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Karen Horney (pronounced horn-eye). 1885-1952

Psychiatrist credited with developing a social and cultural psychoanalysis theory.

She entered medical school in Freiburg, Germany in 1906 and helped form the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute, of which she remained a member from 1918 to 1932. During this time, she spoke out against the limitations of orthodox psychoanalysis, believing that Freud placed too much stress on sexual instincts in the development of neurosis and not enough emphasis on the social and cultural conditions which foster pathology.

Horney reinterpreted many of Freud's theories, including his libido theory, his theory of psychosexual development and his theory of therapy and published her works in the following books listed in chronological order: The Neurotic Personality of Our Time (1937), New Ways in Psychoanalysis (1939), Self-Analysis (1942), Our Inner Conflicts (1945), Neurosis and Human Growth (1950), and the posthumous Feminine Psychology (1967).

Karen Horney was an important psychodynamic psychologist. She refined and changed many of Sigmund Freud's theories about child development, as did many of her contemporaries. However, she stood out for her most important argument against Freud's theories.

Freud stated that women feel inferior to men when they find out that men have a penis and they do not - he called this "penis envy". He also indirectly asserted that a woman's place was in the home, and that a woman trying to compete with men working outside of the home were suffering from an unconsious penis envy. Horney refuted those theories.

Horney argued that girls do not feel inferior to boys, effectively denying the existence of this so-called "penis envy". She said that early psychoanalytic views were based on cultural influences (the view that women should not work outside the home), and had no basis in science. Horney's arguments pointed out one of Freud's many flawed or incorrect views.

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