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Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle…
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Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Towards Self-Realization (1950)

by Karen Horney

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The author was born in 1885 and trained as a psychiatrist and psycho-analyst. She had fundamental disagreements with Freud and is known as a Neo-Freudian. This book was written in 1950 and is considered her major work.
The author theorizes that unfavorable conditions for growth in a child create a basic anxiety which lead to dysfunctional coping mechanisms classified as neurosis. Her book is a discussion of the basic features and types of neurosis and their practical consequences. Contrary to the language in the title the book is not a work of psycho-babble. It is very accessible to the general reader and I was impressed by her common sense approach to her subject.
I felt that I learned a great deal from this book that applied directly to my life. I generally make an effort to avoid being a follower of another person's theory or guide on how to live my life. This book is an exception to my rule. Reading this book I developed a great deal of respect for the author's intelligence and experience dealing with human behavior. One reading of this book just scratched the surface of ideas and insights that will be very useful in my day to day life. Since I first began seeing a counselor when I was eight years old I am sure that I qualify as a neurotic person.
A good example of her approach is her chapter titled "The Tyranny of the Should". I am very familiar with how the things I feel I "should" do can run my life at times. The author explains how people develop a long list of items they should do in response to insecurity about how to be liked and successful. Then the failure to do something they should do brings on self-hate, which is another chapter in her book. There were many other features of neurotic behavior that I found interesting and useful.
The author uses examples from many sources to illustrate the different types of neurotic behavior she deals with in her book. Many of the examples from literature impressed me with her intelligence and the broad application of her theories. Her examples from her practice as a psycho-analyst showed a real compassion for her patients as individuals and that her work was based upon a real caring for people and was not just an intellectual exercise.
The last part of her book discusses the application of her theories in therapy. Combining her theories with these practical applications give me an excellent way to use her book in my life. I think that anyone can benefit from her practical insights into human behavior. I listened to an audio edition of this book and I will be sure to get a print copy for personal use. This is an exceptional book about human behavior. It is the culmination of a life's work from a uniquely intelligent and caring person. It has my highest recommendation.
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  wildbill | Jul 6, 2012 |
The author was born in 1885 and trained as a psychiatrist and psycho-analyst. She had fundamental disagreements with Freud and is known as a Neo-Freudian. This book was written in 1950 and is considered her major work.
The author theorizes that unfavorable conditions for growth in a child create a basic anxiety which lead to dysfunctional coping mechanisms classified as neurosis. Her book is a discussion of the basic features and types of neurosis and their practical consequences. Contrary to the language in the title the book is not a work of psycho-babble. It is very accessible to the general reader and I was impressed by her common sense approach to her subject.
I felt that I learned a great deal from this book that applied directly to my life. I generally make an effort to avoid being a follower of another person's theory or guide on how to live my life. This book is an exception to my rule. Reading this book I developed a great deal of respect for the author's intelligence and experience dealing with human behavior. One reading of this book just scratched the surface of ideas and insights that will be very useful in my day to day life. Since I first began seeing a counselor when I was eight years old I am sure that I qualify as a neurotic person.
A good example of her approach is her chapter titled "The Tyranny of the Should". I am very familiar with how the things I feel I "should" do can run my life at times. The author explains how people develop a long list of items they should do in response to insecurity about how to be liked and successful. Then the failure to do something they should do brings on self-hate, which is another chapter in her book. There were many other features of neurotic behavior that I found interesting and useful.
The author uses examples from many sources to illustrate the different types of neurotic behavior she deals with in her book. Many of the examples from literature impressed me with her intelligence and the broad application of her theories. Her examples from her practice as a psycho-analyst showed a real compassion for her patients as individuals and that her work was based upon a real caring for people and was not just an intellectual exercise.
The last part of her book discusses the application of her theories in therapy. Combining her theories with these practical applications give me an excellent way to use her book in my life. I think that anyone can benefit from her practical insights into human behavior. I listened to an audio edition of this book and I will be sure to get a print copy for personal use. This is an exceptional book about human behavior. It is the culmination of a life's work from a uniquely intelligent and caring person. It has my highest recommendation.
Edit | More
2 vote wildbill | Oct 16, 2011 |
The book that changed my life and comprehension of myself. I learned how to love me "real" and not me "ideal". ( )
  el_pi | Nov 30, 2010 |
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