Make your own free website on

Essays by KT

My Life According to Erikson

Affirming Diversity
Which Way Home
Mis experiencias con español
La figura de la madre
La redención
Manifestations of the Divine Brahma
The Six Models of the Church
Affirmative Action
A Friend Is
A persuadir
Aprovecha el día
Armas de fuego
Asperger's Disorder
ASDs: Autism
Black Friday
Book Intro
Big Boys Dont Cry?
Cancion del pirata
Cell Phones
Cathedral Within
Change the World
Child Care
Civil Society
Christian Family
Organ Donation
Deanne Bray
Drug Testing
Faith in Narnia
Fast Food?
Guns and Games
Grenz Review
The Odyssey
I Am
Jesus the Christ
Keep the Laws!
La ciencia
La inmigración
Louis Braille
Marriage Reflection
Mi lugar de refugio
My Life (Erikson)
My Special Place
Reflection -Marriage
Romance sonámbulo
Public-service values
Semana Santa
Spe Salvi
Teen Suicide
Un Santo legendario
Better World
The Four Loves
"Jesus Freak" Picture
Mona Lupe
Mother of Jesus
Holy Eucharist
Religión en Niebla
The U.S. Economy
Todo es regalo
Trip to NY ...
True Friends
Una lección
Unlikeliest Friends
Santo legendario
Vs. and Verses
What's the Diff?
Walsh Review
Means to be Human
Million dollars

Psychology 120

Erikson’s psychological theory of development was created in 1963. His was the first to address a lifelong psychological development, as others addressed only pieces of one’s life. He believed such development to not reach an end, like other psychologists’ theories showed, but to be a lifelong series of unconscious conflicts/crises. His theory holds that people will resolve each crisis either more positively or more negatively. Positive resolutions to conflicts tend to be more helpful, as will negative resolutions tend to be less helpful, due to the fact that earlier crises will impact later ones. Dealing with one conflict could be more difficult if you fail to address a previous conflict. If needed, crises can be returned to and re-worked later in life. Erikson believed that each crisis is centered on issues during a certain stage of life and they are, therefore, age-related, but Erikson also realized that each crisis is not limited to a particular age.

The trust vs. mistrust stage brings the question of whether or not an infant views the world as reliable and predictable. If the infant can depend on its needs being met, it will develop a sense of basic trust. Based on who I am today, I would say that I resolved this crisis positively. I had a trusting and trustworthy family. I therefore believe that I felt I was in a safe world and could trust others. I also feel that I had to rely on others for help with many things, because of a childhood condition, later diagnosed as aspergers. I therefore wanted to and needed to trust them. I feel that due to the way I resolved this crisis, I was able to resolve each future crisis more positively because I felt as though I could trust others and, more specifically, their advice. Although, in many ways, I feel that during infancy I was almost too trusting because I had no sense of fear, I’ve reworked this crisis. Now, I have learned to trust people unless I have a legitimate reason not to.

I have always had issues with particular things. I had a tactile issue so I felt uncomfortable with the way certain things felt (e.g., I didn’t like to stand on bathroom scales, grass, sand, etc.). When I was about four years old I had a medical issue and was hospitalized. At another time, when I was about seven years old, I had a very invasive procedure done. Due to the fact that I did not like people touching me in uncomfortable ways and the fact that they did not sedate me during the procedure, my parents believe that this was an extremely traumatic experience for me. To this day I am still uncomfortable in situations involving certain medical procedures. Although this situation altered my trust toward a certain group of people and circumstances, I still have that basic trust that was formed as an infant.

During the stage of autonomy vs. shame/doubt toddlers determine whether or not they can be independent. If they do not doubt their abilities, they will learn to do things for themselves. I believe that, when I was a toddler, I resolved this crisis negatively because I was unsure if could do some things by myself, and other things I was unable to do independently. I believe that I have re-worked this crisis and have now resolved it positively because I have always been told that I can overcome anything.

I’ve always had goals to accomplish. As a third-grader I was still an elective mute and wouldn’t talk in school. I believe this, so far, to be the most difficult challenge that I have overcome. I still had a problem with speaking in front of select groups. In middle school while I was going through my puberty years this may have actually been an advantage. While my peers went through the emotional, chatty stages of their life, mine seemed to be on hold. This gave me the advantage of being a better listener and observer. Therefore, when I reached that maturity level I had already learned from their mistakes. Although emotionally I was probably inferior because of the way my brain worked, it almost gave me a more mature attitude toward my friends. This advantage influenced my way of looking at life. While others’ emotions seemed to get in the way, I generally saw the world in black and white, although I could still be sympathetic to their feelings.

I have always challenged myself and wanted to further myself in different areas. In eleventh grade I signed up for the Criminal Justice class at MACC, which is an outgoing choice for someone of my character. To further myself in the area of speaking, I signed up for a speech class. This was during the time that, in Criminal Justice, we were going to have to speak in front of the class. The most recent thing that I’ve done, and continue to do, to challenge myself in these areas, is catering. When catering, I constantly have to speak to people and I learn something new each time I work.

During early childhood we are faced with responsibility and the question of whether or not we can handle it, as is presented in the next stage, initiative vs. guilt. The child learns to begin tasks and carry out plans, or they feel guilty about their efforts to be independent. If they have initiative, they feel as though they can be responsible. I feel that, during early childhood, I resolved this crisis negatively, due to the way I resolved the previous crisis. Since I couldn’t do many things independently because of a short-term memory issue, I didn’t have to take much responsibility and I couldn’t, very well, handle the little responsibility that I did have. I believe that I have re-worked this crisis over and over and have only recently come to resolve it positively. I find my flaws and work on them, keeping in mind that I can overcome anything.

During elementary school we are faced with the stage of industry vs. inferiority. In this case, industry means being productive and doing things well. I think that this was a two-part stage in my life. During elementary school, I resolved this crisis positively in that I could do things well, yet negatively because I was not productive. I couldn’t be very productive because I was a perfectionist with no concept of time. Although I may still be a perfectionist with little concept of time, I have learned to prioritize. I therefore feel as though I have come to resolve this crisis positively, although it is an ongoing struggle. Because of how I re-worked the previous crisis, I found that everything doesn’t always have to be perfect. I can still do things well and can now be productive because I’ve learned to prioritize.

As adolescents we are faced with a decision of who we are: our identity or confusion of our identity. I believe that I resolved this crisis positively. One reason is because I was always told to "Be your own person." Another reason why is because I’ve never really cared very much about what others think about me. I believe that I was, and continue to be, more of an observer so I focus less on who I am, and am intrigued more by who others are. I still find it fascinating to try to figure out what circumstances make people who they are. I believe this results in my being very comfortable with who I am and who I am becoming.

The intimacy vs. isolation stage generally arises during early adulthood and brings the question of whether or not we can form intimate emotional relationships. I don’t believe I have experienced this stage or any future stages in my life yet. I have seen my peers experience this crisis but, because I have matured emotionally slower that my peers in previous stages, I believe that I have in this stage too. It now is not that I cannot form an intimate emotional relationship, but rather, I do not see that that is necessary at this time in my life.

The generativity vs. stagnation stage generally occurs during middle age when we ask ourselves what we have done and what we will do in our life. The feeling of generativity means that we feel we have accomplished much in our life and plan to do more which generally results in us feeling good about ourselves, whereas the feeling of stagnation means just the opposite.

Generally during old age, or when we know that we are about to die, we are faced with the stage of integrity vs. despair. During this stage we think about whether or not we lived our lives the way we wanted to. If we haven’t, we are often faced with a feeling of despair.

I think that applying Erikson’s theory to my life has helped me to understand myself better. It has helped me to understand who I was then and why I am who I am now. It has also helped me to realize how much I have accomplished and overcome and what I should work on next. I believe that this theory is pretty accurate to the life of a fairly normal person. I do not believe, however, that the theory is accurate to my life experiences. I positively resolved these crises in a different order, and during a different stage in my life, than shown in Erikson’s psychological theory of development.

Enter supporting content here