Horneys Interpersonal View of the Personality Personality Disorders and the Basic Conflict

Horney's major disagreement with traditional Freudian theory was over the Freudian concept of instincts in personality development and the genesis of psychopathology. Horney thought that environmental, social, and family relationships played a much stronger role in the development of the normal and abnormal personality than did Freud. Central to her thinking was the concept of a basic conflict or basic anxiety, which Horney (1945) defined as:

the feeling a child has of being isolated and helpless in a potentially hostile world. A wide range of adverse factors in the environment can produce this insecurity in a child: direct or indirect domination, indifference, erratic behavior, lack of respect for the child's individual needs, lack of real guidance, disparaging attitudes, too much admiration or the absence of it, lack of reliable warmth, having too much or too little responsibility, overprotection, isolation from other children, injustice, discrimination, unkept promises, hostile atmosphere, and so on and so on. (p. 41)

To cope with these environmental disturbances, Horney thought that all children would develop ways of coping along three dimensions: a child can move toward people (Compliant type), against them (Aggressive type), or away from them (Detached type). She further postulated that the three ways of coping are not mutually exclusive, such that a child may use two or more ways of coping at the same time. Given particular environmental circumstances, a child may come to rely on one way of coping, and this style might become their predominant mode of behaving. Horney thought these predominant modes crystallized into neurotic trends, resulting in one of the three neurotic types: Compliant, Aggressive, or Detached.

Free Yourself from Panic Attacks

Free Yourself from Panic Attacks

With all the stresses and strains of modern living, panic attacks are become a common problem for many people. Panic attacks occur when the pressure we are living under starts to creep up and overwhelm us. Often it's a result of running on the treadmill of life and forgetting to watch the signs and symptoms of the effects of excessive stress on our bodies. Thankfully panic attacks are very treatable. Often it is just a matter of learning to recognize the symptoms and learn simple but effective techniques that help you release yourself from the crippling effects a panic attack can bring.

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