Erik Erikson’s Psychoanalytic Stages of Development
Psych 321 –
Erik Homberger Erikson was born in 1902 near Frankfort, Germany. During his school years Erikson studied art and a variety of languages, rather than science courses such as biology and chemistry. He did not overly enjoy the atmosphere and ideals produced by formal schooling, so instead of going to college he traveled Europe for over a year. He then returned to Germany and enrolled in art school. One year later, he returned to Germany and enrolled in art school. Another several years pass, and Erikson began to teach art and other subjects to children of Americans who had come to Vienna for Freudian training. He was then admitted into the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute. In 1933 he came to the U.S. and became Boston's first child analyst; He also obtained a position at the Harvard Medical School (Berger 36). Erikson then returned to California to the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Palo Alto and later the Mount Zion Hospital in San Francisco, where he was a clinician and psychiatric consultant (Grinker 2007). Erikson's basic philosophy might be said to rest on two major themes: 1) the world gets bigger as we age and develop, and 2) failure is cumulative. In many cases an individual who has to deal with extraneous circumstances as a child may be unable to positively complete later stages as easily as someone who didn't have as many challenges early on. Erikson recognized the basic notions of Freudian theory, but believed that Freud misjudged some important dimensions of human development. It was Erikson’s thought that humans develop throughout their life span, while Freud said that our personality is shaped by the age of five. Furthermore, Erikson developed eight psychosocial stages that humans encounter throughout their life. The stages are Trust vs. Mistrust, Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt, Initiative vs. Guilt, Industry vs. Inferiority, Identity vs. Role...
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