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Erikson's Theory Of Psychosocial Development. (Focus In This Essay Is On Erikson's First Three Stages Of Growth.)

3088 words - 12 pages

In this essay, I will examine Erikson's Developmental Theory known as his 'Theory of Psychosocial Development.' The focus of this assignment will be centred on the psychological growth during Erikson's first three stages of development, spanning from birth to the age of four, or five. However, I will also briefly investigate the later periods of development in order to fully disclose the essence of Erikson's groundbreaking theory. Before my onslaught into this, the core of this essay, I will first give a brief biographical introduction to Erikson the man, and from there I will make inquiries into his relationship with Freud and the psychoanalytical movement of which he was a part. It is of my opinion that to fully comprehend and appreciate Erikson's theory, one must fathom what constitutes the man himself, for many of his beliefs and notions appear to be derived from his own personal psychological perplexities. In addition, I will also briefly describe Freud's theory of psychosexual development, as Erikson's theory is largely built on the framework of this theory, and indeed incorporates much of the content and notions introduced within it.Erik was born in Frankfurt in 1902 and spent most of his early years in Karlsruhe (1). His father had deserted his Jewish mother before he was even born. When he was three his mother married his Jewish doctor, Theodore Homburger. Erik assumed the name Homburger at this time. Young Erik was physically more alike Northern Europeans than most of the children in his stepfather's temple. There he was referred to as Goy, while at his school he was seen as a Jew. His feeling of alienation resulted in a major sense of crisis in his adolescent life. The teenage Erik considered himself an artistic type and perhaps as a consequence of his estranged family life, he wandered Europe for many years before he landed a job, rather by chance, teaching children of the psychoanalytical community in Vienna. Erik eventually became part of this movement and was familiar with the major players in psychoanalytical thought at this time, including Sigmund Freud himself. Indeed, as part of his training Erik was analysed by Anna Freud, Sigmund's daughter. It was here among this company that he first felt a sense of his own personal identity. However, as a consequence of the threat of fascism in Europe, Erik and his wife made the decision to move to the United States in 1933.Shortly after his arrival Erik changed his name from Homburger to Erikson. He felt he would have more success and would more likely be accepted in the professional community if he did so. In America he continued his development as a psychoanalyst and became somewhat of a specialist in child and adolescent analysis. He had already carried out considerable study on childhood development in Vienna where Anna Freud had pioneered study in this area. In the U. S., he also completed a number of specialized studies on Native American child rearing practices as well as working...

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