Susan Rudnick’s comments about the sexual abuse of women by powerful men derive from Karen Horney’s formulation of the Real Self, as she articulated it in Neurosis and Human Growth. Even if we are severely alienated from that Real Self, it is still there, and we do continue to have human need for authentic connection to ourselves and others. The abuse or assault becomes a severely distorted expression of that need. And because the need is never really fulfilled, it becomes an endless hunger that needs to be repeated over and over. Power over another human being becomes a substitute for authentic relationship.
This brief conversation (5 minutes) is available as a recording (below) and a printable PDF transcript. The recording, unfortunately, picked up the background noise, which may be a bit distracting.
Susan Rudnick,LCSW is a longtime psychotherapist in private practice in Manhattan. The three disciplines that inform her work are her Psychoananalytic Training at the Karen Horney Institute, Focusing, and her practice of Zen Buddhism. She is interested in the interface between spirituality and psychotherapy, and contributed a chapter to the book Into the Mountain Stream: Psychotherapy and Buddhist Experience. She is a haiku poet, and is about to complete a long term project of writing a memoir about growing up with her developmentally challenged sister. She serves on the board of the Focusing Institute.
Published January 2018. This is part of the Sex, Power & Shadow series.