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Salzman, L. (1964). Socio-Psychological Theories in Psychoanalysis Karen Horney and Harry Stack Sullivan. Am. J. Psychoanal., 24(2):131-142.

(1964). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 24(2):131-142

Socio-Psychological Theories in Psychoanalysis Karen Horney and Harry Stack Sullivan

Leon Salzman, Ph.D.

Early in the History of phychoanalysis there began to develop discontent over Freud's mechanistic and instinctivistic orientation. The Libido Theory was a prime target and some of the earliest innovators raised the very objections that are contained in much of the current theorizing. Alfred Adler was among those who emphasized the influence of the individual's environment, both human and material. Many of the more recent theorists, such as Horney, Fromm, Rado and Sullivan were greatly influenced by his orientation.

I will explore the contributions of Karen Horney and Harry Stack Sullivan and make some assessment of their place in psychoanalysis. I do not propose here to go into detail regarding their specific contributions since these are available in many excellent publications, such as those of Mullahy,1 Hall and Lindzey,-Ruth Monroe,3 as well as in my own book, Developments in Psychoanalysis.4 I would, however, like to examine the role which these two theorists played in the maturation of psychoanalysis as a science of human behavior.

The scientific atmosphere in which Freud grew up, studied and worked has been explored extensively by historians and psychologists.5-ü It was inevitable that his theorizing would be influenced strongly by the prevailing theories in physics, and thus physiology, where energy, mechanics, instinct theory and the concepts of absolute causality were prevalent. It was an era of tremendous advances in the physical sciences as well as in the biological sciences.

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