Karen Horney

Karen Horney (1885-1952) was born in Hamburg, Germany on September 18, 1885. She did not study directly with Freud but was greatly influenced by his work. She received her MD from the University of Berlin in 1913, and moved to the US in 1932.

Horney’s writings do not form a systematic theory of psychology but show how Freud’s concepts were manipulated and expanded by his followers. Horney’s concept of basic anxiety embraces Freudian thought but extends its interpretive usefulness. For Horney, basic anxiety is feeling helpless and is a product of culturalization. Basic anxiety produces a drive for safety (security).

Horney emphasized needs, including the need for affection, approval, power, ambition and perfection. She divided these needs into 3 types of personality: toward people, against people, and away from people.

For more on Anna Freud, check out this video on the NeoFreudians.


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