Erikson and Horney

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Published on January 15, 2008

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Neofreudians: Part II:  Neofreudians: Part II Erik Erikson & Karen Horney Erik Erikson: 1902-1994:  Erik Erikson: 1902-1994 Born to a Jewish single mother (his Danish father left before he was born). Erikson never identified himself as Danish (although he looked Danish). He studied art in his youth & met his wife, Joan Serson, an aspiring psychoanalytic. Anna Freud analyzed him & invited him to do psychoanalysis. Biography contd.:  Biography contd. Erikson left Germany in 1933, to go to Denmark, followed by the US. Although he didn’t have a college degree, he became a child analyst & taught at Harvard (worked with Henry Murray). Later he became a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. He worked until well in his 80s. Erikson’s Psychosocial theory:  Erikson’s Psychosocial theory According to Erikson, our personality is developed based on our experiences in our social settings. He argued the ego is concerned with interpersonal concerns as well as biological drives. The driving force for our development is social (influences, interactions). Erikson quote:  Erikson quote “Personality…can be said to develop according to steps determined in the human organism’s readiness to be driven toward, to be aware of, and to interact with a widening radius of significant individuals and institutions (page 93).” Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages:  Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages Stage I: Trust Vs. Mistrust (0-1 yr.) As infants if our basic needs (food, shelter, caring) are met, we learn to trust our parents & our situation. If our needs aren’t met, we begin to mistrust the intentions of others. Some mistrust is inevitable. Trust Vs. Mistrust (contd.):  Trust Vs. Mistrust (contd.) In a healthy resolution of this conflict, trust will prevail. Erikson argues that the ability to trust (be vulnerable to others) is an important quality that contributes to adjustment & happiness. Stage 2: Autonomy Vs. Shame & Doubt (2-3 yrs) :  Stage 2: Autonomy Vs. Shame & Doubt (2-3 yrs) Toddlers need to experiment with their surroundings to develop a sense of independence. Toddlers will need the support of their parents in exploring their world in order for autonomy to develop. If autonomy isn’t achieved, child will feel shame. Note: a small degree of shame & doubt is good for humility.   Stage 3: Initiative Vs. Guilt (4-5 yrs.):    Stage 3: Initiative Vs. Guilt (4-5 yrs.) The child needs to learn how to approach situations & what the consequences of such actions will be (often through play). The child identifies himself/herself based on the child’s sex & interactions with parents. Superego develops during this stage. If the stage is resolved, the child develops more initiative than guilt. Stage 4: Industry Vs. Inferiority (6-12):  Stage 4: Industry Vs. Inferiority (6-12) The child must learn to be productive & succeed in tasks he or she sets out to do. Through diligence & hard-work, the child gains a sense of satisfaction & industry. If the child feels like he/she cannot successfully produce or is unrecognized for producing inferiority will prevail. Stage 5: Identity Vs. Identity Confusion (13-20s):  Stage 5: Identity Vs. Identity Confusion (13-20s) Adolescents transition from childhood to adulthood. During this time, the adolescent needs to determine what his/her identity will be (job, family). Identity confusion occurs if the adolescent can’t develop a coherent identity. A negative identity-based on undesirable roles in society (juvenile delinquent). Stage 6: Intimacy Vs. Isolation (20s-30s):  Stage 6: Intimacy Vs. Isolation (20s-30s) Person needs to establish close relationships with others (friends, lovers, family). Intimacy is psychological, not sexual. If person doesn’t not develop close personal relationships with others, they may become isolated. Stage 7: Generativity Vs. Stagnation (Mid adulthood):  Stage 7: Generativity Vs. Stagnation (Mid adulthood) The adult who is generative—is involved in their work roles & is concerned with the growth of others. These people—give back to society through their efforts (parents, teachers, mentors). Stagnation occurs when a person it not able to be involved in caring for others. Stage 8: Integrity Vs. Despair (late adulthood)   :  Stage 8: Integrity Vs. Despair (late adulthood)   Person needs to feel they accomplished something in life. Was the person’s life meaningful? Those that feel they achieved their goals, develop integrity. Those who failed to achieve their goals experience despair. Karen Horney (1885-1952):  Karen Horney (1885-1952) Born to a Norwegian Sea Captain & his wife. Horney’s father was a strict religious zealout (Lutheran) who made life unpleasant for Karen’s family. Karen criticized her religion & father’s views which she saw as hypocritical. Horney earned a degree from the University of Freiburgh in 1906 (1 of 58 women). Biographical:  Biographical Horney married Oskar in 1909 & moved to Berlin to continue her medical studies. Horney underwent psychoanalysis, & decided to make it her profession. Horney soon published several papers criticizing Freud’s views of women. Horney--overview:  Horney--overview The unconscious has a strong influence on personality development. However, sexual conflict does not drive personality. Instead, unresolved interpersonal issues, do!!!! Like Freud, she agreed that these conflicts occurred during childhood (through parent-child interactions). Horney emphasized importance of cultural forces, not anatomy on personality differences in men & women. Basic Anxiety & Basic Hostility :  Basic Anxiety & Basic Hostility A child reared with inadequate parenting feels helpless & alone in the world. This is basic anxiety. Parental neglect & rejection—produce anger which leads to basic hostility. This hostility cannot be expressed (fear of retribution/loss of love) & becomes repressed. This is the breeding ground for neurosis. Three Interpersonal Orientations:  Three Interpersonal Orientations Healthy people are flexible in how they interact with others. Neurotics are imbalanced in their interpersonal behavior. Horney argued these neurotics could be categorized by their emphasis on moving toward people, moving against people, or moving away from people. These may serve as basic defense mechanisms. Have you met this person?:  Have you met this person? When Jane first meets people she comes across as friendly & warm. She’s always doing things for others, quick to pass along a compliment. But soon her attention turns into demands. She can’t stand to be alone, can’t accept the idea that partners or friends would want to do anything without her. Her relationships never work out, yet she falls in love almost as soon as she meets the next man. Moving Toward People: The Self-Effacing Solution :  Moving Toward People: The Self-Effacing Solution These people have overwhelming need for love from others. Emphasize their helplessness. These people become dependent on others, seeing others as superior to themselves. Paradox—while these people desperately want love, they are incapable of having a genuinely loving relationship. Instead, these folks cling to others, demanding love & affection, they can’t return. Have you met this person?:  Have you met this person? Jack is disliked by almost everyone he meets. Few people escape his sarcastic, biting comments. He seems to hold everyone he encounters with contempt. He is successful in his field of business, but has done so by stepping on others to get what he wants. He’s such a narcissist that everything has to be about him or he’s unhappy and miserable. He’s the poster child for Machiavellianism. Moving against People: The Expansive Solution :  Moving against People: The Expansive Solution These people need power over others to feel good about themselves. These folks get a fleeting sense of security from pushing others around, but have no real friendships. It is important that this person show mastery in tasks over others & humiliate others before they themselves can be humiliated. Have you met this person?:  Have you met this person? Jen works as an accountant, quietly tabulating figures in her office. She rarely socializes with other people who work for the same firm; so now most of them have stopped asking her to join them. She has few friends and spends most of her evenings by herself with her cat. Moving away from People: The Resignation Solution :  Moving away from People: The Resignation Solution These individuals withdrawal from others & strive for self-sufficiency & independence. They detach from others & seek jobs where there is little interaction with others. In general they avoid affection, love, or friendship. They are afraid that emotional attachment will lead to pain & rejection. . Narcissism:  Narcissism If an individual is unsure of his/her self-worth, they may attempt to “achieve” worthiness by using one of Horney’s orientations. Appearing more powerful, independent, or loved, gives the person the illusion they have personal worth. Narcissism—malignant self-focus & self-admiration that results in the person alienating everyone else (NPD). Parental behavior and personality:  Parental behavior and personality Horney argued that warm, affectionate, & loving parents rear healthy well-adjusted children. Parents who are controlling, neglectful, or cold rear children who have basic anxiety & neuroticism. There is some support for Horney’s theory. McCrae & Costa (1988) found that adults who reported that their parents had been rejecting were higher in neuroticism. What is infant attachment?:  What is infant attachment? Infants develop strong affectionate ties with their caregivers (usually mother). This bond ensures our survival If we have loving parents, we form secure attachments by the time we are 6-months-old. How attachment evolves:  How attachment evolves 1. Preattachment phase (0—2 mos.) smiling, crying, & eye-contact with caregiver facilitate newborn closeness to humans. 2. Attachment-in-the-making phase (2-7mos.) Babies smile, laugh, & babble more to mom than strangers. 3. Clear-cut phase of attachment (7-24 mos) Attachment to familiar caregiver is present. Separation anxiety occurs when caregiver leaves. 4. Goal-corrected partnership (24 mos.+) Separation anxiety begins to wane. Types of Attachment:  Types of Attachment 1.  Secure Attachment – parent is secure base. Child cries when parent is gone, & is comforted when parent returns. 2. Insecure-Avoidant attachment – Infants are unresponsive to parent when present & unaffected when parent leaves. They often avoid the parent when parent greets them. 3. Insecure-Resistance attachment::  3. Insecure-Resistance attachment: Infants seek closeness with parent before parent leaves & shows anger responses when parent returns. Infants are hard to comfort while being held. 4. Insecure-Disorganized attachment – Infant is confused & shows contradictory behaviors when parent returns (flat affect). Feminine Psychology:  Feminine Psychology Horney argued against Freud’s obviously negative views of women. Freud argued that the essence of female development is found in the concept of penis envy. Horney argued -men suffer from womb envy—the desire to carry & deliver children. Horney argued men compensate for this inability through achievements in work.

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