Biography of Erik Erikson : Father of Psycho-social theory


Erik Erikson famously known for his theory on psycho social stages of development.  He proposed eight stages of development which a person goes through into his entire life span.

After the passing of the organizer of Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, no other individual than Erik H Erikson has worked so reliably to expand and broaden the design of therapy and to reformulate its standards for a comprehension of the cutting edge world. 

Since Freud’s demise, Erikson has inhaled new life into a psychoanalytic hypothesis. Erikson worked on a psychosocial hypothesis of advancement from which arises an extended origination of the personality. For stages of psycho social stages of development do follow this link

Erikson accepted that his own life history had an unmistakable bearing upon the advancement of his hypothetical standpoint. He obviously experienced a significant number of the contentions, disarrays, and emergencies that later he was to expound on. Erikson alluded to his own life history in a portion of his compositions.

erik erikson
Erik H Erikson

Birth of Erik Erikson

He was brought into the world in Frankfurt, Germany, on 15 June 1902. His parent was Danish. His mom’s family was Jewish. Erikson never knew his genuine dad since his folks were isolated before he was conceived. 

His mom wedded a Karlsruhe paediatrician, Dr. Homburger, who embraced Erikson and whose name Erikson took. It was just a lot later, in 1939, when he turned into an American resident, that Erikson added the name by which he currently knows Erik Homburger Erikson.


After finishing his schooling , Erikson was uncertain what he needed to do. In the same way as other youthful Germans at that point, he went through a year meandering through Europe looking for some motivation or heading with regards to what he ought to turn into. He at last settled on workmanship, for which he had the ability and the tendency.

Erik Erikson Sphere of life

When Erik Erikson was 25 years of age something happened that was to transform it definitely. He was welcome to instruct in a little Private school in Vienna. 

This school had been set up as where Children could be taught while they or potentially their folks were being psychoanalyzed. It was a reformist school, and the educators and students were given the opportunity in fostering the educational plan.

Erikson turned out to be so keen on the instruction of kids that he selected and moved on from a school for the preparation of educators in the Montessori Method. 

The Montessori Method focuses on the improvement of the kid’s own drive through play and work. This experience affected Erikson. A much more significant impact was his inescapable openness to Psychoanalysis. 

Erik Erikson got familiar with the Freud circle, went through a preparation analysis with Anna Freud, and contemplated therapy at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute, from which he graduated in 1933. He had now tracked down his expert personality.


Erik Erikson wedded Joan Scrson, a Canadian-conceived artist and individual educator. They chose to move to Denmark. At the point when that didn’t work out agreeably, they went to the United States, getting comfortable in Boston in 1933.

He was additionally given the situation at the Harvard Medical School and went about as an expert to different offices too in Boston, Erikson explored with Henry A. Murray at the Harvard Psychological Clinic.

Following three years in Boston, Erikson acknowledged a situation in the Yale University Institute of Human Relations and an instructorship in the Medical School. In 1938, an encouragement to notice Indian kids at the Sioux reservation in South Dakota demonstrated compelling.

Work profile of Erik Erikson

In 1939, Erik Erikson went to California, where he got related with the Institute of Child Welfare at the University of California in Berkeley, which was directing an enormous scope longitudinal investigation of kid advancement. 

He additionally continued his work as a psychoanalyst, getting some much-needed rest to notice the Yurok Indians of Northern California.

During these years in California, Erikson composed his first book, Childhood, and society. This book had a quick and extensive effect.

In spite of the fact that Eik Erikson has distributed nine different books from that point forward, Childhood and society is by and large viewed as the most critical since it sets out the topics that were to distract Erikson for the remainder of his life.

In the wake of leaving his first residency at the University of California as a dissent against a unique dedication promise expected of employees. Erikson took a situation at the Austen Riggs Centre in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and the main focus of private psychiatry.

In 1960, Erikson was designated an educator at Harvard where his seminar on the existence cycle turned out to be well known with understudies. Erikson resigned in 1970 and moved to San Francisco. 

The Erik Erikson’s gotten back to Massachusetts in 1987 after the establishment in Cambridge of the Erik Erikson Centre. Erikson kicked the bucket on May 12, 1994, in Harwich.

Summary of life

Erik Erikson was a researcher, instructor, and essayist. Erikson’s name is just about as natural as those of Piaget and Skinner. In contrast to his tutor Freud and dissimilar to another Harvard teacher. B. F. Skinner, Erikson is certifiably not a disputable figure. 

His works are uniquely liberated from unfriendly reactions of different perspectives. His perspectives been exposed to a lot of antagonistic analysis. There is something extremely alluring about the man and his works that influence numerous individuals. 

Erik Erikson gain reputation among psychologists entirely from his account of psychosocial development stages of life.In particular his concepts of identity and identity crisis. 

Psychologists by and large, prefer Erikson’s stages to Freud’s psychosexual stages. But Erikson’s reputation does not rest solely upon his theoretical formulations. He is also greatly admired for his acute observations and sensible interpretations, for the literary merits of his writings, and for his deep compassion for everything human. 


Erik Erikson has been criticized for his overly optimistic view of humans. Just as Freud has been criticized for his pessimistic view.

Whether Erikson is a conservative and a traditionalist has no bearing upon the validity or his ideas. It is interesting, however, that Erikson chose to exemplify his psychosocial developmental scheme by a close examination of the lives of two men, and Luther and Gandhi, who were hardly to be called conform.

Few theories of personality are supported by a solid foundation of quantitative and experimental data. Much of what Erikson has written appears to have face validity; that is, it seems to ring true to the average reader. 

Erik Erikson formulations provide a rich source of hypotheses that can be and are being quantified and tested experimentally. 

Leave a Comment