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Karen Horney

Horney, Karen, 1885–1952, American psychiatrist, b. Germany, M.D. Univ. of Berlin, 1913. She married Oscar Horney in 1909. Prior to her arrival (1932) in the United States, she was secretary of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute, where she taught for 12 years. Associate director (1932–34) of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, Horney then came to New York City, where she lectured at the New School for Social Research. She deviated from orthodox Freudian analysis by emphasizing environmental and cultural, rather than biological, factors in the genesis of neurosis. Anxiety, she held, is created by anything that jeopardizes a person's means of gaining security. The neurotic's rigid adherence to his safety devices protects him in some ways but renders him helpless toward other possible dangers. To further her work based on these beliefs, she founded (1941) and became dean of the American Institute of Psychoanalysis. Her works include The Neurotic Personality of Our Time (1937), Self-Analysis (1942), Our Inner Conflicts (1945), and Neurosis and Human Growth (1950).

See studies by S. Quinn (1988), M. Westkott (1988), and B. J. Paris (1994).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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