorn growing, given fertile soil, into a tree. The principal subject of the book, however, is what happens when a person's spontaneity is crushed in early life. The person will slowly lose touch with that spontaneity or " real self " and develop, instead, a reactive self which is constructed to respond to dangers of various kinds.