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Erick Erikson was one such person who further developed Freuds theories in such a way as to give their intuitive nature a basis in reality Eriksons stages of human psychological development encompassing the entire human life-cycle have stood up well to the test of time and research and have provided a solid base for researches and theorists alike In my assignment I would like to explore these stages of psychosocial development which Erikson outlined focusing particularly on adolescence to middle adulthood - a period that perhaps constitutes the most powerful and creative stage of the human life-span I will also explain how knowledge of the crises in that particular age group can contribute to a better understanding for dealing with patients of that age in the hospital setting Eriksons formulation is a stage theory A stage is a development period during which characteristic patterns of behaviour are exhibited and certain capacities become established Weiten 1995 p432 Erikson partitioned the life span into eight stages each stage consists of a psychosocial crisis or internal crises that must be faced According to Erikson this internal crisis is not a catastrophe but a turning point of increased vulnerability and enhanced potential The individual resolved a crisis between a positive and negative alternative Resolution of a crisis does not mean that a person rejects one alternative completely but rather that he or she finds a balance between the two alternatives The more an individual resolves the crises successfully the healthier development will be Trust versus mistrust is Eriksons first psychosocial stage Erikson 1963 cited in Weiten 1995 which is experienced in the first year of life A sense of trust requires a feeling of physical comfort and a minimal amount of fear and apprehension about the future Trust in infancy sets the stage for a lifelong expectation that the world will be a good and pleasant place to live Autonomy versus shame and doubt is Eriksons
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