Karen Horney

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Born - September 16, 1885

Died - December 4, 1952

  • was a German psychoanalyst but practiced in the U.S. in her later career
  • had different theories of sexuality and the instinct orientation of psychoanalysis
  • founder of Feminist Psychology

Karen Horney had two parents and one brother. In 1904, her mother left her father. Karen began having a crush on her older brother, causing him to freak out, and push her away. She got depressed when her brother stopped talking to her. While she was a medical student, she met her soon to be husband, Oskar Horney, who she married in 1909. A year later they gave birth to a little girl named Brigitte, the first of three daughters.

Studied Neurosis

Horney believed neurosis to be a continuous process. During her years as a psychiatrist, she named ten patterns of neurotic needs (needs that all humans require to succeed in life).

In 1920, she started lecturing at the Institution for Psychoanalysis in Berlin. She also taught at a school in New York. In 1923, things with Karen's husband were not good at all. In that same year, her brother died of a pulmonary infection. Both these events contributing to her second stage of abject depression.


"Karen Horney." Wikipedia. Ed. Sharon Wrand. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Aug. 2013. Web. 25 Aug. 2013.