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Karen Horney

Essay by   •  April 26, 2011  •  Essay  •  350 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,790 Views

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When it comes to contributions to the world of physiology, there are few that can rival the contributions of Karen Horney. Despite not being widely known, Horney's theories and ideas are still being applied to physiology today.

Horney was born near Hamburg, Germany on September 16, 1885. Karen was the second child of Clotilde and Berndt Wackels Danielson. Her father was a ship's captain, very religious, and strict on discipline. His children called him "the Bible thrower." According to Horney, he did literally throw bibles. Her mother was a very different person. She was Berndt's second wife and 19 years younger, and considerably more urbane. Karen also had an older brother, also named Berndt, for whom she cared deeply, as well as four older siblings from her father's previous marriage.

Beginning at a young age, Karen battled depression her entire life. Her father preferred her older brother over her. While her brother and Karen were both showered with gifts at the time, she never felt as strong of an emotional connection to her father as she did her brother. At a young age she developed a crush on her brother which resulted in him pushing Karen away. It is said that her depression is due to the rejection she felt from her brother when he distanced himself from her. Depression is something that Karen would have her entire life.

"If I couldn't be pretty, I decided I would be smart." That was Karen's motto heading into medical school in 1906. This was a big feat due to society at the time believing that women did not need to be educated. Out of the 2,350 students at the University of Freiburg in 1906, only 58 of them were women. Women were not even eligible to attend a university until 1900. In 1908 Karen transferred to the University of Gottingen and then graduated from the University of Berlin in 1913 with a medical degree.

Three years after being accepted into college, Karen was became married to Oscar Horney who was a law student. They had three daughters together;

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