KAREN HORNEY – HER CONTRIBUTIONS TO PSYCHOLOGY
Karen Horney was a pioneering theorist in personality, psychoanalysis and feminine psychology. She was born near Hamburg, Germany on September 16, 1885. Unfortunately, her childhood was not considered a healthy developmental time in her life and she dealt with depression from the age of nine. In turn, many of her theories stemmed from her own personal experiences and feelings. Although it was not encouraged by society at this time, Horney was one of the first women to go to medical school at the University of Freiburg in 1906. In 1908 she transferred to the University of Gottingen, and then she graduated with a medical degree from the University of Berlin in 1913. She researched, taught and wrote books and papers about her psychological beliefs and findings up until her death on December 4, 1952 (Women’s Intellectual Contributions, n.d.).
Horney was never a student of Sigmund Freud, but she did study his work. Later, she taught psychoanalysis at Berlin and New York Psychoanalytic Institutes. But after her strong belief that Freud’s ideas regarding males and females were inaccurate, she left the institutes and formed her own school, known as The American Institute for Psychoanalysis (Women’s Intellectual Contributions, n.d.).
What has been considered by many people as Horney’s most important theory she contributed, is her theory about feminine psychology. Some people believe she was the theorist that changed how psychology looked at differences between males and females (AllPsych, 2004). Freud believed penis envy occurs when little girls realize they don’t
have a penis. The little girls hold their mothers responsible, and have trouble forgiving their mothers for them not having a penis, because they feel the lack of a penis puts them at a disadvantage and they don’t feel like they are able to measure up to males. But Horney believed what Freud called penis envy, was really a detection of...