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Whitehorn, J.C. (1954). The Scope of Motivation in Psychopathology and Psychotherapy. Am. J. Psychoanal., 14(1):30-39.

(1954). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 14(1):30-39

The Scope of Motivation in Psychopathology and Psychotherapy

John C. Whitehorn, M.D.

THe Opportunity to deliver the Karen Horney Lecture is an honor and a privilege. The psychodynamic approach to the understanding of human behavior as developed by Sigmund Freud has served as the entering wedge by which many brilliant followers have been enabled to contribute to the relief of neurotic suffering and disability, and to the knowledge of the psychological processes involved therein. Dr. Horney was surely not the least brilliant nor the least productive of the earnest students and practitioners of Freudian knowledge and insights, yet she differed from many in her eagerness and courage to push forward in search of new insight and more comprehensive understanding. She sought better understanding of social psychodynamics in general and of the constructive social forces, in particular.

To honor her aims and achievements, it seems appropriate to present a discussion of “The Scope of Motivation in Psychopathology and Psychotherapy.” I shall not attempt to delineate fully the historical development of ideas on this topic, nor to assemble the massive materials available in libraries. Rather, my effort will be to organize and present some views developed from personal observation and reflection in the study and treatment of patients, in association with others similarly engaged. The obligations of teaching and investigation have doubtless influenced me to try to bring these ideas into line with what has seemed most sound and constructive in our common heritage of psychiatric knowledge and theory.

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