Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Our Inner Conflicts: A Constructive Theory of Neurosis” as Want to Read:
Our Inner Conflicts: A Constructive Theory of Neurosis
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Our Inner Conflicts: A Constructive Theory of Neurosis

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,555 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Unlike Freud, Horney does not regard neurosis as rooted in instinct. In her words, her theory is constructive because "it allows us for the first time to tackle and resolve neurotic hopelessness. . . . Neurotic conflicts cannot be resolved by rational decision. . . . But [they] can be resolved by changing the conditions within the personality that brought them into being." ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 17th 1992 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 1945)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Our Inner Conflicts, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Our Inner Conflicts

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,555 ratings  ·  89 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Our Inner Conflicts: A Constructive Theory of Neurosis
Ahmad Sharabiani
Our Inner Conflicts; a Constructive Theory of Neurosis, Karen Horney

Unlike Freud, Horney does not regard neurosis as rooted in instinct. In her words, her theory is constructive because "it allows us for the first time to tackle and resolve neurotic hopelessness. ... Neurotic conflicts cannot be resolved by rational decision. ... But [they] can be resolved by changing the conditions within the personality that brought them into being."

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دوم ماه سپتامبر سال 1975میلادی

Apr 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book explains everything about human character and is really beautifully written. It's as breezy as Linda Goodman's Sun Signs but much more complex. Horney theory is actually so complex that most people don't talk about her anymore, even though she was one of the most important psychoanalytic theorists, the only woman to have her own school of analysis, and one of the first analysts to go against Freud. I don't agree with 100% of it but it still blew my mind. It also makes you feel really c ...more
Sep 06, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Student / Field Psychologist
Karen Horney is one of the most famous of the Post-Freudian psychoanalysts. Horney's concepts examine the root causes of neurosis, basic anxiety, an idealized self image, and internal conflicting behavioral impulses. They are insightful, but honestly I don't always agree with her ideology. Her behavioral paradigm is useful for understanding the psychoanalytic view of human behavior I will admitt. And understanding her concepts can be valuable for those who are studying psychology and are already ...more
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: on-psychiatry
An underwhelming drag that—perhaps neurotically—slanders Freud and gender norms while rebranding Freudian ideas and applying them to a male patient perspective and selling them under a new underdeveloped (and therefore unjustifiably) optimistic outlook.

-Personality is important when people must choose between two mutually exclusive options. Normal personalities are often confronted with two desirable choices and so choose the most desired choice against the smaller feeling of losing the
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Our Inner Conflicts by Karen Horney

The name Karen Horney is mentioned in other psychology books that I read. Tal Ben-Sharar, in his lectures on Positive Psychology at Harvard mentions her contribution.
The fact is that I grew much more interested in Positive Psychology and less in psychology in general. It probably has to do a lot with the fact that I had my own issues, depressions and angry moods and I live in a society which has suffered a lot in communism and after it. I need more positive rea
Jason , etc.
Jun 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Heavy on the scholarship, but holy crap...if you have any kind of neurosis/neuroses, you'll be reading your life's story within Karen Horney's analysis of neuroses, in general. Her books made me understand and that's all you really need to do, in the end. She makes sense of our inner conflicts, great and small. This won't solve the problem, but it will shine a light on it, and that has made all the difference. ...more
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it
The second half of this book is like the transcription of the long-winded monologue of your scorned female friend who is really not going to go back to her crazy-ass ex-boyfriend this time (she swears it), to which you earnestly tried to listen but couldn't help getting distracted by the water spots on your wine glass, but I am stupid so. ...more
Hande Akgöz
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s such a great psychology book because of ,unlike other analytic books , this one contain hope . Karen Horney has different point of view about to therapy , opposite from the other colleagues. She believe change and human capacitiy for being better..
Zahra MiresmaIli
Oct 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I think i should review this book again, it was not easy to grasp all mentioned points in one sitting. I got some general points about different characteristics of human beings and how each of them show themselves.
Kaveh mohammad Ghaffari
in persian language the translation of this book is little different
the "oppositions of mentality" i read it when i was 20 years old 17 years ago
Peter S
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very interesting book. Below is a very condensed summary. I hope it makes sense - please pardon typos.

I think the middle chapters are most interesting, namely her discussion of the idealized image and externalization.

Humans make decisions - this is a burden and a prerogative. Decisions presuppose the willingness and capacity to assume responsibility for them. But because of apathy or conformity, most people just do whatever is to their immediate advantage. To make good decisions we must experi
Jun 09, 2007 rated it liked it
I can't say I'm a huge Horney fan, but as a psych student, I guess it's important to understand her theories to see "where we came from" in the field. Reading this book made me feel all crazy inside. It's pretty interesting, and many of the problems described apply to most people I know! Maybe I just know a lot of neurotic people. In my opinion, the ideas are outdated and too general to be helpful in working with clients, but like I said, it is good to read older theories to better understand th ...more
Mrs Froggy
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is really beautifully written.
I didn't study psychology at University, but I could grasp all the themes discussed here. Obviously I had to read some passages more than once (and I will definetely read the entire book again), but I found the whole theory illuminating.

You will ask yourself a lot of questions, as you read the book and you will also fine some interesting answers.
Daniel Noventa
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
If you ever question your actions, pick this book up.
Ignas Namajūnas
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended for people that are interested in the structure of personality.
Deimantė Pruselaitytė
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
First and foremost, I applaud K. Horney for bravery to distance herself from Freud’s teachings and develop her own constructive theory of neurosis.

The book is beautifully written, stacked with examples, metaphors and explanations. It is definitely a must-have for a practitioner since it provides a very clear description of a person suffering from neurosis. Sometimes it’s subconsciously hidden behind a socially desired facade so for a therapist it’s crucial having a strong theoretical background
Ashkan Sn
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I could be exaggerating in my 5-star rating of the book. And that is for two reasons: first, because of my intense recent personal interest in the psychological matter as part of my ongoing therapy, and second, my shallow knowledge in the subject matter that could have turned simple and obvious psychological facts in the book into exciting personal aha moments for me.
Anyhow, I think the book lies on the sweet spot for a person who is not studying pyschology and so does not treat the book as an
Interesting. Style is a bit dated.
What I take from this book is that being neurotic is not cool, but debilitating. Claims of artistic or intellectual justification for neuroses are more likely limiting your potential. Not that some conflict doesn't inspire - creativity can be a way of dealing with internal conflict, of expressing it - but there may be a stage after neuroses where you can actually be much more creative - in healthy ways for yourself rather than troubled 'exhibitions'. A bit optim
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of those books I’ll have to return to multiple times in the future to fully absorb. Horney’s writing is clear, sharp and informative, her knowledge on neurotic structures is incredible. Being able to absorb even a small portion of her insight within this book on my first read had been extremely valuable.
Razvan Savu
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just say this: this book contains a fair load of hard to swallow truths about inner motives and inconsistencies that, ultimately, impedes us in reaching our potential. Thus, prepare for the face slap and move on.
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting angle. For those i mean like me who does not share psychoanalitic point of view.
However as another complimentary angle it is well worth considering.
Great book. Very plain and clear.
Arina Bîrcu
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Terrifying book, gorgeous read. Karen Horney is one of a kind when it comes to delivering powerful and potentially destabilizing insight on the psyche. You'll both enjoy and hate the things you'll discover in this book. ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very smart. A few quirks, but overall, excellent, helpful character analysis and observation. Another neo-Freudian who really improved on her old teacher.
Michael Sanchez
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very insightful! Horney is a true visionary. Highly recommend this book to better understand your own neurosis and to uncover a new perspective so that you may expand your perspective.
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How much do I enjoy reading this book? I am currently on another book by Karen Horney starting yesterday right AFTER finishing reading this one!
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book isn't a toolkit to solve neurosis but analyzing it will soothe and comfort it. ...more
Shwan Raoof
This book needs to be read slowly with self-introspection and scrutiny. Apply it to yourself and contemplate on each chapter.
Very deep, scientific and full of psychotherapeutic wisdom.
Jithin Mukundan
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Karen Horney, in this book, refutes and modifies several theories of Freud keeping the basic premise intact. The Neo-Freudian psychoanalysis explained in the book shifts from the instinct theory of Freud to social relationships, to explain the inner conflicts of mind. Thus, environment gets dominance over genetics here. She brings in a lot of subjective factors like morality into the analysis, which were taboo for Freudians, something deemed as unscientific. But the practicality of such an appro ...more
Timothy Alan
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, it provides this level of self reflection and understanding you wont get from one of those self help books.
It not only provides keys to ones own self, but also provides keys to understand why others are the way they are, I think many of us know these things, yet its always nice hearing it worded in such a way to provide even more in depth realizations about consciousness and suppressed emotion. If you are into feminist reading, or are concerned about equality, you cant go wron
Thomas M. Summers
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful work by one of the leading names in psychoanalysis in the 20th century. She takes us beyond Freud as she develops her theory of Neurosis. Her work is very accessible to the educated reader. While new lands have been charted since the appearance of this book, it nonetheless remains relevant for the timeless insights it contains and, as all great minds, she remains contemporary for she was far ahead of her time.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Psychoanalytic Diagnosis: Understanding Personality Structure in the Clinical Process
  • Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis
  • Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche
  • Games People Play
  • Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death
  • Korkuyu Beklerken
  • ماهی سیاه کوچولو
  • Vertigo
  • The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Hurtful Parenting
  • The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance and Dreams
  • Understanding Human Nature
  • Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life
  • Psychological Types
  • On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy
  • Creatures of a Day: And Other Tales of Psychotherapy
  • درباره معنی زندگی
  • The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness
See similar books…
Karen Horney was a German psychoanalyst. Her theories questioned some traditional Freudian views, particularly his theory of sexuality, as well as the instinct orientation of psychoanalysis and its genetic psychology. As such, she is often classified as Neo-Freudian.

Related Articles

  Speaking with Adam Grant feels like having your brain sandblasted, in a pleasant sort of way. As an author, professor, and psychologist,...
70 likes · 1 comments
“Источником конфликта становится утрата невротиком способности желать вообще чего-либо искренне, потому что его истинные желания разделены и действуют в противоположных направлениях” 1 likes
“Истинные идеалы содействуют скромности, идеализированный образ - высокомерию” 1 likes
More quotes…