Erik Erikson 's Theory Of Ego Psychology Essay

Erik Erikson 's Theory Of Ego Psychology Essay

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Erik Erikson was strongly influenced by Freud and his daughter Anna while specializing in his focus on human development. However, instead of placing the focus on the id, as Freud did, Erikson developed his theories of psychosocial development around the ego, eventually creating the field of ego psychology. Erikson’s work has been popular among students and many other members of the general public and includes many insights that are helpful in understanding many stages of people’s lives. This paper will further explore Erikson’s eight stages, as well as research surrounding them, identity statuses derived from them, and the field of psychohistory developed using ego psychology as a base.
Erikson theorized eight stages of ego development, where the first four stages are closely related to Freud’s oral, anal, phallic, and latency stages, except for Erikson placing less emphasis on sexual conflicts in these stages, but more on the individual’s social experiences (Ryckman, 2013). The first stage is the oral-sensory stage, which takes places from birth to about age one. The conflict at this stage is basic trust vs. mistrust toward’s the infant’s mother. If the stage is resolved in a positive fashion, hope is the ego strength that is developed. The second stage is the muscular-anal stage, which occurs during the child’s second and third years. The main conflict during this stage is autonomy, or a sense of independence, vs. shame and doubt about their ability to make a judgement and excise control of their environment. If this stage is resolved positively the enduring value is will. The third stage is the locomotor-genital stage during the child’s fourth and fifth years. The primary conflict in this stage is a child’s initiative vs. the...


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...’s life. First when Luther joined a monastery in order to separate himself from his father, second, while in the monastery, he had a fit while learning of a boy who was possessed by a demon and found himself having many common characteristics as the possessed boy, and third was Luther’s “tower experience” where he experienced his evangelical breakthrough.
Erikson’s theories are quite comprehensive, addressing wide areas of phenomena and focusing not only on psychopathology, but on healthy functioning personalities as well. Though they lack precision and testability and still working on providing empirical validity through research, they contain strong heuristic and applied value (Ryckman, 2013). Overall, Erikson’s theories provide insight into stresses throughout the different stages of people’s lives, not only helping them understand others, but themselves as well.

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