Life stage Essay
Psychodrama counseling and therapy Involves a number of Important elements, which perhaps Is what makes the psychodrama approach more and more interesting to those who go on developing in their work. (E. G.
Erik Erosion’s work on life stages and the object relation theory) While in no sense wishing to undervalue the importance of basic listening and responding skills, nor the centrality of a positive therapeutic relationship, the ongoing experience of working with people leads to more and more thirst for understanding how and why different personalities unction differently, why people think, feel and behave the way they do (Jacobs Michael, 1998). – Consider deleting the above.
Our experiences and the world around us daily confront us with the fact that effects have causes. Erosion’s work on the theory of psychosocial stages of development and Melanie Kelvin’s contributions in the Object Relations Theory will be focus of my discussion In the first part of this work. Erikson emphasizes that personality develops in a predetermined order and build upon previous stages of development – the epigenetic principle. He holds that the ego successfully develops when it is able to strictly resolve problems that are socially related.
With Klein, the early stages of life are very strategic in the nature of the child’s unconscious phantasm visit-a-visit its interaction with the world of reality. This period, she holds, forms the basis for the later development of more complex states of mental life. Erik Erosion’s Theory of Life Stages While Freud puts great emphasis on the id and its conflicting interaction with the superego, Erikson talks about the ego and its interaction with the socio-cultural environment. Erosion’s model is a combination of “psychosocial” and “psychosocial” elements.
There can sometimes be an attempt to overcome the human tendency to mistake what can be submitted to established techniques for the true nature of things. – Consider deleting. In his opinion, healing always calls for a holistic attitude that does not argue with established factors but to attempt to Include them In a wider context of some enlightening quality. (Erikson Erik, Erosion’s historical experiences Influenced his assumption that “a human being’s existence depends at every moment on three necessary and complementary processes” (Erikson, 1997).
These processes are: The biological process – the functional connectivity of the efferent organs that constitute the human body (soma). The psychic process – the function of the psyche which Is responsible for the Individual’s experience In the form of the ego synthesis (psyche) and, The communal process – which is about the cultural organization of the interdependence of persons (ethos). There is a symphony among these processes that bring about holistic human event. Hence, any form of failure or the isolation of any one part of the three processes results in somatic tension.
In view of the indispensability this Interdependence – the organisms principle, Erikson maintains that the process Is Inevitable grounding of the In his description, epigenetic refers to the probability that all growth and development follow analogous patterns. In the epigenetic sequence of development, each organ has its time of origin. (Erikson, 1997) According the epigenetic principle, we develop through a predetermined unfolding of personality, which occurs in eight stages. This principle emphasizes the importance of each organ developing properly at the appropriate stage.
He writes that (Erikson, 1997) “If the organ misses its time of ascendancy, it is not only doomed as an entity, it endangers at the same time the hole hierarchy of organs, “Not only does the arrest of a rapidly budding part tend to suppress its development temporarily, but the premature loss of supremacy to some other renders it impossible for the suppressed part to come again into dominance so that it is permanently modified. ” Improper development gives rise to detrimental situations. For instance, it could force a child into adulthood.
One idea that calls to mind here is the sometimes misapplication of the concept of “responsible person” in some societies. Children are passively or actively forced to take up great responsibilities which, given their extent f experience and maturity, are not befitting of their age. Thus, the natural process of psychic development is truncated. The possible consequence of such a marred process, lacking in the right support or experience, is maladaptive behavior patterns or malignant behaviors.
In a normal physical and emotional development, the individual is faced with tasks that generate in them a trust-mistrust way of relating to their environment. Erikson argues that a balanced form of learning rests on how, say the trust-mistrust elements are managed by the ego. He holds that (Erikson, 1997), “How, after birth, the maturing organism continues to unfold, by growing playfully and by developing a prescribed sequence of physical, cognitive, and social capacities- all that is described in the literature of child development … If properly guided, can be trusted to conform to the epigenetic laws of development as they now create a succession of potentialities for significant interaction with a growing number of individuals and with the mores that govern them”. Hence, the individual stands the chance of growing psychologically stronger insofar as they are given the appropriate support at each stage of development by the key persons. Erosion’s psychosocial theory considers the impact of external factors, like parents and the society, has on personality development from childhood to adulthood.
Every person must pass through a series of eight interrelated stages over the entire life cycle. 1. Infancy: 0-18 Months Old/Trust versus Mistrust. The right amount of feeding and care is pretty much the determinant factor at this stage. Erikson emphasizes that if the infant is well fed and cared for, it will develop a healthy balance between trust and mistrust. This however excludes over-indulgence mistrust. On the other hand, infants who grow up to trust are more able to hope and eve faith that ‘things will generally be okay’. 2. Muscular – Anal: 18 Months-arrears: Autonomy v Shame.
At this stage, a sense of independence of thought, basic confidence to think and act for oneself begins to generate. During this stage the well-cared for child is sure of himself and self-esteems himself in a positive light as against withdrawing into himself in shame. At this stage, defiance, temper, tantrums, and stubbornness can also appear. At this period, children tend to be vulnerable. Besides being shrouded in shame, they are also impacted upon by low self-esteem if they become aware of their inability to learn certain skills. Locomotors: 3-6 Years – Initiative versus Guilt. At this stage the child develops a sense of responsibility which increases their ability to use their initiative. During this stage they experience the desire to copy the adults around them and take initiative in creating play opportunities. They also start to explore the world around them, asking the “why-questions”. Guilt and sense of inferiority result from being admonished or when there is a belief that something is wrong or likely to attract disapproval. At this stage the relationship with the family is very significant. 4.
Latency: 6-12 Years – Industry versus Inferiority. Here, the child develops the capability of learning social skills that the society requires of them. There is a strong desire to acquire numerous new skills and to acquire knowledge, which helps them to develop industriously. If for any reason there is stagnation, the child may experience feelings of inadequacy and inferiority among their peers. They can have serious problems in terms of competence and self esteem. Here competency is the virtue to strike the balance. 5. Adolescence: 12-18 Years- Identity versus Role Confusion.
In adolescence, some form of conflict between struggling to belong to a particular group, being accepted ND affirmed by the group, exists in young people, amidst the desire to also become individuals. This in itself is a big dilemma for them. It is mostly in the early part of this stage that pubic consciousness sets in. 6. Young Adult: 19-30 Years: Intimacy versus Isolation. Young adulthood is the middle stage of adolescence and the concern at this stage of development centers around issues of independence from parental influence, and moving towards autonomy and self-direction.
There is also the desire for economic independence. Hence, in order to chart a career path, striving to make the most of homeless in the best possible way. 7. Middle Adult 30-65 Years: Generatively versus Stagnation. The adult person concern at this stage is to embark on projects that will outlast him; leaving legacies could be having children or establishing projects that will benefit others in the society. It can be making one’s mark in the scheme of affairs in the world. Simply, it is to make better the world around us by actively caring for others according to one’s capability.
Generative feelings contrast with those of stagnation in that in the latter, the individual think of themselves as unproductive and uninvolved in the world round them. Stagnation evokes feelings of disconnect with their environment and failure to improve their life or the society in which the live. Thus, it is a stage whereby to find a sense of purpose and identity informs every experimentation that the adult embarks on. In sum, it is a lasting self image-making adventurous stage in life and in some ways, linkable with the first stage. 8. Maturity/Late Adulthood 65-Death: Ego Integrity versus Despair.
This is the stage of stock taking of how one lived their life. It is a moment when thoughts of a productively lived life are rewarded with feelings of fulfillment and integrity on count of one’s industrious involvements in the world around them. Or it could be a time of regret and despair for misused opportunities upon reflecting on their experiences and failures. Those who feel proud about themselves indicate they have lived accomplished life hence they associate integrity and satisfaction to themselves. Not having much to regret about their life, they can attain wisdom even when confronting death.
The unaccomplished person will feel they have wasted their lifetime and are thus left in bitterness and despair. Nonetheless, these stages are however not set in stone. Though certain issues are nonfood to a particular stage, some others which seem to be pertinent to particular periods can surface at any other time. They are not always resolved by passing through the one stage alone. They could sometimes remain a concern throughout life. Jacobs Michael 1998) OBJECT RELATIONS THEORY: In Fraud’s psychoanalysis, the term, “object” is employed to designate the target of all drives.
The object in Fraud’s view is a means through which gratification can either be obtained or denied. Object in Fraud’s psychology is secondary for the reason that it does not form part of the constitutive nature of drives. But with Melanie Klein, elation’s to object are very central to her psychoanalysis, for in her views, it constitutes the fabric of the self. In her contributions in the object relations theory, she explains the nature of the child’s unconscious phantasm concerning its mother’s “inside”, which is populated by varieties of organs and babies.
She argues that this phantasm is carried on in earlier months of life, but at this time, it is about the child’s “inside” or its internal presence which is populated by body parts substances and people etc. As development progresses, the child’s experiences with objects in its environment and significant there are internally represented in images. According to Stephen A. Mitchell, (1981, 2), Klein holds that the state of one’s internal object world forms the basis of their relations with internal and external objects, as well as the drives, closely bound together, constitute the crucial determinant of the most important psychical process.
Klein argues that internal objects are inherent in the child and prior to experience. As development progresses the child’s images of objects gradually take on aspects of the real object they represent in the world. The desire to find the real representation f these earliest internal images in relation to a child’s environment informs its loving or hateful drives. Klein posits a somewhat similar idea of death instinct in further explanation of the inherent, fantastic early object, as does Freud. She argues that, immediately following birth, the child feels within itself, a threat to its life and this must take place if it is to survive.
This is seen in the cry which a child gives off at birth. She holds that the child’s first experience of an object in the internal or external world at this point grows out of perceptual misinterpretation of some foreign object whose purpose is to annihilate the child. This sort of experience, Klein explains, accounts for subsequent frustration of bodily needs, physical sensations, tension and discomfort in life. Conversely, pleasurable sensations are attributed to good forces. Klein holds that a child has no sense of self or any rational mind, amidst huge and unmediated feelings.
The mother is psychologically the child’s ego and the means of dealing with these feelings. She argues that (1957, 248), “… The infant has an innate unconscious awareness of the existence of the mother this instinctual knowledge s the basis for the infant’s primal relation to his mother. ” Hence, having a great mother has a huge impact on the wellbeing and development of the child, as well as its psychosis later in life. In contrast to Fraud’s emphasis on the intra-psychic conflict of sexual drives, Klein, emphasis is on the breast.
For her, the object of the mother- baby relationship is all about the breast. In place of libidinal drives, she posits aggressive drives as the force of the object of a child’s relations to its creating environment. Thus, the breast is no less an object for the child as do its mother and father. Object relations theory is largely maternal in approach because it stresses the foundational impact of the intimacy and nurturing of the mother on the child. The relations aspect of Kelvin’s theory points to the nature of the structure of interpersonal relationships.
This structure can be usefully employed in exploring and tracing what and how experiences might be the cause of present psychosis. “CAN WE EVER LEAVE THE PAST BEHIND”? The relationship between the present and the past is a fascinating one. The idea that the past influences the present can be argued for based on the principle of cause and effect. According to Jacob Michael (1998) “Older philosophical thinking used this as one of the arguments for the existence of God: that wherever there is an effect, there must be a cause; since behind every cause there must be another, this sequence extends into infinity until the prime cause is reached”. Occasional allusions to insights of some psychologists At a very general level, in the human society is indubitable that civic policies and laws take their shape and form from experiences of the past. Much so, it is with human behavior in all its complexities. Past experiences can act as stabilizing and purporting scripts influence on the trajectory of a present lifestyle. The extent to which this is exclusively true cannot be wholly guaranteed, however.
It may also be that suppressing past conflicts is much more pragmatic for some others, and presents a rather fluid ways of managing the present, only that such approach leaves one a prisoner of an unresolved past until it is attended to. It is worth noting that, however one decides to suppress the past, certain events in the present will somehow unravel it. The bereavement experiences of a friend whose mother passed away is one of many examples that calls to mind which demonstrates that past experiences impact on present. Rose, the first child and only sister of five brothers developed a strong bond with her mother.
The mother, for her represented her other self. Hence, she was an integral part of Rose development as a human being. The extent of the relationship was such that, now that her mother is no more, Rose finds life rather “meaningless and worthless to live”. From our discussions, I can deduce and summaries her feelings thus, “The pillar on which she leant, having now fallen, portends a threat or imaginable discomfort to her continued existence. ” Two points seemed operative in the deep bonding that Rose had with her late mother.
First, she is the only daughter and had been taught by her mother on how to be domesticated as is generally and proudly the natural character of African women. As a hardworking and industrious woman her mother remained a model for her. Secondly, to be a first child in the African setting, one gradually develops a sense of responsibility to looking after their younger ones. Of course, Rose as a social being needed to relate and share with someone with whom she found compatible. She was more naturally inclined towards her mother, being the only woman in the family. Though she has friends, her mother was top in her list.
She grew to understand what it meant to be loved, supported and to be a responsible woman from her mother. Now that her heroine is no more, Rose is at the stage where she feels an abysmal hollow in her life such that deflecting its impact and projecting her mother’s fugue into her environment is indeed a struggle, having recognized that, she nevertheless, has to find a way to continue to live. How to make best of the “here and now’ is a challenge that confronts her. Thus, to break away from the deeply grafted emotional attachment to her mother is indeed a huge challenge.
Thus, on the question of “can we ever leave the past behind”, and based on the instances of Rose’s present condition, I will state that it is somewhat of a difficult a thing to do, depending on how our relationship is impacting on us at a given time. Discussions that we had, I kept the principle of “triangle of insight” in view while making my inputs Just so that a possible link might be made between the developmental patterns of the images of her internal and those of her external oral; the past and the present. No matter what the content of our past is, it is well worth our while to approach it with an open mind.
This can either help us to understand how our past consciously or unconsciously interferes with our present or how to make best of a not-so-good condition. Rose understands that she needs to get on with life. It is the how of it that is the real task. She needs facing the inevitable with confidence and with a degree of mental and physical independence. Hence, she needs embarking on resolving her past by taking up the tough task of emotional attachment from her late intimate friend, less her physical discomfort in all its forms persist and her instinct for life remains threatened.
From Rose’s story, I gathered that her mother represented more of a trust figure, while others were somewhat of mistrust figures. She experienced a great deal of protection from her late mother that she so thought of herself as being fragile. Rose’s intimacy with her mother appeared not to have given her the opportunity to develop a much healthier relationship with her peers (Erikson). That being the case, she is now faced with the challenge of establishing a trusting relationship with others.
As much as she cherishes the memory of her mother, she must be careful not to allow her qualities have an overbearing effect on her inevitable adventure, less it will be difficult to establish the degree of trust that her moving on in life needs. Conclusion: The past is in some way informative of who we are, how and why we relate to others the way we do. And so, looking into the past is very necessary but we need to be careful as not to become stuck in it or too Judgmental about ourselves or past history; for there is always something to take from the past in order to meaningfully chart the resent course of life.
Rose can only come to terms with the fact that her mother is no more, it is impossible that she will leave her memories and friendship behind. On the basis of the foregoing instances, my position is that it is impossible to completely leave the past behind. Klein, Melanie, (1957) ‘Our Adult World and its Roots in Infancy in Envy and Gratitude and Other Works, London: Hogwash, Mitchell, Stephen, (1981), The Origin and Nature of the “Object” in the Theories of Klein and Birdbrain. Contempt. Psychoanalyst. 17: 74-398, Accessed June 06, 2014, g:mom.