Case Study on Development/Life Span

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Development Across the Life Span: Case study of Marie.
In viewing the case of Marie, it is possible to examine her individual development across the life span within her cognitive, emotional and behavioural aspects. Erikson discusses and identifies the crisis confronting each person throughout the life course at different periods. Marcia also explores the notion of the ‘achievement of personal identity’ through the life span. These two theories can be applied to Marie and her current life disturbances that have led her to seek counselling. (Polan & Taylor 2010)

Based on Erikson’s theory Marie is in the ‘Identity vs. Role Confusion’ stage, as she is transitioning from late childhood into adulthood. Marie is exploring her own identity and emotional changes. A major role at this stage is for the individual to find their own place in society. At this stage in the life span, many issues are confronted by the client, including career, education and peer relationships. Role confusion can result if the client does not have love and support. Considering Marie’s childhood of abuse, it can be seen that the parental influence in her early childhood has left a profound effect on her development. Mytton and Dryden (1999) discuss that irrational beliefs begin as early as infancy and that “this intolerance of irrational beliefs to the inevitable pain and discomfort of life- low frustration tolerance- leads to emotional disturbance. Children develop a sense of self or ego. They begin to see themselves as either good or bad- often helped by the attitude of their parents to them”. A person needs to feel content about themselves and their achievements in life. For this to occur, each person begins to receive approval and recognition of self-worth, which is first experienced by parental approval and acceptance, and usually from the mother. Marie has been exposed to feelings of blame and worthlessness as a child. It is possible that Marie has a lack of ‘attachment’ from her...
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