Erik Erickson

Today is reserved for Erik Homburger Erickson. He was a German American psychoanalyst known for his famous theory of psychological development. His most famous becoming is coining the term identity crisis.

He lacked a bachelors degree yet was instrumental in providing education at some prestigious institutes like Harvard. He is the 12th most cited psychologist of the twentieth century.

Identity development seemed to be his greatest concerns. . As an older adult, he wrote about his adolescent “identity confusion” in his European days. “My identity confusion”, he wrote “[was at times on] the borderline between neurosis and adolescent psychosis.” Erikson’s daughter writes that her father’s “real psychoanalytic identity” was not established until he “replaced his stepfather’s surname [Homburger] with a name of his own invention [Erikson].”The change in last name occurred as he started his job at Yale, and the “Erikson” name was accepted by Erik’s family when they became American citizens. It is said his children enjoyed the fact they would not be called “Hamburger” any longer.

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