Karen Horney

September 16th, 1885- December 4th, 1952


Horney was one of the first to theorize that neurosis (delusional and socially unaaceptable behavior) was not stemmed from abuse or neglect in childhood, but parental indifference. She saw being neurotic as a coping skill for children who lacked approval or affection from distant parents. Karen Horney challenged the previous ideas of Freud on male dominance. Freud believed that it was because of physiological differences in men in women made men the dominant power. Horney said that it was external influences that caused women to take the lesser role, saying that society shaped people into their roles. She also belived men were jealous over women's ability to bear children. Horney is considered the first feminine psychologist.

Did you know?

Karen Horney had a crush on her brother when she was 9.

Impact on Today's Psychology

Karen Horney is still today considered the first Women's psychologist, and wrote the first women's "self-help" book. She developed the "Self-concept" theory; which states that one may live to their full potential if they have an accurate conception of themselves. She established the Karen Horney Clinic, which is a research, training and low-cost tretment center.