Neurotic Personality (Horney)
Karen Horney’s theory of neurotic personality structure provides a rich conceptual framework for understanding psychopathology and human development. Horney’s theories have had a lasting impact on the psychoanalytic landscape and can be recognized in contemporary thought, often without sufficient credit given to the importance of her contributions. Rather than writing about specific behavioral symptoms, Horney described neurotic personality in terms of underlying character disturbances resulting from social and cultural circumstances. She argued that all neurotic patients, while possessing unique neurotic personalities, shared the same fundamental disruptions in their personality structure. Different personality “types” or “styles” were thus understood as permutations of a basic underlying conflict rather than as conceptually distinct conditions (Horney 1945). This understanding of neurosis, a radical departure from the prevailing theories of the day, provided a new lens...
KeywordsHorney Karen Neurotic personality Neurosis Idealized self Real self Neurotic trends
- Horney, K. (1937). The neurotic personality of our time. New York: Norton & Company.Google Scholar
- Horney, K. (1945). Our inner conflicts: A constructive theory of neurosis. New York: Norton & Company.Google Scholar
- Horney, K. (1950). Neurosis and human growth: The struggle towards self-realization. New York: Norton & Company.Google Scholar
- Rubin, J., & Steinfeld, S. (1991). Neurosis and human growth: The struggle towards self-realization. Foreword to the (1st ed.). New York: Norton & Company.Google Scholar