February 22, 2007


as postulated by Eric Erikson

Trust vs. Mistrust
Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt
Initiative vs. Guilt
Industry vs. Inferiority
Identity vs. Role Diffusion
Intimacy vs. Isolation
Generativity vs. Stagnation
Integrity vs. Despair

Developed in the first year of life. At this stage, an infant develops an attachment to the parents, whose job is to protect the infant from danger. The goal is to help the infant feel safe and secure. The infant's basic needs are met. The infant learns to make some primitive decisions: Do people care? Can I trust others? It is later in life, when as adults, we are more sophisticated to know that TRUST occurs on many levels. We learn to trust someone for one thing, but maybe not for something else.

Developed between the ages of one and three. The toddler begins to explore the environment, which helps to develop independence. Learning how to walk on your own is symbolic of developing autonomy. The toddler also needs to receive ATTENTION, APPROVAL, ACCEPTANCE, ADMIRATION and AFFIRMATION. This contributes to a sense of BELONGING and begins to build a strong foundation for the development of SELF-ESTEEM. The toddler learns how to GIVE and TAKE, how to avoid SHAMING and being SHAMED.

Developed between the ages of three and five (pre-school). The child begins to learn how to be responsible, which increases INITIATIVE. Behaving irresponsibly (disobedience to parents) could lead to the child feeling anxious and guilty. Ideally, the child learns the difference between functional and dysfunctional GUILT. The former helps to shape the child's conscience; the latter is maladaptive and has a negative impact on the child's self-concept.

Developed during middle adulthood between the ages of forty and sixty-five. The adult has a concern for, and belief in the future. "How can I contribute to the world?" "Do I feel productive or non-productive?" "Am I making a good life out of enduring difficult circumstances?" "Are there any socially redeeming values to the life I am living?" "Do I feel connected with my community?" "How am I contributing to future generations?" Parenthood and gainful employment are the events that help answer those questions. Failing to find ways to contribute to society and the community during this developmental stage can lead to feelings of stagnation. Feeling disconnected to others can impair the successful transition to the last developmental stage, where finding meaning to one's life is brought to the forefront.


Written by,
Mark S. Rogers, LPC.
Licensed Professional Counselor
Here's Kenyietta, who is showing her support for Stooltime Counseling (STC). She also said the STC key fob she received was a nice addition to her stress management arsenal. Welcome to an elite group of models who support my website, Kenyietta. I appreciate it very much. Thank you!

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