Hot Best Seller

Our Inner Conflicts: A Constructive Theory of Neurosis

Availability: Ready to download

Unlike Freud, Horney does not regard neurosis as rooted in instinct. In her words, her theory is constructive because "it allows us for the first time to tackle and resolve neurotic hopelessness. . . . Neurotic conflicts cannot be resolved by rational decision. . . . But [they] can be resolved by changing the conditions within the personality that brought them into being."

*advertisement

Compare

Unlike Freud, Horney does not regard neurosis as rooted in instinct. In her words, her theory is constructive because "it allows us for the first time to tackle and resolve neurotic hopelessness. . . . Neurotic conflicts cannot be resolved by rational decision. . . . But [they] can be resolved by changing the conditions within the personality that brought them into being."

30 review for Our Inner Conflicts: A Constructive Theory of Neurosis

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This book explains everything about human character and is really beautifully written. It's as breezy as Linda Goodman's Sun Signs but much more complex. Horney theory is actually so complex that most people don't talk about her anymore, even though she was one of the most important psychoanalytic theorists, the only woman to have her own school of analysis, and one of the first analysts to go against Freud. I don't agree with 100% of it but it still blew my mind. It also makes you feel really c This book explains everything about human character and is really beautifully written. It's as breezy as Linda Goodman's Sun Signs but much more complex. Horney theory is actually so complex that most people don't talk about her anymore, even though she was one of the most important psychoanalytic theorists, the only woman to have her own school of analysis, and one of the first analysts to go against Freud. I don't agree with 100% of it but it still blew my mind. It also makes you feel really crazy and kind of hate yourself, so be prepared for some serious self-reflection....

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Karen Horney is one of the most famous of the Post-Freudian psychoanalysts. Horney's concepts examine the root causes of neurosis, basic anxiety, an idealized self image, and internal conflicting behavioral impulses. They are insightful, but honestly I don't always agree with her ideology. Her behavioral paradigm is useful for understanding the psychoanalytic view of human behavior I will admitt. And understanding her concepts can be valuable for those who are studying psychology and are already Karen Horney is one of the most famous of the Post-Freudian psychoanalysts. Horney's concepts examine the root causes of neurosis, basic anxiety, an idealized self image, and internal conflicting behavioral impulses. They are insightful, but honestly I don't always agree with her ideology. Her behavioral paradigm is useful for understanding the psychoanalytic view of human behavior I will admitt. And understanding her concepts can be valuable for those who are studying psychology and are already in the field, but I would not recommend this book as a "relaxing read". Some Psychology books are, plenty are actually, but not this one. This book should be kept as a "If you want to understand the psychoanalytic theory, and your tired of Freud, read Karen Horney."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jason , etc.

    Heavy on the scholarship, but holy crap...if you have any kind of neurosis/neuroses, you'll be reading your life's story within Karen Horney's analysis of neuroses, in general. Her books made me understand and that's all you really need to do, in the end. She makes sense of our inner conflicts, great and small. This won't solve the problem, but it will shine a light on it, and that has made all the difference.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Liam

    An underwhelming drag that—perhaps neurotically—slanders Freud and gender norms while rebranding Freudian ideas and applying them to a male patient perspective and selling them under a new underdeveloped (and therefore unjustifiably) optimistic outlook. Summary: -Personality is important when people must choose between two mutually exclusive options. Normal personalities are often confronted with two desirable choices and so choose the most desired choice against the smaller feeling of losing the An underwhelming drag that—perhaps neurotically—slanders Freud and gender norms while rebranding Freudian ideas and applying them to a male patient perspective and selling them under a new underdeveloped (and therefore unjustifiably) optimistic outlook. Summary: -Personality is important when people must choose between two mutually exclusive options. Normal personalities are often confronted with two desirable choices and so choose the most desired choice against the smaller feeling of losing the less desired choice. Neurotic personalities feel they are often confronted with two undesirable, and quite equally undesirable, choices...what I'd call a catch-22. This situation creates a 'basic conflict' in their personality and inertia to resolving the neurosis. In this perspective, a human personality can shift along a continuous—not a discrete—spectrum between normal and neurotic. -A neurotic conflict manifests as the compliant, aggressive or detached personality type which respectively are moving towards ('submissive'), against ('dominant'), or away ('reclusive') people. These personality conflicts are resolved by demonstrating to the individual that their actions are not suited to their means—usually this involves demonstrating that the 'idealized image' of the individual ('superego') is unrealistic or unattainable. -Neurotic conflicts can be resolved by first getting the individual to recognise the conflict, and second, by resolving the personal relationship that established the conflict. Criticisms: -Horney makes many unjustified and underdeveloped criticisms of Freud without better alternative suggestions. I was hoping for Freud criticism, but she fails to do it effectively here. She calls her theory a 'constructive theory' as if to hide the two facts that her theory is mostly rebrands Freud's terminology into more loose categories and destructive to his theories and that what she proposes as a revision—the patient can change—she does not suggest exactly how. While her theory appears more flexible and usable all she has done is slacken the limits of definition that Freudian psychiatrists made from no prior information—definitions are only meant as a guideline and weakening them should not serve as a revolutionary 'constructive theory'. It is my view that in general one should be more critical of adaptations of original theories as they require less effort to make, and they ought to be solid revisions otherwise they can obstruct progress in a field of knowledge. The conclusion is ultimately 'Freud says you can't change, but I believe in you can, but I can't really tell you how or why'. -Horney's case studies lack detail and I her observations as insightful as 'cold reading'. Just try apply any of her descriptions to anybody you know and you'll realise how underdetailed they are—if this is the level that is needed for analysis then I don't understand why in theory she would propose that tackling neurosis requires a specific readjustment of the event that caused the neurosis in the individual. -Horney raises that psychoanalysis has a gender bias towards thinking in terms of submissive/dominant and masculine/feminine, but continues to refer to her individuals in the male third-person with a consistency stronger than I have seen before. Being the first psychoanalytic work I have read written by a female I can clearly see a difference in general style and perspective (as I think I can with fiction), which well be complementary to the style I am used to but I just think it fails to here. Being destructive, dismissive and relativist can be very pragmatic and worthwhile so long as you are willing to hedge a more developed practical solution—I felt I was forever waiting for the book to reveal what exactly brought the 'constructive' into the title. -Horney's writing style is repetitious in a way that obfuscates and is dry respective to other psychoanalytic texts I have read. If there's anything difficult about this book it's not the complexity of Horney's ideas, but rather about how she fails to rigidly or thoroughly define what they contain. Annoyingly she fails to ever list anything in a very clear and exact way, often saying things like 'the ways neurosis can occur are fourfold' and then not clearly defining each of the occurrences and why there are no other alternatives and why some of the occurrences have suboccurrences. Freud and Jung may have made hiccups but at least they earnestly tried to clearly define what they were trying to say. My favourite chapter was on Happiness, which came after the more useful parts of her book (the conflict and idealised image). This book goes on too long, as after raising her initial idea for neurosis she then writes less relevant chapters on moods. I honestly was getting a bit lost in the structure of the book by the end of it. __________________ It could have been probably 3* content, but I'm taking off a star for the flaws in the book structure, chapter structure, chapter concision, precision of definitions and underdeveloped (and therefore unjustified) emotional arguments both pessimistically against Freud and optimistically for this 'new theory'. I'd skip this unless you are more interested in feminism in academia rather than a strong and original psychoanalysis text. I should have skipped for Winnicott.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Realini

    Our Inner Conflicts by Karen Horney The name Karen Horney is mentioned in other psychology books that I read. Tal Ben-Sharar, in his lectures on Positive Psychology at Harvard mentions her contribution. The fact is that I grew much more interested in Positive Psychology and less in psychology in general. It probably has to do a lot with the fact that I had my own issues, depressions and angry moods and I live in a society which has suffered a lot in communism and after it. I need more positive rea Our Inner Conflicts by Karen Horney The name Karen Horney is mentioned in other psychology books that I read. Tal Ben-Sharar, in his lectures on Positive Psychology at Harvard mentions her contribution. The fact is that I grew much more interested in Positive Psychology and less in psychology in general. It probably has to do a lot with the fact that I had my own issues, depressions and angry moods and I live in a society which has suffered a lot in communism and after it. I need more positive readings and less about problems conflicts. The truth is that I had started this book before the interest in just one field of psychology became acute, otherwise I wouldn’t have started. The reading of the book suffered because of lost interest and wandering thoughts. Here are some passages that I have found interesting: “The aggressive type takes it for granted that everyone is hostile and refuses to admit that they are not. To him life is a struggle of all against all… his set of values is built around the philosophy of the jungle…home homini lupus “ “Some jump to their childhood and pin all the explanations on that. They are sensitive to coercion because they had a domineering mother…they are easily humiliated because humiliations were suffered in childhood, they are vindictive because of early injuries…this leads to nothing but endless repetition…” “One defense against the recognition of conflicts is elusiveness. Patients so inclined resemble characters that turn into fish, then into deer and then birds…you can never pin them down, they deny having said it…” “In Zen Buddhist writings sincerity is equated with wholeheartedness- nobody divided within himself can be sincere” “The aggressive type has definite opinions, defends and sticks to them…often his opinions will have a dogmatic character, even fanatic “ “An analyst must convey to the patient that his situation is hopeless only as long as the situation persists: a scene from The Cherry Orchard: The family, faced with bankruptcy is in despair over the cherry orchard – a solution is presented: to build small houses over part of the estate…they cannot accept such a project and since there is no other solution, they remain without hope… An analyst should tell them: what makes this hopeless is your attitude, if you change your claims on life, there would be no need to feel hopeless…” “What is typical of sadism is an active impulse to thwart others, to kill their joy: if the partner looks forward to see him, he tends to be sullen. If the partner wants sexual intercourse he will be frigid or impotent…by simply radiating gloom he acts as a depressant… to quote Aldous Huxley: “He did not have to do anything: it was enough for him to just be. They shriveled and turned black by mere infection.”

  6. 5 out of 5

    Zahra MiresmaIli

    I think i should review this book again, it was not easy to grasp all mentioned points in one sitting. I got some general points about different characteristics of human beings and how each of them show themselves.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kaveh mohammad Ghaffari

    in persian language the translation of this book is little different the "oppositions of mentality" i read it when i was 20 years old 17 years ago

  8. 4 out of 5

    Blair

    I can't say I'm a huge Horney fan, but as a psych student, I guess it's important to understand her theories to see "where we came from" in the field. Reading this book made me feel all crazy inside. It's pretty interesting, and many of the problems described apply to most people I know! Maybe I just know a lot of neurotic people. In my opinion, the ideas are outdated and too general to be helpful in working with clients, but like I said, it is good to read older theories to better understand th I can't say I'm a huge Horney fan, but as a psych student, I guess it's important to understand her theories to see "where we came from" in the field. Reading this book made me feel all crazy inside. It's pretty interesting, and many of the problems described apply to most people I know! Maybe I just know a lot of neurotic people. In my opinion, the ideas are outdated and too general to be helpful in working with clients, but like I said, it is good to read older theories to better understand the newer ones.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mrs Froggy

    This book is really beautifully written. I didn't study psychology at University, but I could grasp all the themes discussed here. Obviously I had to read some passages more than once (and I will definetely read the entire book again), but I found the whole theory illuminating. You will ask yourself a lot of questions, as you read the book and you will also fine some interesting answers.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ignas Namajūnas

    Highly recommended for people that are interested in the structure of personality.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Noventa

    If you ever question your actions, pick this book up.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Interesting. Style is a bit dated. What I take from this book is that being neurotic is not cool, but debilitating. Claims of artistic or intellectual justification for neuroses are more likely limiting your potential. Not that some conflict doesn't inspire - creativity can be a way of dealing with internal conflict, of expressing it - but there may be a stage after neuroses where you can actually be much more creative - in healthy ways for yourself rather than troubled 'exhibitions'. A bit optim Interesting. Style is a bit dated. What I take from this book is that being neurotic is not cool, but debilitating. Claims of artistic or intellectual justification for neuroses are more likely limiting your potential. Not that some conflict doesn't inspire - creativity can be a way of dealing with internal conflict, of expressing it - but there may be a stage after neuroses where you can actually be much more creative - in healthy ways for yourself rather than troubled 'exhibitions'. A bit optimistic of Karen to think all neuroses are the product of experience, and ultimately resolvable. Perhaps much neurotic behaviour is engrained by being human and therefore instinctive and unavoidable (which according to this is what Freud thought). For me personally it is quite inspiring though. Makes you want to let go of neurotic patterns rather than cling on to them.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Razvan Savu

    I just say this: this book contains a fair load of hard to swallow truths about inner motives and inconsistencies that, ultimately, impedes us in reaching our potential. Thus, prepare for the face slap and move on.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dmitrij

    Very interesting angle. For those i mean like me who does not share psychoanalitic point of view. However as another complimentary angle it is well worth considering. Great book. Very plain and clear.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dong Yin

    ❤My very first psychology book.❤ ❤️My very first psychology book.❤️

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mikey Sanchez

    Very insightful! Horney is a true visionary. Highly recommend this book to better understand your own neurosis and to uncover a new perspective so that you may expand your perspective.

  17. 5 out of 5

    David

    Very smart. A few quirks, but overall, excellent, helpful character analysis and observation. Another neo-Freudian who really improved on her old teacher.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Alan

    I loved this book, it provides this level of self reflection and understanding you wont get from one of those self help books. It not only provides keys to ones own self, but also provides keys to understand why others are the way they are, I think many of us know these things, yet its always nice hearing it worded in such a way to provide even more in depth realizations about consciousness and suppressed emotion. If you are into feminist reading, or are concerned about equality, you cant go wron I loved this book, it provides this level of self reflection and understanding you wont get from one of those self help books. It not only provides keys to ones own self, but also provides keys to understand why others are the way they are, I think many of us know these things, yet its always nice hearing it worded in such a way to provide even more in depth realizations about consciousness and suppressed emotion. If you are into feminist reading, or are concerned about equality, you cant go wrong with a Psychology Book written by a female Doctor that was compared and even possibly surpassing Freud in her raw understanding of human nature. If you agree with this review and enjoy the book, add me on twitter Sadboy_Assassin love to talk psychology and broaden the community to share and reflect on worldly and spiritual ideas.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jithin Mukundan

    Karen Horney, in this book, refutes and modifies several theories of Freud keeping the basic premise intact. The Neo-Freudian psychoanalysis explained in the book shifts from the instinct theory of Freud to social relationships, to explain the inner conflicts of mind. Thus, environment gets dominance over genetics here. She brings in a lot of subjective factors like morality into the analysis, which were taboo for Freudians, something deemed as unscientific. But the practicality of such an appro Karen Horney, in this book, refutes and modifies several theories of Freud keeping the basic premise intact. The Neo-Freudian psychoanalysis explained in the book shifts from the instinct theory of Freud to social relationships, to explain the inner conflicts of mind. Thus, environment gets dominance over genetics here. She brings in a lot of subjective factors like morality into the analysis, which were taboo for Freudians, something deemed as unscientific. But the practicality of such an approach is very well understandable. Psychotherapies based on her theories seem much more effective than the time consuming original psychoanalysis. The theories are well presented, although they contain a lot of subjectivity. Overall, I believe her work should have contributed much to the well-being of neurotic people and is therefore praiseworthy.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Thomas M. Summers

    A wonderful work by one of the leading names in psychoanalysis in the 20th century. She takes us beyond Freud as she develops her theory of Neurosis. Her work is very accessible to the educated reader. While new lands have been charted since the appearance of this book, it nonetheless remains relevant for the timeless insights it contains and, as all great minds, she remains contemporary for she was far ahead of her time.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mariam Mikhail

    Amazing book. The most comprehensive formulation of therapeutic goals is the striving for wholeheartedness: to be without pretense, to be emotionally sincere, to be able to put the whole of oneself into one's feelings, one's work, one's beliefs. It can be approximated only to the extent that conflicts are resolved.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marianne el wahsh

    its language is very difficult. i am still reading it. I hope i can finish it this year.

  23. 5 out of 5

    malrubius

    Clearly written, carefully observed.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lori Jones

    Another great book to read for insights into human behavior.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Fields

    She's freaking brilliant

  26. 5 out of 5

    The_Kite_Runner

    One of my favorite books on philosophy

  27. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I WANTED TO KILL MYSELF ..., GAWSH WHY PROF DOLDERMAN

  28. 4 out of 5

    Yew Wei

    Great book that describe human characteristics. As Karen Horney said, there are no normal people in our civilization.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ash

    Outdated, but thought-provoking ideas.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ruta Juzulenaite

    amazing insights and clinical analysis

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.