The 8 Stages of Trust as Developed by Erik Erikson

He developed a theory of personality development, which he called “psycho-social theory”. It describes eight stages of the life cycle or psycho-social stages (crises or conflicts in the development of life, to which people have to face):

Basic Confidence vs. Distrust.

(from birth to approximately 18 months). is the physical sensation of confidence. The baby receives the warmth of the mother’s body and her loving care. The bond that will be the basis of your future relationships with other important people is developed; is receptive to environmental stimuli is therefore sensitive and vulnerable, experiences of frustration are the earliest experiences that provide acceptance, security, and emotional satisfaction and are at the base of our development of individuality. It depends then on the feeling of confidence that parents have in themselves and in others, which can reflect on their children.

Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt

(from 18 months to 3 years approximately). This stage is linked to the muscular development and control of the eliminations of the body. This development is slow and progressive and is not always consistent and stable so the baby goes through moments of shame and doubt. The baby begins to control a growing sense of affirmation of the will of a nascent self, often affirms opposing others. The child begins to experience his own autonomous will experiencing impulsive forces that are established in various ways in the behavior of the child, and are oscillating between cooperation and stubbornness, the attitudes of parents and their own sense of autonomy are fundamental in the development of the child’s autonomy. This establishes his first emancipation in such a way that in later stages he will repeat this emancipation in many ways.

Initiative vs. Guilt

(from 3 to 5 years approximately). The third stage of the Initiative takes place in the age of play, the child develops activity, imagination and is more energetic and talkative, learns to move more freely and violently, his knowledge of language is perfected, understands better and asks questions constantly; which allows you to expand your imagination. All this allows him to acquire a sense of initiative that constitutes the realistic basis of a sense of ambition and purpose. There is a crisis that is resolved with an increase in his sense of being himself. It is more active and is provided with a certain surplus of energy, it is possible to deal with what can be done with the action; Discover what you can do together with what you can do. The intrusion into space by vigorous locomotion, The intrusion into the unknown by means of a large curiosity, The intrusion into the perceptual field of others, Sexual fantasies, (Games in this age have special symbolic connotations about sexual aspects). Regarding the latter, the child has a rudimentary geniality and often has feelings of guilt and fears associated with it.

Laboriousness vs. Inferiority

(from 5 to 13 years old approximately). It is the stage at which the child begins his preschool and school instruction, the child is anxious to do things together with others, to share tasks, to do things or to plan them, and no longer obliges other children or causes their restriction. It has a childish way of mastering the social experience by experimenting, planning, sharing. He becomes dissatisfied and dissatisfied with the feeling of not being able to do things and doing them well and still perfect; The feeling of inferiority makes him feel inferior psychologically, either because of his social-economic situation, because of his “racial” condition or because of poor school stimulation, since it is precisely the school institution that must ensure the establishment of the feeling of industriousness

Search for Identity vs. Dissemination of Identity

(from 13 to 21 years old approximately). There is an identity search and an identity crisis that will rekindle the conflicts in each of the previous stages; The parents of the adolescents will be faced with new situations that will be a new challenge for their guiding mission. The characteristics of the adolescent’s identity are: The Temporary Perspective, orientation in time and space The Safety in Itself The Experimentation with the Role, emphasis in the action The Learning interest in the contact with the environment and a strategy of the vital learning . Sexual Polarization: Adequate degree of development of one’s sexual interest. Leadership and Adhesion: Adequate integration to the “peer” group. The Ideological Commitment, value orientation and participation in the environment.

Privacy versus isolation

(from 21 to 40 years old approximately). Intimacy supposes the possibility of being close

Generativity in the face of stagnation

(from 40 to 60 years old approximately). Period dedicated to the upbringing of children the fundamental task here is to achieve an appropriate balance between productivity and stagnation. Productivity is an extension of love for the future. It has to do with a concern about the next generation and all future ones: having and raising children, teaching, writing, inventiveness, science and the arts, social activism complement the task of productivity. In short, anything that fills that “old need to be needed”, stagnation, on the other hand, is “self-absorption”; Take care of no one. People try to be so productive that there comes a time when they can not afford any time for themselves, to relax and rest. In the end, these people also fail to contribute something to society. This is the stage of the “crisis of middle age” asks “What am I doing here?”.

Integrity in the face of despair

(from about 60 years until death). This last stage, the delicate late adulthood or maturity the primary task here is to achieve an integrity with a minimum of hopelessness First a social distancing occurs, from a feeling of uselessness there is a sense of biological uselessness, because the body no longer responds as before, next to the diseases, concerns about death appear. Friends die; the relatives also seem that we should all feel hopeless; In response to this hopelessness, some older people begin to worry about the past. Ego integrity means reaching the terms of your life, and therefore, reaching the end of your life terms. The bad adaptive tendency is called presumption. When the person “presumes” of an ego integrity without actually facing the difficulties of old age.

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