1900 - 1980
Born in Frankfurt, Germany
A not too happy childhood
Two significant events
◦ Suicide of parents friend
◦ “My main interest was clearly mapped out. I
wanted to understand the laws that govern the
life of the individual man, and the laws of society”
Studied psychology, sociology, and philosophy at
the University of Heidelberg
Married his first analyst, Frieda Reichmann
In the 1930’s was writing critical articles disputing
Freud’s refusal to admit the impact of
socioeconomic forces on personality.
Became “hated within the Freudian establishment
with a special passion”
Worked with Karen Horney for approx. 10 years
Wrote around 50 books
Died of a 4th heart attack in 1980
We have several basic existential needs:
Relatedness (to others)
Transcendence (purpose)
Rootedness (to the world and nature)
Sense of Identity (“I am I”)
Frame of orientation
As people have achieved more freedom, they
have become more lonely, insignificant and
alienated from nature(less freedom = greater
There are three psychic mechanisms for
escaping the negative aspects of freedom
◦ “the tendency to give up the independence of one’s own individual self and to fuse
one’s self with someone or something outside oneself in order to acquire the
strength which the individual is lacking”
◦ Can take two forms:
 Masochism (join oneself to something more powerful)
 Feelings of inferiority and inadequacy
 Compliant to others
 Sadism
 Strive for power over others
 Gain power over the weak by making them dependent on me
 Exploiting others for my benefit or pleasure
 Making others suffer physically or psychologically
Destructiveness (Malignant Aggression)
◦ Does not depend on a continuous relationship with
another but seeks to eliminate people or things
from our lives (If it/they do not exist, I can’t be
 Nastiness of life attributed to this
◦ If blocked will be turned on self (If I do not exist, I
can’t be hurt)
Automation Conformity
◦ We give up our individuality to become whatever
other people desire us to be
◦ Temporarily find security but at the price of the self
 The more we conform the more powerless we feel, the
more powerless we feel the more we must conform
◦ Most socially significant
Proposed both productive and nonproductive
personality types (character orientations)
◦ Productive: healthy personality types
 Ideal state of human development
◦ Nonproductive: unhealthy
Most personalities are a combination of types
with one dominant
◦ In love with life and are attracted to growth,
creation, and construction
◦ Try to influence others by love, reason, and
 Are concerned with the growth and development of
self and others
◦ Extreme of this would be a saint
◦ Define self by what you are not by what you have
◦ Self worth comes from within not from comparing
self to others
◦ Cooperate, love, and live productively with others
Receptive type
Can only relate to the world from things outside of themselves
Expect to get whatever they want from others
Receivers not givers
Negative qualities:
 Passivity, submissiveness, and lack of self control
◦ Positive qualities:
 Loyalty, acceptance, and trust
Exploitative type
Relate to the world outside of themselves
Aggressively take what they want from others
What is taken is of greater value than what is given freely to them
Negative qualities:
 Egocentric, conceited, arrogant, and seducing
◦ Positive qualities:
 Impulsive, proud, charming, and self-confident
Hoarding type
◦ Security in hoarding and saving what they have already obtainted
◦ Compulsive orderliness about their possessions, thoughts and
◦ Build walls around themselves and let little out
◦ Negative traits:
 Rigidity, sterility, obstinacy, compulsivity, lack of creativity
◦ Positive traits:
 Orderliness, cleanliness, puctuality
Marketing type
◦ Our personality becomes a commodity to by sold
◦ Superficial qualities such as smiling, being agreeable, laughing at the
boss’s jokes are more important than inner characteristics and abilities
◦ Are without a past or future, and have no permanent principles or values
◦ Somewhat connected to automation conformity
◦ Negative traits:
 Aimless, opportunistic, inconsistent, and wasteful
◦ Positive traits:
 Changeability, open-mindedness, adaptability,
and generosity
Having type
Personal meaning comes from possessions
“Keeping up with the Jones’s”
“ The one who dies with the most toys wins!”
Any society with a majority of these type people is a
sick society
Necrophilous type
◦ Attracted to death, corpses, decay, dirt, etc.
◦ Often hate humanity and are racists, warmongers, and bullies
 Not all are savages, but appear harmless and leave a wake of
emotional destruction
 Their destructive behavior is a reflection of their basic character
◦ Dwell in the past and are cold and aloof
◦ Devoted to law and order
Malignant Narcissism
◦ Perception of reality is impeded so that everything
belonging to the narcissist is highly valued while
everything belonging to others is devalued.
Incestuous Symbiosis
◦ Inseparable and often intertwined with a host
person or thing losing their individual identities
 Can be with a person, ideology, job, nation, etc.
◦ Feel extremely anxious or frightful if the symbiotic
relationship is challenged
◦ Distorts an individuals reasoning powers, destroys
the capacity for authentic love, and prevents people
from achieving independence and integrity