Horney’s Idea of the Real and Idealized Self
Horney talks about a real self and an idealized self. Those who live in accordance with their real self are considered healthy, while those who live in accordance with their idealized self are considered neurotic. There is conflict between the real self and idealized self for everyone and it is more extreme for those who are neurotic. Horney talks about seven devices that people use to deal with these conflicts: blind spots, compartmentalization, rationalization, excessive control, arbitrary rightness, elusiveness, and cynicism.
Based on your readings about Karen Horney’s approach to personality development, answer the following:
- Give an example of at least two devices you have seen someone use from the given list.
- Horney has been criticized and praised for elaborating on Freud’s theory by adding feminine components. How is her theory similar to and different from Freud’s theory of personality? Identify at least two similarities and differences.
Using Horney’s theory, attempt to explain why someone might use the major adjustment techniques the way they do.
- Explain Horney’s theory with reference to people in general?
- How does Horney’s theory help an individual in managing the conflict between his real self and idealized self?
- How are the uses of each of the selected devices in the adjustment techniques considered either neurotic or healthy?