Karen Horney, a Leading Psychoanalyst and Founder of Feminist Psychology

Karen Horney was a pioneering theorist in personality, psychoanalysis, and her critique of some of Sigmund Freud's views led to the founding of feminist psychology.

Karen Horney was born in Blankenese, Germany, on September 16, 1885. As a teenager, she suffered her first episode of depression, a challenge she faced several times throughout her life. She attended medical school and began studying psychoanalysis. Horney moved to the United States in the 1930s and wrote two influential and controversial works, The Neurotic Personality of Our Time and New Ways in Psychoanalysis, which deviated sharply from Sigmund Freud's work.

The term feminist psychology was originally coined by Karen Horney.

In her book, Feminine Psychology, which is a collection of articles Horney wrote on the subject from 1922–1937, she addresses previously held beliefs about women, relationships, and the effect of society on female psychology. Horney developed this form of psychology specifically in response to Sigmund Freud’s theory of “penis envy”.

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Horney died on December 4, 1952, in New York City. The Karen Horney Foundation was established in New York, followed by the Karen Horney Clinic in 1955. Prominent in her own time, Horney has remained influential among psychiatric professionals and therapists, as well as scholars of gender and feminism, over the decades since her death.

Psychoanalyst Karen Horney, New York, 1946 by Lotte Jacobi

Books by Karen Horney

Books on Karen Horney​

See also

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