Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Self-Realization (Horney)

  • Jack DanielianEmail author
  • Patricia Gianotti
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1425-1



According to Karen Horney, the real self is not a fixed entity but a set of “intrinsic potentialities” (Horney 1950, p. 17). These potentialities include various capacities, talents, interests, and perhaps what we would today describe as hard-wiring neurological components, such as temperament or genetic predispositions that influence one’s capacities around self- realization. Horney describes the real self as “the alive, unique, personal center of ourselves,” (1950, p. 155) the actualization of which comprises the meaning of life, and the inhibition or alienation from which can be associated with a form of “psychic death” (1945, p. 185). Factors that inhibit the development of self-realization are childhood conditions where the parental figures do not convey an atmosphere of warmth where a child is allowed to have and express his or her own feelings and thoughts, nor are the child’s...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The American Institute for Psychoanalysis, Karen Horney CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Woodland Psychological ServicesNorth HamptonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Simon Boag
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMacquarie UniversityNorth RydeAustralia