Queen Mary’s University of London
Jane Anghelatos Words 2863 Can we ever leave the past behind?
Firstly I shall briefly discuss Erik Erikson’s life stage theory. Secondly this essay shall look at Object relation theory and discuss the work of Melanie Klein. Following on I shall discuss the power of the past and the effect it has on the presence. I shall conclude by deciding whether we can leave the past behind us or not. Erik Erikson described development that occurs throughout the entire human life span. He described stages of psychosocial development. Erikson split a human life span into 8 different stages. From infancy to birth the basic conflict is between trust and mistrust. The important event at this stage is feeding. Children learn to trust their carer. If a lack of trust is felt then this obviously leads to mistrust. Between the ages of 2-3 autonomy and shame or doubt are in conflict. Toilet training is a very important time here and personal control and independence is developing. Success leads to feelings of independence and failure leads to feelings of shame and doubt. Between the ages of 3 and 5 children begin to explore and discover. Children take control in their own environment finding their own sense of purpose. If they fail to do this they feel disapproval leading to guilt. From the age of 6-11 school is an important factor in the child’s life. New social and academic demands are placed on the child. If successful they feel competent and if they do not feel that they have achieved at this then they feel inferior. From the ages of 12-18 the child is creeping towards the most impressionable time in their life. Personal identity is being discovered here and social relationships are a dominating factor. A child can either stay true to oneself, be who they want to be or be intimidated leaving them feeling confused and of a weak character. Relationships again are of great importance between the ages of 19-40. Young adults need to form intimate relationships. Relationships can either be strong and successful or young adults can be left feeling lonely and isolated. By the ages of 40-65 adults need to have had children or created something positive that benefits others. If fulfilled adults feel worthwhile and complete yet if not achieved adults may feel pointless in the world. At the maturity age, 65 yrs old until death, adults reflect on life. They look back on life and feel that they have achieved. They have used their knowledge and experience to make good judgements and decisions throughout their lives. If they have not achieved they will pass away feeling bitter and full of regret. Erikson’s stage theory helps us to locate where a client is psychologically and how their presenting issue might be related to the different ages. Erikson believed if one stage was successfully developed then the child could move on to the next stage. Erikson said completing one stage and moving on to the next gave the child both physical and emotional confidence. If all stages are completed then a healthy, stable, mature adult will grow. The first line of thought relating to Object Relations Theory emerged in 1917 with Ferenczi and Rank. Melanie Klein amongst others continued the study of this the...