Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle toward Self-Realization

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Karen Horney

Narrated By: Heather Henderson

Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks

Date: April 2011

Duration: 15 hours 47 minutes


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.

"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


  • Robert R

    You know when you read (listen to...) a book and wonder if the author has been spying on you for your entire life? I think this one will do that to many people. The narrator, Heather Henderson, was surprisingly absorbing with this type of text. If only my school teachers presented like her in all those dry subjects, I would have way better grades. This was a very good introduction to neurotic behaviors and a very interesting story of my life. But who is to say the neurotic is doing it wrong? This is not a self help book so we are not told how to live our lives, which is refreshing. It simply points out that sometimes we can be too hard on ourselves in the path to dream perfect selves. It doesn't say that we shouldn't also strive to better ourselves. It's just that sometimes we get caught up in the image of who we want to be and ignore the work that is required to get there. That and many other things, Neurosis and Human Growth introduces us to many tricks our mind can play on us on the path to personal growth. Reading this is a good way to realize if we are suffering from neurotic behaviors yet it is not a fix. Neurosis is a milder form of mental illness and extreme cases should be taken to a professional. Personally, suffering from self-effacing behaviors, as the author calls it, I am more aware that I am quite hard on myself. For example, writing this review is extremely nerve wracking but for no good reason. I’m afraid it’s not good enough and I should be writing perfect reviews all the time. We can be too critical of our own work yet are not willing to work at it to become better. The main kicker for me is this book has been written 1950 and it very much does not show its age. It basically describes what we label the young as “millennials” (stereotype I hate) yet don’t realize these behaviors have been present for many generations. So here's to the long road of slowly working at my hobbies, getting better with practice and being okay with where I am now.

  • Erdem Yilmaz

    Amazing book, amazing narration... Regards to everyone who put their labor in the making... -Erdem Yilmaz

Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle toward Self-Realization

by Karen Horney

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Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle toward Self-Realization, Karen Horney