Horney, Karen

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Horney, Karen Gender: F
Karen Clementine Theodore Danielsen
born on 16 September 1885 at 18:00 (= 6:00 PM )
Place Hamburg, Germany, 53n33, 9e59
Timezone LMT m9e59 (is local mean time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_vircol.18.gif 23°58' s_mo.18.gif s_sagcol.18.gif 29°04 Asc.s_piscol.18.gif 19°01'

Karen Horney
license gfdl


German psychoanalyst who practised in the United States during her later career. Her theories questioned some traditional Freudian views. This was particularly true of her theories of sexuality and of the instinct orientation of psychoanalysis. She is credited with founding feminist psychology in response to Freud's theory of penis envy. She disagreed with Freud about inherent differences in the psychology of men and women, and she traced such differences to society and culture rather than biology. As such, she is often classified as neo-Freudian.

She graduated with an M.D. in 1913, having attended several universities, a common practice at the time to gain a basic medical education.

She married Oskar Horney in 1909. The couple moved to Berlin together, where Oskar worked in industry while Karen continued her studies. Within the space of one year, Karen gave birth to her first child and lost both of her parents. She entered psychoanalysis to help her cope. Her first analyst was Karl Abraham in 1910, then she moved to Hanns Sachs.

Karen and Oskar had three daughters. The first, born in 1911, was Brigitte Horney, who became a famous actress. In 1926, Horney and her husband separated; they would divorce in 1937.

In 1920, Horney was a founding member of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. She then took up a teaching position within the Institute. She helped design and eventually directed the Society's training program, taught students, and conducted psychoanalytic research. She also saw patients for private psychoanalytic sessions, and continued to work at the hospital.

Despite her increasing deviation from orthodox Freudian doctrine, she practised and taught at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Society until 1932. Freud's increasing coolness toward her and her concern over the rise of Nazism in Germany motivated her to accept an invitation by Franz Alexander to become his assistant at the Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis, and in 1932, she and her daughters moved to the United States.

Two years after moving to Chicago, Horney relocated to Brooklyn, home to a large Jewish community, including a growing number of refugees from Nazi Germany, where psychoanalysis thrived. It was in Brooklyn that Horney became friends with analysts such as Harry Stack Sullivan and Erich Fromm. She had a sexual relationship with Fromm that ended bitterly.

While living in Brooklyn Horney developed and advanced her composite theories regarding neurosis and personality, based on experiences gained from working in psychotherapy. In 1937 she published The Neurotic Personality of Our Time, which had wide popular readership. By 1941, Horney was Dean of the American Institute of Psychoanalysis, a training institute for those who were interested in Horney's own organization, the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis.

Horney's deviation from Freudian psychology led to her resigning from her post, and she soon took up teaching in the New York Medical College. She also founded a journal, the American Journal of Psychoanalysis. She taught at the New York Medical College and continued practicing as a psychiatrist until her death.

She died on 4 December 1952 at age 67 in New York City. The Karen Horney Clinic opened on 6 May 1955 in New York City in honour of Horney's achievements.

Link to Wikipedia biography



  • Relationship : Marriage 1909 (Oskar Horney)
  • Relationship : Divorce dates 1937 (Oskar Horney)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1937 ("The Neurotic Personality of Our Time")

Source Notes

Scholfield provided birth registry entry from Hamburg Archives.


  • Traits : Body : Race (Norwegian father, Dutch mother)
  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Depression
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (Three)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids - Noted (Brigitte Horney, actress)
  • Lifestyle : Home : Expatriate
  • Vocation : Education : Administrator
  • Vocation : Education : Researcher
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher
  • Vocation : Healing Fields : Psychologist
  • Vocation : Politics : Activist/ feminist
  • Vocation : Writers : Textbook/ Non-fiction
  • Notable : Famous : Founder/ originator ("American Journal of Psychoanalysis")
  • Notable : Famous : Founder/ originator ("Feminist psychology")