15 June 1902
|Died||12 May 1994 91) (aged|
Joan Serson Erikson (m. 1930)
|Notable students||Richard Sennett|
|Notable ideas||Theory on psychological development|
Erik Homburger Erikson (born Erik Salomonsen; 15 June 1902 – 12 May 1994) was a German-American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on psychological development of human beings. He may be most famous for coining the phrase identity crisis . His son, Kai T. Erikson, is a noted American sociologist.
German Americans are Americans who have full or partial German ancestry. With an estimated size of approximately 44 million in 2016, German Americans are the largest of the self-reported ancestry groups by the US Census Bureau in its American Community Survey.. German-Americans account for about one third of the total ethnic German population in the world.
Developmental psychology is the scientific study of how and why human beings change over the course of their life. Originally concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to include adolescence, adult development, aging, and the entire lifespan. Developmental psychologists aim to explain how thinking, feeling, and behaviors change throughout life. This field examines change across three major dimensions: physical development, cognitive development, and socioemotional development. Within these three dimensions are a broad range of topics including motor skills, executive functions, moral understanding, language acquisition, social change, personality, emotional development, self-concept, and identity formation.
Erikson's stages of psychosocial development, as articulated in the second half of the 20th century by Erik Erikson in collaboration with Joan Erikson, is a comprehensive psychoanalytic theory that identifies a series of eight stages that a healthy developing individual should pass through from infancy to late adulthood.
Despite lacking a bachelor's degree, Erikson served as a professor at prominent institutions, including Harvard, University of California (UC Berkeley),and Yale. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Erikson as the 12th most cited psychologist of the 20th century.
Professor is an academic rank at universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences, a teacher of the highest rank.
Review of General Psychology is the quarterly scientific journal of the American Psychological Association Division 1: The Society for General Psychology. Review of General Psychology publishes cross-disciplinary psychological articles that are conceptual, theoretical, and methodological in nature. Other aspects of the journal include the evaluation and integration of research literature and the providing of historical analysis. The first issue of the Review appeared in 1997. The current editor is Gerianne M. Alexander of Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
Erikson's mother, Karla Abrahamsen, came from a prominent Jewish family in Copenhagen, Denmark. She was married to Jewish stockbroker Valdemar Isidor Salomonsen, but had been estranged from him for several months at the time Erik was conceived. Little is known about Erik's biological father except that he was a non-Jewish Dane. On discovering her pregnancy, Karla fled to Frankfurt am Main in Germany where Erik was born on 15 June 1902 and was given the surname Salomonsen.She fled due to conceiving Erik out of wedlock, and the identity of Erik's father was never made clear.
Copenhagen is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of July 2018, the city has a population of 777,218. It forms the core of the wider urban area of Copenhagen and the Copenhagen metropolitan area. Copenhagen is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; another small portion of the city is located on Amager, and it is separated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund. The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by rail and road.
Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country and the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and is bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark also comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2 (16,573 sq mi), land area of 42,394 km2 (16,368 sq mi), and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 sq mi), and a population of 5.8 million.
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.
Following Erik's birth, Karla trained to be a nurse and moved to Karlsruhe. In 1905 she married Erik's Jewish pediatrician, Theodor Homburger. In 1908, Erik Salomonsen's name was changed to Erik Homburger, and in 1911 he was officially adopted by his stepfather.Karla and Theodor told Erik that Theodor was his real father, only revealing him the truth in late childhood, something he remained bitter about all his life.
Karlsruhe is the second-largest city of the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg after its capital of Stuttgart, and its 309,999 (2016) inhabitants make it the 21st largest city of Germany. On the right bank of the Rhine, the city lies near the French-German border, between the Mannheim/Ludwigshafen conurbation to the north, and the Strasbourg/Kehl conurbation to the south. It is the largest city of Baden, a region named after Hohenbaden Castle in the city of Baden-Baden. Karlsruhe is also the largest city in the South Franconian dialect area, the only other larger city in that area being Heilbronn. The city is the seat of the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht), as well as of the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) and the Public Prosecutor General of the Federal Court of Justice.
Pediatrics is the branch of medicine that involves the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends people be under pediatric care up to the age of 21. A medical doctor who specializes in this area is known as a pediatrician, or paediatrician. The word pediatrics and its cognates mean "healer of children"; they derive from two Greek words: παῖς and ἰατρός. Pediatricians work both in hospitals, particularly those working in its subspecialties such as neonatology, and as outpatient primary care physicians.
The development of identity seems to have been one of Erikson's greatest concerns in his own life as well as in his theory. As an older adult, he wrote about his adolescent "identity confusion" in his European days. "My identity confusion", he wrote "[was at times on] the borderline between neurosis and adolescent psychosis." Erikson's daughter writes that her father's "real psychoanalytic identity" was not established until he "replaced his stepfather's surname [Homburger] with a name of his own invention [Erikson]."The change in last name occurred as he started his job at Yale, and the "Erikson" name was accepted by Erik's family when they became American citizens. It is said his children enjoyed the fact they would not be called "Hamburger" any longer.
In psychology, identity is the qualities, beliefs, personality, looks and/or expressions that make a person (self-identity) or group. Categorizing identity can be positive or destructive.
He was a tall, blond, blue-eyed boy who was raised in the Jewish religion. Due to these mixed identities, he was a target of bigotry by both Jewish and Scandinavian children. At temple school, his peers teased him for being Nordic; while at grammar school, he was teased for being Jewish.
The Nordic countries or the Nordics are a geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic, where they are most commonly known as Norden. The term includes Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, as well as Greenland and the Faroe Islands—which are both part of the Kingdom of Denmark—and the Åland Islands and Svalbard and Jan Mayen archipelagos that belong to Finland and Norway respectively, whereas the Norwegian Antarctic territories are often not considered a part of the Nordic countries, due to their geographical location. Scandinavians, who comprise over three quarters of the region's population, are the largest group, followed by Finns, who comprise the majority in Finland; other groups are indigenous minorities such as the Greenlandic Inuit and the Sami people, and recent immigrants and their descendants. The native languages Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, and Faroese are all North Germanic languages rooted in Old Norse. Native non-Germanic languages are Finnish, Greenlandic and several Sami languages. The main religion is Lutheran Christianity. The Nordic countries have much in common in their way of life, history, religion, their use of Scandinavian languages and social structure. The Nordic countries have a long history of political unions and other close relations, but do not form a separate entity today. The Scandinavist movement sought to unite Denmark, Norway and Sweden into one country in the 19th century, with the indepedence of Finland in the early 20th century, and Iceland in the mid 20th century, this movement expanded into the modern organised Nordic cooperation which includes the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers. Especially in English, Scandinavia is sometimes used as a synonym for the Nordic countries, but that term more properly refers to the three monarchies of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Geologically, the Scandinavian Peninsula comprises the mainland of Norway and Sweden as well as the northernmost part of Finland.
At Das Humanistische Gymnasium his main interests were art, history and languages, but he lacked a general interest in school and graduated without academic distinction.After graduation, instead of attending medical school, as his stepfather had desired, he attended art school in Munich, much to the likes of his mother and her friends, but soon dropped out.
Uncertain about his vocation and his fit in society, Erikson began a lengthy period of roaming about Germany and Italy as a wandering artist with his childhood friend Peter Blos and others. For children from prominent German families taking a "wandering year" was not uncommon. During his travels he often sold or traded his sketches to people he met. Eventually, Erik realized he would never become a full-time artist and returned to Karlsruhe and became an art teacher. It is through this time at his teaching job that Erik was hired by an heiress to sketch and eventually tutor her children. Erik worked very well with these children and was eventually hired by many other families that were close to Anna and Sigmund Freud.During this period, which lasted till he was 25 years old, he continued to contend with questions about his father and competing ideas of ethnic, religious, and national identity.
When Erikson was twenty-five, his friend Peter Blos invited him to Vienna to tutor artat the small Burlingham-Rosenfeld School for children whose affluent parents were undergoing psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud's daughter, Anna Freud.
Anna noticed Erikson's sensitivity to children at the school and encouraged him to study psychoanalysis at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute, where prominent analysts August Aichhorn, Heinz Hartmann, and Paul Federn were among those who supervised his theoretical studies. He specialized in child analysis and underwent a training analysis with Anna Freud. Helene Deutsch and Edward Bibring supervised his initial treatment of an adult.
Simultaneously he studied the Montessori method of education, which focused on child development and sexual stages. [ not in citation given ]
In 1933 he received his diploma from the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute. This and his Montessori diploma were to be Erikson's only earned academic credentials for his life's work.
In 1930 Erikson married Joan Mowat Serson, a Canadian dancer and artist whom Erikson had met at a dress ball.During their marriage Erikson converted to Christianity.
In 1933, with Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Germany, the burning of Freud's books in Berlin and the potential Nazi threat to Austria, the family left an impoverished Vienna with their two young sons and emigrated to Copenhagen.[ citation needed ] Unable to regain Danish citizenship because of residence requirements, the family left for the United States, where citizenship would not be an issue.
In the United States, Erikson became the first child psychoanalyst in Boston and held positions at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Judge Baker Guidance Center, and at Harvard Medical School and Psychological Clinic, establishing a singular reputation as a clinician.
In 1936, Erikson left Harvard and joined the staff at Yale University, where he worked at the Institute of Social Relations and taught at the medical school.
Erikson continued to deepen his interest in areas beyond psychoanalysis and to explore connections between psychology and anthropology. He made important contacts with anthropologists such as Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, and Ruth Benedict.
Erikson said the development of thought derived from his social and cultural studies. In 1938, he left Yale to study the Sioux tribe in South Dakota on their reservation. After his studies in South Dakota he traveled to California to study the Yurok tribe. Erikson discovered differences between the children of the Sioux and Yurok tribe. This also marked the beginning of Erikson's life passion of showing the importance of events in childhood and how society affects them.
In 1939 he left Yale, and the Eriksons moved to California, where Erik had been invited to join a team engaged in a longitudinal study of child development for the University of California at Berkeley's Institute of Child Welfare. In addition, in San Francisco he opened a private practice in child psychoanalysis.
While in California he was able to make his second study of American Indian children when he joined anthropologist Alfred Kroeber on a field trip to Northern California to study the Yurok.
In 1950, after publishing the book, Childhood and Society , for which he is best known, Erikson left the University of California when California's Levering Act required professors there to sign loyalty oaths.From 1951 to 1960 he worked and taught at the Austen Riggs Center, a prominent psychiatric treatment facility in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where he worked with emotionally troubled young people. During this time he also served as a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh where he worked with Benjamin Spock and Fred Rogers at Arsenal Nursery School of the Western Psychiatric Institute.
He returned to Harvard in the 1960s as a professor of human development and remained there until his retirement in 1970. In 1973 the National Endowment for the Humanities selected Erikson for the Jefferson Lecture, the United States' highest honor for achievement in the humanities. Erikson's lecture was titled Dimensions of a New Identity.
Erikson is also credited with being one of the originators of ego psychology, which stressed the role of the ego as being more than a servant of the id. Although Erikson accepted Freud's theory, he did not focus on the parent-child relationship and gave more importance to the role of the ego, particularly the person's progression as self.According to Erikson, the environment in which a child lived was crucial to providing growth, adjustment, a source of self-awareness and identity. Erikson won a Pulitzer Prize and a US National Book Award in category Philosophy and Religion for Gandhi's Truth (1969), which focused more on his theory as applied to later phases in the life cycle.
In Erikson's discussion of development, rarely did he mention a stage of development by age but in fact did refer to a prolonged adolescence which has led to further investigation into a period of development between adolescence and young adulthood called emerging adulthood .
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Favorable outcomes of each stage are sometimes known as virtues, a term used in the context of Erikson's work as it is applied to medicine, meaning "potencies". These virtues are also interpreted to be the same as "strengths", which are considered inherent in the individual life cycle and in the sequence of generations.Erikson's research suggests that each individual must learn how to hold both extremes of each specific life-stage challenge in tension with one another, not rejecting one end of the tension or the other. Only when both extremes in a life-stage challenge are understood and accepted as both required and useful, can the optimal virtue for that stage surface. Thus, 'trust' and 'mis-trust' must both be understood and accepted, in order for realistic 'hope' to emerge as a viable solution at the first stage. Similarly, 'integrity' and 'despair' must both be understood and embraced, in order for actionable 'wisdom' to emerge as a viable solution at the last stage.
The Erikson life-stage virtues, in order of the eight stages in which they may be acquired, are:
On ego identity versus role confusion—ego identity enables each person to have a sense of individuality, or as Erikson would say, "Ego identity, then, in its subjective aspect, is the awareness of the fact that there is a self-sameness and continuity to the ego's synthesizing methods and a continuity of one's meaning for others".Role confusion, however, is, according to Barbara Engler, "the inability to conceive of oneself as a productive member of one's own society." This inability to conceive of oneself as a productive member is a great danger; it can occur during adolescence, when looking for an occupation.
Erikson married Canadian-born American psychologist Joan Erikson (née Sarah Lucretia Serson) in 1930 and they remained together until his death.
The Eriksons had three children, the eldest of whom is the sociologist Kai T. Erikson. Their daughter, Sue Erikson Bloland, "an integrative psychotherapist and psychoanalyst",described her father as plagued by "lifelong feelings of personal inadequacy". He thought that by combining resources with his wife, he could "achieve the recognition" that might produce a feeling of adequacy. . Their youngest son is Neil Erikson.
Erikson died on 12 May 1994 in Harwich, Massachusetts. He and his wife are buried in the First Congregational Church Cemetery in Harwich.
Jacques Marie Émile Lacan was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist who has been called "the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud". Giving yearly seminars in Paris from 1953 to 1981, Lacan influenced many leading French intellectuals in the 1960s and the 1970s, especially those associated with post-structuralism. His ideas had a significant impact on post-structuralism, critical theory, linguistics, 20th-century French philosophy, film theory, and clinical psychoanalysis.
Psychoanalysis is a set of theories and therapeutic techniques related to the study of the unconscious mind, which together form a method of treatment for mental-health disorders. The discipline was established in the early 1890s by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud and stemmed partly from the clinical work of Josef Breuer and others. Psychoanalysis was later developed in different directions, mostly by students of Freud such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav Jung, and by neo-Freudians such as Erich Fromm, Karen Horney and Harry Stack Sullivan. Freud retained the term psychoanalysis for his own school of thought.
Psychohistory is an amalgam of psychology, history, and related social sciences and the humanities. It examines the "why" of history, especially the difference between stated intention and actual behavior. Psychobiography, childhood, group dynamics, mechanisms of psychic defense, dreams, and creativity are primary areas of research. It works to combine the insights of psychology, especially psychoanalysis, with the research methodology of the social sciences and humanities to understand the emotional origin of the behavior of individuals, groups and nations, past and present. An incredible amount of work in the field has been done in the areas of childhood, creativity, dreams, family dynamics, overcoming adversity, personality, political and presidential psychobiography. There are major psychohistorical studies of studies of anthropology, art, ethnology, history, politics and political science, and much else.
Psychoanalytic theory is the theory of personality organization and the dynamics of personality development that guides psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology. First laid out by Sigmund Freud in the late 19th century, psychoanalytic theory has undergone many refinements since his work. Psychoanalytic theory came to full prominence in the last third of the twentieth century as part of the flow of critical discourse regarding psychological treatments after the 1960s, long after Freud's death in 1939, and its validity is now widely disputed or rejected. Freud had ceased his analysis of the brain and his physiological studies and shifted his focus to the study of the mind and the related psychological attributes making up the mind, and on treatment using free association and the phenomena of transference. His study emphasized the recognition of childhood events that could influence the mental functioning of adults. His examination of the genetic and then the developmental aspects gave the psychoanalytic theory its characteristics. Starting with his publication of The Interpretation of Dreams in 1899, his theories began to gain prominence.
Anna Freud was an Austrian-British psychoanalyst. She was born in Vienna, the sixth and youngest child of Sigmund Freud and Martha Bernays. She followed the path of her father and contributed to the field of psychoanalysis. Alongside Melanie Klein, she may be considered the founder of psychoanalytic child psychology.
A young adult is generally a person ranging in age from their late teens or early twenties to their thirties, although definitions and opinions, such as Erik Erikson's stages of human development, vary. The young adult stage in human development precedes middle adulthood. A person in the middle adulthood stage ages from 40 or 41 to 64. In old age, a person is 65 years old or older.
The Neo-Freudian psychiatrists and psychologists were a group of loosely linked American theorists of the mid-twentieth century, who were all influenced by Sigmund Freud, but who extended his theories, often in social or cultural directions. They have been defined as "American writers who attempted to restate Freudian theory in sociological terms and to eliminate its connections with biology".
Ego psychology is a school of psychoanalysis rooted in Sigmund Freud's structural id-ego-superego model of the mind.
Franz Gabriel Alexander was a Hungarian-American psychoanalyst and physician, who is considered one of the founders of psychosomatic medicine and psychoanalytic criminology.
Splitting is the failure in a person's thinking to bring together the dichotomy of both positive and negative qualities of the self and others into a cohesive, realistic whole. It is a common defense mechanism. The individual tends to think in extremes.
Love and hate as co-existing forces have been thoroughly explored within the literature of psychoanalysis, building on awareness of their co-existence in Western culture reaching back to the “odi et amo” of Catullus, and Plato's Symposium.
Ego integrity was the term given by Erik Erikson to the last of his eight stages of psychosocial development, and used by him to represent 'a post-narcissistic love of the human ego—as an experience which conveys some world order and spiritual sense, no matter how dearly paid for'.
The Austen Riggs Center is a psychiatric treatment facility founded in 1913 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
In his model of the child's psychosexual development, Sigmund Freud describes five stages. Freud believed that the child discharges his/her libido through a distinct body area that characterizes each stage.
"Fixation" is a concept that was originated by Sigmund Freud (1905) to denote the persistence of anachronistic sexual traits. The term subsequently came to denote object relationships with attachments to people or things in general persisting from childhood into adult life.
The relationship between psychoanalysis and music is as old as the history of psychoanalysis itself. Psychoanalysts have examined musical phenomena, and the relationship has been reciprocal, as also musicologists have applied psychoanalysis to their work. Music therapy, too, has utilized psychoanalytic theories.
In Neo-Freudian psychology, the Electra complex, as proposed by Carl Jung in his Theory of Psychoanalysis, is a girl's psychosexual competition with her mother for possession of her father. In the course of her psychosexual development, the complex is the girl's phallic stage; a boy's analogous experience is the Oedipus complex. The Electra complex occurs in the third—phallic stage —of five psychosexual development stages: (i) the Oral, (ii) the Anal, (iii) the Phallic, (iv) the Latent, and (v) the Genital—in which the source of libido pleasure is in a different erogenous zone of the infant's body.
The Oedipus complex is a concept of psychoanalytic theory. Sigmund Freud introduced the concept in his Interpretation of Dreams (1899) and coined the expression in his A Special Type of Choice of Object made by Men (1910). The positive Oedipus complex refers to a child's unconscious sexual desire for the opposite-sex parent and hatred for the same-sex parent. The negative Oedipus complex refers to a child's unconscious sexual desire for the same-sex parent and hatred for the opposite-sex parent. Freud considered that the child's identification with the same-sex parent is the successful outcome of the complex and that unsuccessful outcome of the complex might lead to neurosis, pedophilia, and homosexuality.
Joan Mowat Erikson was well known as the collaborator with her husband, Erik Erikson, and as an author, educator, craftsperson, and dance ethnographer.