Karen Horney

1 January 2017

Karen Horney recognized that the existing personality theories were over-focused on “male psychology” and she sought to correct that and present a “feminine psychology. ” She expanded on Sullivan’s idea about the social environment and gave a more psychological explanation regarding the child’s responding to that environment. Her theory of neurosis began moving more towards what later became the cognitive movement describing patterns of coping that were dysfunctional. 5. Goal Questions: a. What are the two basic needs and how does it result in the conflict leading to Basic Anxiety? b.

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How does Basic Anxiety come from having these two basic needs? c. How do the strategies a person uses to cope with Basic Anxiety result in the formation of the personality—moving towards, moving away, moving against others? 6. Key Terms: a. Two Basic Needs b. Basic Anxiety c. The Hostile World: d. Basic Hostility e. Ten Neurotic Needs (Strategies of Coping): f. Three General Categories / Strategies g. Basic Theory of Neurosis h. Socially Induced Anxiety: 7. Illustration: a. What are examples of a young child (e. g. , age 2-3) showing a conflict between dependence on the parents versus resentment towards them? b.

What are examples of a youth (age 12-14) showing a conflict between dependence on the parents versus resentment towards them? c. What are the “strategies of coping” would the child and youth most likely try? (focus on the examples of Neurotic Needs and 3 coping strategies) d. How would you expect Basic Anxiety to show itself for the child and the youth? 8. Significance: Karen Horney developed a theory that has been very influential both in recognizing and seeking to correct the male bias in the other theories and in developing a framework that eventually led to the development of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and the Cognitive Therapies.

She also gave more depth in explaining the nature of the child’s experience to the social environment and how certain coping strategies become personality patterns that can be neurotic or healthy. 9. Karen Horney’s Basic Motivational Theory: a. CONFLICT naturally occurs in the form of Basic Anxiety due to the fact people have 2 Basic Needs that we have to cope with. i. The Two Basic Needs: 1. Satisfaction of physical needs 2. Safety to feel wanted, loved, etc. 3. Please note than these two basic needs formed Abraham Maslow’s foundation for his hierarchy of needs. Maslow expanded on Horney’s basic premise.

We can combine his hierarchy of needs into her theory and form a way to adapt Maslow’s theory into a counseling framework. 4. Discussion: How can you expand the 2 Basic Needs into a Christian understanding? [Maslow’s model allows us to bring in the Meta-Level needs which we can use within a Christian framework to include our need for God] b. When we experience isolation and helplessness in a potentially hostile world we experience insecurity. i. The Hostile World for a child is socially induced anxiety when the child feels isolate or separated from his/her parents psychologically).

Generally, anything that disturbs this relationship (resulting in isolation and helplessness—also note Martin Seligman’s theory of learned helplessness can expand on this notion) is the beginning of Basic Anxiety. iii. Basic Anxiety arises from social and not biological needs of that feeling of isolation and helplessness leading to insecurity. c. Motivational Principle: People are motivated to Cope with the Basic Anxiety 10. Karen Horney’s Theory of Neurosis: a. The child’s motivation is a conflict of dependence on our parents versus resentment towards them.

Anything that disturbs the security of the child in relation to his/her parents produces Basic Anxiety. i. Discussion: Form a Dialectic conflict and how does dependence result in the coping process of resentment? (Point: Think of resentment as a coping response—even though not a very good one) b. This resentment is a Basic Hostility of resenting our parents frustrating us. i. Discussion: What is the power, importance, and value of Basic Hostility? [Motivation to develop more autonomy, feel safe and secure in the world] ii. Discussion: What is the underlying irrational belief? The demand that the world and people treat me the way I want and give me what I want when I want it. This relates to Freud’s position about delayed gratification.

Therefore, our motivation is to cope with the Basic Anxiety in order to feel safe and secure in the world. d. The insecure, anxious child develops various strategies by which to cope with his/her feelings of isolation and helplessness. i. Examples of the Strategies: 1. He may become hostile and seek to avenge himself against those who have rejected or mistreated him. 2. He may become overly submissive in order to win back the love that he feels he has lost. . He may develop an unrealistic, idealized picture of himself in order to compensate for his feelings of inferiority.

He may try to bribe others into loving him, 5. He may use threats to force people to like him 6. He may wallow in self-pity in order to gain people’s sympathy. 7. If he cannot get love he may seek to obtain power over others. e. Horney’s Theory of Neurosis is: i. the Basic Anxiety and the neurotic functioning relating to how individuals attempt to cope with basic anxiety—the feeling a child has of being isolated and helpless in a potentially hostile world.

Feeling isolated and helpless = insecurity. 1. This is experienced when a child feels separated from parents psychologically, lonely, insecure. 2. Anything that disturbs this relationship is beginning of basic anxiety. f. The Basic Theory of Neurosis: In the neurotic person there is a conflict among three ways of responding to this basic anxiety. i. The three trends are moving towards, moving away, moving against others. All three are characterized by rigidity and the lack of fulfillment of individual potential, the essence of any neurosis. i. Basic Anxiety comes from our perception of a hostile world.

Her basic theory: Socially induced anxiety. iii. General assumption: The helplessness of the infant is a determining factor in the basic behavior pattern of the individual. g. What are the Differences Between the Neurotic Person and the Normal Person? i. The essential difference between the neurotic and normal person is one of degree. “…the disparity between the conflicting issues is much less great for the normal person than for the neurotic. The person who is likely to become neurotic is one who has experienced the culturally determined difficulties in an accentuated form, mostly through the medium of childhood experience. ii. The process of change towards being normal requires increased flexibility in the neurotic needs. Everyone has these conflicts but those with early experiences with rejection, neglect, overprotection, and other kinds of unfortunate parental treatment, posses them in an aggravated form.

The normal person can resolve these conflicts by integrating the three basic orientations. The normal person can integrate these for appropriate use. v. The neurotic person has greater basic anxiety and ends up utilizing irrational and artificial solutions. There is a conflict among the three trends in the effort to deal with basic anxiety. The neurotic person locks in on one of these needs for emphasis and is unable to integrate. 11. Theory of Neurosis: The 10 Neurotic Needs People a. The 10 Neurotic Needs are “strategies” people develop for coping with anxiety and insecurity b. The Intent of these Strategies for coping: To cope with Basic Anxiety we develop Strategies for Coping with the intent of feeling safe and secure in the world.

However, people often us neurotic solutions which are irrational demands of how the world should treat them or how they ought to act in the world. ii. Albert Ellis said to look for the demand in our thinking because that makes the belief irrational c. The 10 Neurotic Needs are an excessive or neurotic need for the following 10 demands: i. The 10 Neurotic Needs 1. Affection and Approval: Indiscriminate striving to be loved and admired by others; overly sensitive to criticism, rejection, or unfriendliness; Indiscriminate wish to please others and to live up to their expectations. 2.

Having a Partner to Take Control—to take over one’s life: Excessive dependence on others and fearful of being abandoned or left alone; overvaluing love because love can solve everything; Extremely afraid of being deserted and left alone. 3. Restricting Life Within Narrow Limits: Preference for a life-style in which routine and orderliness are paramount; being undemanding, content with little, and submitting to the will of others; prefers to remain inconspicuous and values modesty above all else. 4. Power: Domination and control of others for its own sake; craving for power for its own sake.

An indiscriminate glorification of strength and a contempt for weakness (in self or others). An essential disrespect for others. 5. Exploiting Others: Dread of being exploited or made to look “stupid” by others but thinking nothing of taking advantage of them. 6. Social Recognition–Prestige: Wish to be admired and respected by others; basing self-image on public status; one’s self-evaluation is determined by the amount of public recognition received. 7. Personal Admiration: Drive to create an inflated self-image devoid of flaws and limitations; living to be flattered and complimented by others.

Inflated picture of himself and wishes to be admired on this basis and not for what he really is. 8. Personal Ambition–Achievement: Intense striving to be the very best regardless of the consequences; dreading failure. Self-demand to be the very best and driving himself to greater and greater achievements as a result of his basic insecurity. 9. Self-Sufficiency and Independence: Having been disappointed in his attempts to find warm, satisfying relationships with people, the person sets himself apart from others and refuses to be tied down to anyone or anything.

He becomes a lone wolf. Avoidance of any relationship that involves commitment or obligation; distancing self from anything or anyone. 10. Perfection and Unassailability: Fearful of making mistakes and being criticized. Tries to make himself impregnable and infallible by attempting to be completely moral and flawless in every respect; maintaining an appearance of perfection and virtue. ii. All people have these strategies; it is the degree that makes them become neurotic. Any one of these strategies may become a more or less permanent fixture in the personality.

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