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Post Freudian theorists and their theories Essay

As indicated earlier, key personality developmental theories that were developed after Freud’s psychoanalytic theory were either directly derived of it or aimed at criticizing some of its major components. a) Erik Erickson i) Stages of development Barbara (2008) and Lieberman (2007) agree that the work of Eric Erickson was a direct derivative of Freudian considerations in human development. Eric Erickson theory of psychosocial development concurred with Freudian view that life, development and challenges develop in stages.

Psychosocial theory further builds the notion of the ‘ego’ which was largely brought out by Freud as external reality inculcation to one’s mind. Particularly, the stages of Erickson psychosocial development strongly cohere with Sigmund’s work. Clara et al (2008) explain that stage one of Erickson’s theory of psychosocial development is reflected through ‘trust versus mistrust’ largely because the child is entirely dependent on the caregivers.

Like Freud mentioned the pleasure a child derives from oral stimulation, Erickson emphasized on the resulting intimacy as a platform in propelling the child to the next stages. Therefore, Erickson’s first stage borrows the concept of external environment in creating enough force for the next stage. In the second stage of psychosocial development, Erickson equally borrows from Freud’s ‘anal stage’ which is a critical training factor. Nelson-Jones (2005) explains that from a higher consideration, Erickson argued that learning to go to the toilet gave a strong sense of control and therefore great independence.

As Freud clearly brought out the notion of the ego, Erickson’s third stage of initiative versus guilt emphasizes the assertion of power and control which plays an important role in the later stages development. Erickson indicated that many children seek to assert their superiority among others but with careful considerations of the existing repercussions (Marrie and Janneke-van, 2007). Notably, Erickson agrees with Freud that parents and caretakers must step in to facilitate the needed reassurance and therefore avoid guilt to their young ones.

It is however worth noting that Erickson strongly differed with Freud on how long development persists in an individual’s life. While Freud postulated that personality development only lasted to the genital stage when an individual starts getting interested in sexual relationship with those of the opposite sex, Erickson postulated that developed progressed to the old age (Busch, 2009). However, scholars appear to be strongly divided with one group considering the latter Erickson’s work to be based on criticism of the Freud’s work and therefore its advancement (Barbara, 2008).

ii) The notion of fixation One resilient notion of Freud’s work is the notion of succession between different stages. Though they do not necessary cohere on time and expected repercussions, both theorists agree that people at different stages must go through them successfully or get fixated (Hayes, 2004). Fixation as Henry (2009) point out denotes the inability to progress since latter stages are entirely dependent on the previous stages success. Erickson argued that all stages present an individual with two negating outcomes; positive and negative.

For example between year five to eleven, Erickson indicated that a successful individual will become industrious while the unsuccessful ones will suffer inferiority (Laura and Pam, 2007). b) Lacanian theory In his work, largely referred to as the return of Freud, Emile Lacan’s concepts appear to be fully defined by the former (Adam, 2008). Though Lacan strongly criticized the Freud’s separation of the conscious (ego) and unconscious (id), he largely employed the same concepts in his work.

Lacan argued that the conscious and unconscious considerations of the mind were not different, but operated from a highly sophisticated and complex outline compared to Freud’s consideration. Locan mirror as Brickman (2009) and Gottdiener (2008) conclusions suggest is formative and a derivative of the experience an individual gets during development. Therefore, the paradigm of the imagery to be effective during the younger years as opposed to the old age which is more subjective fits the Freudian connotation of development persisting only to the genital stage.


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