A proposed model of psychodynamic psychotherapy linked to Erik Erikson's eight stages of psychosocial development

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44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Just as Freud used stages of psychosexual development to ground his model of psychoanalysis, it is possible to do the same with Erik Erikson's stages of development with regards to a model of psychodynamic psychotherapy. This paper proposes an eight-stage model of psychodynamic psychotherapy linked to Erik Erikson's eight stages of psychosocial development. Various suggestions are offered. One such suggestion is that as each of Erikson's developmental stages is triggered by a crisis, in therapy it is triggered by the client's search. The resolution of the search often leads to the development of another search, which implies that the therapy process comprises a series of searches. This idea of a series of searches and resolutions leads to the understanding that identity is developmental and therapy is a space in which a new sense of identity may emerge. The notion of hope is linked to Erikson's stage of Basic Trust and the proposed model of therapy views hope and trust as essential for the therapy process. Two clinical vignettes are offered to illustrate these ideas. Key Practitioner Message: Psychotherapy can be approached as an eight-stage process and linked to Erikson's eight stages model of development. Psychotherapy may be viewed as a series of searches and thus as a developmental stage resolution process, which leads to the understanding that identity is ongoing throughout the life span.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1047-1058
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017

Keywords

  • Erikson
  • development
  • identity
  • model
  • psychodynamic
  • stages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

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