February 18 by The Running Son
Dr. Horney was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1885. She attended the University of Berlin, receiving her degree in 1913. She studied psychiatry at Berlin-Lankwitz and later taught at the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. In addition, she was a participant in the International Congresses including the discussion of lay analysis chaired by Freud.
In 1932, Horney came to the United States. She is known to have been an Associate Director of the Psychoanalytic Institute in Chicago, a teacher at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, and ultimately one of the founders of the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis and the American Institute of Psychoanalysis.
One of Horney’s primary interests was the impact of cultural and social issues in addition to childhood conflicts when evaluating the constitution of personality. She ultimately conceived one of the most used personality typologies in the therapy field1. Her descriptions of the observable features in both the normal character and the pathological character are a common typology shared with the Enneagram typology. In particular the Hornevian models, Enneagrammatically known as theHornevian Triads, potentially directly correspond and extend the insights into the more subtle aspects of the Enneagram.
Inspired by the platonic thoughts about will, emotion and reason, Horney described three personality types in response to inner conflict: the Expansive Solutions, the Self-Effacing Solutions, and Resignation. These types were determined, depending on whether a person is opposed to others, and moves against (aggressive), moves toward others (compliant or dependent), or stands apart and moves away (withdrawn).
The Expansive Solutions require an aggressive stance with an attempt to control, dominate and exploit others, and with a strong need for their will to prevail. More outwardly focused the orientation is towards projects and results.
The Self-Effacing Solutions require a dependent or compliant stance, with an adjustment to the opinions and desires of others, and with a strong need for acceptance. How others feel about them is first and foremost.
Resignation requires a withdrawn stance, with an attempt to detach, retreat, and move away from others, and with a strong need for independence, privacy, and self-protection. Inwardly focused, insecurity is concealed by the appearance of aloofness or superiority.
The comparison between the Hornevian models and the Enneagram types can be viewed from many perspectives. As is generally the case when comparing any different typologies, there does not seem to be an exact match. There do, however, appear to be intriguing possibilities when viewing the Horney models in conjunction with the Enneagram types individually as well as in relationship to the types’ respective centers.
This suggested correlation was documented and superbly explained by Fabien and Patricia Chabreuil2. Their work combines the work of Horney, Don RichardRiso, and KathyHurley and TedDobson.
For example, the Enneagram centers have been described in similar terms as defined by Horney’s types.
The instinctual or gut center (8-9-1) is body-based and can be seen as having a desire to take action in the world, which can be related to the aggressive type.
The emotional or heart center (2-3-4) is feeling-based and can be seen as having a desire to focus on others’ needs and to positively affect others in the world, which can be related to the compliant type.
The mental or thinking center (5-6-7) is thought-based and can be seen as having a desire to give greater importance to the interior world of ideas, which can be related to the withdrawn type.
In the Enneagram community, we have heard different theories regarding the inner dynamics within centers. One view originally expressed by Riso3 and expanded upon by Hurley and Dobson 4 is that of the unused or repressed center respectively.
In conjunction with the Horney types, Riso describes the (3-7-8) as aggressive types, due to issues with the nurturing figure, the (1-2-6) as compliant types due to issues with the authority figure or rule giver, and the (4-5-9) as withdrawn due to issues with both figures. This concept clearly identifies an aggressive, compliant, and withdrawn type within each center….
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