In contrast to Freud
, Alfred Adler
presented a simplified scheme accounting for the development of personality. Adler
, who formed a group called the Society for Free Psycho-Analytic Research
, associated neurotic
strivings as attempts to achieve personal superiority at the expense of others. Unable to break completely from his Freudian origins, Adler concluded that our lifestyles are formed to a large extent by our fifth year of development
Karen Horney disagreed with Freud's focus on sexual trauma and developed a revisionist view of Freudian theory. Horney's version associated neurosis with dysfunctional parent-child relationships rather than sexual urges, and she identified alienation (from self and others) as a major factor in neurosis.
Erik Erikson's psychoanalytic ego psychology extended Freud's view of the ego in personality development, but Erikson theorized that the ego operates autonomously from id motivations. (See Erikson's Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development)
Heinz Kohut posited self psychology and believed that human beings are not driven relentlessly by sexual and aggressive instincts. Rather, he postulated that pathological sexual and aggressive behavior derive from damage to the self, and that personal development is an organic and dynamic process throughout a person's life.