Karen knew early in her life that she wanted to become a doctor. She went to college, got her doctorate, married and had three children. Dr. Horney was a psychiatrist, helping people to better understand themselves. Dr. Horney lived in Germany at the same time Dr. Sigmund Freud (a famous psychiatrist) stated his theory that a person's father is the most important figure in forming their self image. Karen felt that her mother was a very strong influence on her, and spoke her different ideas. She treated her patients in a very caring, motherly way that helped them to share their feelings. When Dr. Horney was in her 50s, she moved to the United States and wrote several books about her idea on psychology. Dr. Karen Horney taught people that no matter how important parents are during childhood, each person is responsible for their own actions and was the first psychiatrist to stress the importance of "maternal" support.
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Information adapted from History of Women in Science for Young People by Vivian Sheldon Epstein.