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The Handbook of Knowledge-Based Coaching: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE by Diane Brennan, Leni Wildflower

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ADULT DEVELOPMENT AS A SERIES OF STAGES CHARACTERIZED BY TASKS AND CONTRADICTIONS: ERIC ERIKSON AND GEORGE VAILLANT

Erikson, a student of Freud, developed an eight-stage model, the earlier of which is based in part on Freud’s phases of childhood. Erikson, who introduced the concept of the identity crisis, finds the individual faced at each stage with a basic human contradiction, crisis, or primary task. The resolution of this contradiction, the accomplishment of the task, signals a move to the next stage of development (1980). Erikson was one of the first theorists to construct a complete stage theory of human development, and his work is still highly regarded. The last three stages are relevant to adult life.

Intimacy versus isolation. The ...

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