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Publisher's Summary

One of the most original psychoanalysts after Freud, Karen Horney pioneered such now-familiar concepts as alienation, self-realization, and the idealized image, and she brought to psychoanalysis a new understanding of the importance of culture and environment.

Karen Horney was born in Hamburg in 1885 and studied at the University of Berlin, receiving her medical degree in 1913. From 1914 to 1918 she studied psychiatry at Berlin-Lankwitz, Germany, and from 1918 to 1932 taught at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. She participated in many international congresses, among them the historic discussion of lay analysis chaired by Sigmund Freud.

Dr. Horney came to the United States in 1932 and for two years was associate director of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. In 1934 she came to New York and was a member of the teaching staff of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute until 1941, when she became one of the founders of the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis and the American Institute for Psychoanalysis.

In Neurosis and Human Growth, Dr. Horney discusses the neurotic process as a special form of human development: the antithesis of healthy growth. She unfolds the different stages of this situation, describing neurotic claims, the tyranny of inner dictates, and the neurotic’s solutions for relieving the tensions of conflict in such emotional attitudes as domination, self-effacement, dependency, or resignation. Throughout, she outlines with penetrating insight the forces that work for and against the person’s realization of his or her potentialities.

©1950 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

Neurosis and Human Growth is in my opinion the most important psychoanalytic contribution to our understanding of the human organism…since the basic work of Sigmund Freud.” (Isidore Portnoy, MD)

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Common sense advice for life

Don't let the title of this book fool you. This is not a psycho-babble guide to finding the real you. The author is a very intelligent woman who trained as a psycho-analyst and worked for years helping people with problems they found overwhelming. Her experience provides the listener with a common sense approach to deal with the types of problems we all encounter simply because life is not perfect. She helped me understand that my demands on myself for personal perfection lead to self-hate. She provided a guide for accepting my real self beginning with honesty and compassion. I have always avoided authors who write self-help manuals with the secret for happiness. This author doesn't claim she can cure all of your problems. What she can do is help me and others to better deal with problems that have made them feel unhappy and out of place all of their lives. The narrator of the book conveys the calm helpful message of the author very well. This is a very good book that I highly recommend.

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

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One psychoanalyst's conclusions

The depth of thought and ideas are mind expanding in this book. After listening to it two times I got the book because I needed to slow down and think through the ideas more slowly. As someone who does therapy I find the ideas she protrays very helpful. This is a book that charts a very different course then Freudian or more contemperary psychologist from the behavioral/cognitive perspective. Its contents are more based on the dynamic interplay between what you really are and what you or others wish you were in your mind. It will give some framework but not help you know how to help others other then being able to more fully understand and chart where they are coming from.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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I knew I was sick, but DAAAAAAAAAMN!

Great book! I was impressed by how well the author knew me! I also really enjoyed the ongoing, and at times direct, comparative analysis made with philosophies of other psychoanalysts, and the lterary references made to help illustrate certain points. The organization of the writing is inspired, and every chapter builds further on previous reading.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul
  • San Antonio, TX, United States
  • 01-26-14

I completely enjoyed listening all through.

What made the experience of listening to Neurosis and Human Growth the most enjoyable?

The author, like other founders of School of Psychiatry: Freud, Jung, Adler etc. they formed their ideas after seeing thousands of patients, and it clearly shows her vast experience in the field. Medical Psychology is such a sensitive area, we simply can't afford listening to abundance of self-claimed, non-enduring psychologists. I clearly saw that some Psychologists have directly stolen ideas from this author, which I didn't know then.<br/>Karen Horney being a woman medical doctor, sees some Freudian matters differently, and rightly so.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Karen Horney is wonderful in this book. Culmination of her 50 years of work in the field.

What does Heather Henderson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrator is wonderful. She has soft voice, knows the material, and conveys the material convincingly, to the public.<br/>Some narrators, have little idea what the passage they're reading is all about. It shows.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Definitely so! But can't.

Any additional comments?

This book is for general public, and we all have neurotic tendencies in us. No one is spared from!<br/>

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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the reactionary psyche

I liked the concept of *pride system*, the emphasis on interpersonal reaction as vulnerable mind is waylaid by many and varied tricky tangents of self-ishness, the neurotic reaction or retreat.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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The real walking dead are...

A seminal work that is worthy of multiple readings and that while dense will pay great dividends in ones understanding of the human condition if you are willing to take the time and do the work needed to fully comprehend this master tome.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great psychoanalytic text

Great formulation of the neurotic phenotypes in down to earth language. Not heavy into psychobabble. I must for anyone within the psychoanalytic / psychodynamic field.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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A Work of Genius - Narrated With Feeling

Horney deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for this book. Just an unqualified opinion from a random reader? Perhaps... although it was written decades ago, it must be more relevant now than ever. In a society that tries to crush the individual at every turn, anyone who wants to grow into themselves--their real selves, and not their culturally defined ego--will find in this book a truly powerful weapon against the forces of inner tyranny.

Sometimes we find ourselves molding our behavior with inner dictates to such an extent that we stifle our true motives and actions from taking shape in our lives. Sometimes we try so hard to the ideal of what we "should" be, that we forget to be what we are. It's painful to feel distant from yourself, but it's even more painful to feel like you can never measure up to your "ideal" self.

When you realize down the road that a lot of the mistakes you've made were toward protecting your "ideal" self and not your real self, you might explain a lot of the feelings of futility in your life, of always making the same mistakes, of never keeping a "leg up," of dead-end relationships and countless circular patterns of destructive behavior. This book is about growing into your real self. So throw aside your notions of who you think you should be, and be ready to embrace who you are.

It's hard work, but thanks to the sympathetic and emphatic reading from Heather Henderson, you can also take it seriously, even if you're not a psychoanalyst. The audio of this book truly adds an element of solemn weightiness that you probably wouldn't find in the print version. I believe the narrator understands the book on a deep level. Perhaps she used it to solve some of her own neurotic trends.

This will be on my list of top 10 books everyone should read, probably #3.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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More of a Library-type listen

It is a book which should not be listened to whilst doing other things that need your attention, like driving!. People in this field would have appreciated no forgetting those with an interest in psychology. Overall it is a good book with in-depth analysis that should be consumed as if reading a book.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Karen at her best

Painfully insightful. I appreciated the perspective of the author. the Reader more than excellent. Thank you