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July 1951

Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1951;66(1):118. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1951.02320070138020

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In Karen Horney's opinion, a neurotic process is a special form of human development and constitutes the antithesis of healthy growth. Man's energies are directed toward realization of his own potentialities. Under traumatic conditions, a person may become alienated from his real self and then misdirect his energies into creating and building up a false idealized self based on pride but harassed by doubts, self contempt and self hate. The goal of therapy then would be the liberation of the forces that lead to true self realization. The book is concluded with the following paragraph "Albert Schweitzer uses the term 'optimistic' and 'pessimistic' in the sense of 'world and life affirmation' and 'world and life negation.' Freud's philosophy, in this deep sense, is a pessimistic one. Ours, with all its cognizance of the tragic element in neurosis, is an optimistic one." It is this kind of misinterpretation which distracts the

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