Theorist Erik Erikson: Psychosocial Theory

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Theorist Erik Erikson: Psychosocial Theory Judith K. Fell Concordia University Wisconsin February 27, 2013 Theorist Erik Erikson The psychosocial theory of Erik Erikson is highly and widely regarded. Erickson was a humanitarian as well as psychoanalyst. Therefore, his theory is far beyond mere psychoanalysis and is very useful in numerous applications involving either personal development or awareness of an individual or group of individuals (Austrian, 2008). Erikson’s theory asserts that individuals experience eight main psychosocial crisis stages which greatly influence personality and development of each person. He emphasized that psycho-development and personality growth is a continuous process, not terminated at physical maturity. This paper is going to examine Erickson’s theory, review the eight stages of man, and discuss the application on future clinical practice. Life Span Theory Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development is based on the epigenetic principle, which states that development unfolds in a series of predetermined stages, that there is an optimal time for the ascendancy of a stage, and that the resolution of early stages greatly influences the outcomes of later stages (Dunkel & Sefcek, 2009). According to Erikson’s theory each stage involves a crisis of two opposing emotional forces; this presents the individual with an inherent task or conflict that they must successfully resolve to proceed with development. Each crisis stage relates to a corresponding life stage and its inherent challenges. Resolution of earlier stages is believed to directly affect the resolution of later stages. According to Austrian (2008), completion of each stage successfully leaves a person with a mastery sense known as ego quality or strength. The assumption is that each psychosocial stage has both a successful and unsuccessful outcome ( versus

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