Born in 1885. Karen Horney was a German psychoanalyst who questioned some of the traditional Freudian views and moved to the US. There, she emphasized culture, self-realization, and interpersonal relationships.
She is credited as the founder of feminist psychology and for her work in understanding human neurosis.
Big idea: Three categories of neurotic needs
From her experience as a practicing psychiatrist, Karen Horney distinguished ten patterns of neurotic needs that she later condensed into three:
- Compliance: This category of needs is characterized by the need to move toward people. The need for a partner and for social recognition. Affection and approval are desired, and also a need for a character who is supposed to solve all problems the neurotic person is facing.
- Expansion/Aggression: The need for power. The need for control. People within this category may show anger and hostility toward those around them. Partly, this is triggered by their desire to be recognized - to get public attention. But also, because they want to be known - perhaps even feared.
- Detachment/Withdrawal: The neurotic may be desperate for achievement. To prove himself. But also because he desires autonomy and total independence. This is shown by his desire for perfection where he fears being even slightly flawed. In children, this is observed when they try to be self-sufficient and often revoke help.