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Anxiety

Describe the fundamental concepts of basic anxiety as proposed by Horney and how is this seen as a basic foundation of neurosis?

Freud, Jung, Adler and Horney were all major figures in psychology. Discuss how each of them view the Self. How does this compare to your view of the self?

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Fundamental concepts of basic anxiety as proposed by Horney

Karen Horney defined basic anxiety as an insidiously rising all "pervasive feeling of loneliness and helplessness" in a hostile world. She not only viewed anxiety as developing in certain childhood situation but also recognized that social and cultural conditions especially in childhood are largely responsible for shaping a persons personality (Eckardt, 2006).
In childhood, people try to protect themselves from basic anxiety in four ways. These are: being submissive, securing affection and love, attaining power and withdrawing. A person may try to secure affection and love by doing what the other person wants, bribing others or threatening them into providing the wanted love and affection. The person believes that if someone loves them they will not hurt them. A person may also be submissive as a means of self protection from the harsh environment. In submission the person complies with the wishes of others and avoids anything that may result to conflict. A submissive person believes that if they give in they will not be hurt (Chapter 4, 2009).

On the other hand, a person may self protect by attaining power over others. They believe that if they have power on one will harm them. Lastly a person may also protect themselves from the harsh realities of the world by withdrawing from people psychologically. This person becomes aloof from others not needing anyone for emotional support. They become independent with regard to their internal needs. By renouncing the emotional needs the person protects himself from getting hurt by other people (Chapter 4, 2009).

These four self protective mechanisms according to Horney are meant to protect an individual against basic anxiety and are a defense against pain and a means to reassurance and security and not a pursuit of well being, happiness or pleasure (Eckardt, 2006). Horney believed that though this four could be more compelling than other psychological or sexual needs and though they play a big role in reducing basic anxiety, often the "cost to the person is usually an impoverished personality"( Eckardt, 2006).

How these concepts of basic anxiety are seen as a basic foundation of neurosis

Horney believed that the above four self-protective mechanisms could become a permanent part of the individuals personality so much as to assume the ...

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