Karen Horney V. Alfred Adler
Essay Preview: Karen Horney V. Alfred Adler
Report this essay
Karen Horney and Alfred Adler are two very similar yet different neo-analytic theorists. At first glance, it may appear that Horney stole some of Adlers best ideas. It is, of course, quite conceivable that she was influenced by Adler. It is clear, for example, that Horney’s three neurotic solutions are very close to Adlers personality typology. Horney proposed a series of strategies used by neurotics to cope with other people and Adler developed a scheme of so called personality types that he intended to illustrate patterns that could denote a characteristic governed under the overall style of life.

Horney’s “Moving Toward” suggests that people are always attempting to make others happy, gain love and to secure that approval and affection of others is similar to that of Adler’s “getting” type. The Getting or Leaning type is those who are often charming, but use their charm to lean on others. These people also tend to be anti-social and have low activity levels. Horney’s second approach “Moving against” people, is striving for power, recognition, and the admiration of others. These people have come to believe that all things that they wish to be are true. They strive for power to establish for themselves the truth about this illusion.

This approach is similar to that of Adler’s “Ruling type.” The Ruling or Dominant type strive for power and are willing to manipulate situations and people, anything to get their way. People of this type are also prone to anti-social behavior. Lastly, Horney’s third approach “Moving Away,” is the withdrawal of any emotional investment from interpersonal relationships, in an effort to avoid being hurt in those relationships. This is similar to that of Adler’s “avoiding” type, which are those that hate being defeated. They tend be stubborn, lazy, and passive aggressive and they may be successful, but have not taken any risks getting there. Also, they are likely to have low social contact in fear of rejection or defeat in any way.

Karen Horney, like Adler also focused on social interactions as the source of adult motivations. She believed that our adult personality and behavior often represent attempts to deal with this concept she called basic anxiety. This she felt was the childhood feeling of being alone, isolated and helpless in a potentially hostile world. According to Horney, basic anxiety results not from sexual or aggressive conflicts but from disturbances in the child’s relationship with his or her parents. Things such as rejection, punishment, the breakdown of trust and overprotection can all lead to excessive anxiety, according to Horney. Being raised with trust, love, warmth and tolerance minimizes this.

Horney, like Adler, believed that childhood environment is a major determinant of human behavior. Horney believed that the environment of childhood played a key role in personality development. She felt strongly that negative experiences in early childhood could trigger anxiety in adulthood. She suggests that one who grew up in an environment often characterized by neglect, brutality, or hypercritical behavior would become an aggressive child. One who grew up in an early environment characterized by cramping influences that were so subtle or powerful that rebellion doesnt work would become a detached child. The detached child finally just withdraws.

Adler saw that what is learned in the family, is central to one’s later self-image, relationships, work, marital choices, parenting, moral behavior, and how one pursues one’s goals. Adler felt that there were three basic childhood situations that most contribute to a faulty lifestyle. The first is organ inferiorities, as well as early childhood diseases. They are what he called “overburdened,” and if someone doesnt come along to draw their attention to others, they will remain focused on themselves. Most will go through life with a strong sense of inferiority; a few will overcompensate with a superiority complex. Only with the encouragement of loved ones, will some truly compensate.

The second is pampering. Many children are taught, by the actions of others, that they can take without giving. Their wishes are everyone elses commands. This may sound like a wonderful situation, until you realize that the pampered child fails in two ways. First, he does not learn to do for himself, and discovers later that he is truly inferior and secondly, he does not learn any other way to deal with others than the giving of commands.

The third is neglect. A child who is neglected or abused learns what the pampered child learns, but learns it in a far more direct manner. They learn inferiority because they are told and shown every day that they are of no value, they learn selfishness because they are taught to trust no one. If you havent known love, you dont develop a capacity for it later. The neglected child includes not only orphans and the victims of abuse, but also the children whose parents are never there, and the ones who were raised in a rigid, authoritarian manner.

Karen Horney and Alfred Adler have opposing views on the goals of psychoanalysis. What I mean by this is that Adler disagreed with Karen Horney’s theory of the ideal self, which is what one sees as perfection and hopes to achieve. Horney believed that you have to learn to accept yourself for who you are, as you are. Someone who does not learn to accept his or her real self becomes neurotic. A neurotic person turns away from the real self and tries to be the idealized self; who they wish they were. Adler opposed this theory because he believed

Get Your Essay

Cite this page

Karen Horney And Alfred Adler. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.freeessays.education/karen-horney-and-alfred-adler-essay/