Who the father of the psychoanalytic method of psychology.


Who Was Erik Erikson?


Erik Erikson is one of the foremost psychologists of the 20th
Century, most famous for his theory of Stages of Psychosocial Development. In
two of his works – Childhood and
Society and
Identity and the
Lifecycle, Erikson
outlined his theory of 8 stages through which people pass over the course of
their lives, from infancy to adulthood. Erikson theorized that the successful
navigating of a crisis in each stage would allow the individual to “progress”
to the next stage.

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Erik Homberger in Frankfurt, Germany on June 15, 1902 to a Jewish mother named
Karla Abrahamsen and an unknown Danish father, Erikson studied art and
languages instead of the subjects like chemistry and biology. (FrostburgPsyographyErikson) Erikson was trained
in psychoanalysis in Vienna by Anna Freud, the daughter of Sigmund Freud, known
to be the father of the psychoanalytic method of psychology. In 1933, Erikson
moved to the United States and accepted a position as a research associate at Harvard
Psychological Clinic, while simultaneously working on his graduate degree in
psychology. Finding himself “at odds with the quantitative, empirical focus of
Harvard’s Psychology Department” (HarvardPsychologyErikson), Erikson ultimately
abandoned his formal studies before completing his degree, and continued his
research at Yale and Berkley as well as practicing privately as a
psychoanalyst. In 1960, Erikson returned to Harvard as Professor of Human
Development and Lecturer in Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, and was
also an unofficial member of the Department of Social Relations, where he
taught “popular undergraduate and graduate courses on human development.” (HarvardPsychologyErikson) He retired in 1970
as Professor Emeritus, and died on May 3, 1994 in Harwich, Mass  at the age of 91. (NYTOnThisDayErikson)

has been said that much of Erikson’s work on identity formation was a product
of his own life experiences and struggle with identity: Having conceived of
Erikson with an unknown man who abandoned her before she gave birth, his mother
kept the details of his birth a secret during his childhood. Growing up,
Erikson was a “tall, blond, blue-eyed boy who was also Jewish. At temple
school, the kids teased him for being Nordic; at grammar school, they teased
him for being Jewish.” (WebspaceShipEdu) Prior to his work in psychology,
Erikson was an artist for some years, wandering the streets of Europe and
sleeping under bridges. When he became an American citizen, he changed his name
to Erik Erikson. His son Kai Erikson theorizes that this was a way for his
father to affirm his identity as a self-made man. To what extent these life
experiences were formative of Erikson’s work can only be conjectured. What is
certain, however, is the impact his work made on the world of psychology.
Indeed, on the American Psychological Association’s list of Eminent
psychologists of the 20th Century, Erik H. Erikson is number 12 (APAEminentPsychologist), leaving no doubt as
to the significance of his contribution and the extent of his legacy.

Erikson’s Stages of

he was a prolific author and popular professor over the course of his life,
Erikson is most renowned for his theory on stages of human psychological
development. Erikson subscribed – to some degree – to Freud’s theories,
including the idea of id, superego, and ego, but disagreed with Freud’s
definition of the “personality solely on the basis of sexuality, and, unlike
Freud, felt that personality continued to develop beyond five years of age.” (PsychoSocialTheroyEriksonHaverfo) One interesting way in
which Erikson’s theory diverged from Freud’s is in reference to the ego: While in
Freud’s model the ego, id, and superego are inextricably tied together, and any
course of action results from the ego’s acquiescence to either the id or the superego,
Erikson asserted that “part of the ego is able to operate independently of the
id and the superego.” (WebspaceShipEdu) In Erikson’s thought,
the ego was more than a mediator between two opposing forces, it was a driving force
in the development of the human personality.

Erikson did further refine and contribute to Freud’s work, his pièce de
ré·sis·tance was undoubtedly the eight psychosocial stages he proposed. Erikson
framed the stages in terms of crises that an individual would face within each,
the resolution of which would determine the progression through the following stages.
Erikson proposed a bipolar scheme for his crises: “At the one pole is the ego
quality that successful resolution of that stage’s challenge will establish. At
the other pole is that quality’s counterpart, the outcome of consistently
unfavorable circumstances. No one will fall at one extreme or the other; it is
always a matter of the ratio between the two opposing trends.” In other words,


Video – Erik Erikson’s Theory
of Psychosocial Development in Infancy and Early Childhood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0sxaU34MPE