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Erik Homburger Erikson

Erik Homburger Erikson, German, American psychoanalyst. Recipient Foneme prize, Milan, 1969, Aldrich award, American Academy Pediatrics, 1971, Montessori medal, American Montessori Society, 1973, McAlpin Research award, National Association for Mental Health, 1974. Fellow: American Academy Arts and Sciences; member: National Academy Education, American Psychoanalytic Association (life), Cambridge Science Club, Phi Beta Kappa, Signet Society.


  • Erikson was born in Frankfurt, Germany, on June 15th, 1902. He grew up in Karlsruhe and attended a classical gymnasium, or high school, until he was 18. He shunned college, preferring a period of travel and contemplation. In 1928 he began psychoanalytic training at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute, with Anna Freud as his analyst. Soon after graduating in 1933 he left for the United States. He started a psychoanalytic practice in Boston, began research at Harvard, later moved to Yale, and then to Berkeley, where he stayed for over a decade. In 1960 he was made a professor at Harvard, retiring in 1968. He died May 12, 1994, in Harwich, Mass.

  • Education

    • Graduate, Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute, 1933. Master of Arts (honorary), Harvard University, 1960. Doctor of Laws (honorary), Harvard University, 1978.

      Doctor of Laws (honorary), University California, 1968. Doctor of Laws (honorary), Brown University, 1972. Doctor of Science (honorary), Loyola University at Chicago, 1969.

      Doctor in Social Science (honorary), Yale University, 1971. Doctor in Social Science (honorary), University Lund, 1980. Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), University San Francisco.

      Doctor Social Science (honorary), Copenhagen University, 1987.


    • Psychoanalyst, 1933—1994. Training psychoanalyst, 1942—1994. Teaching, research Harvard Medical School, 1934—1935, Yale School Medicine, 1936—1939, University California at Berkeley and San Francisco, 1939—1951.

      Senior staff member Austen Riggs Center, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 1951—1960. Visiting professor University Pittsburgh School Medicine, 1951—1960. Professor human development, lecturer psychiatry Harvard University, 1960—1970.

      Professor emeritus Harvard, 1970—1994, distinguished visiting professor Erikson Center, 1982—1994. Senior consultant in psychiatry Mount Zion Hospital, San Francisco, 1972—1994.

    Major achievements

    • In 1960 he was made a professor at Harvard, retiring in 1968.

      Erikson next collected some of his essays in Insight and Responsibility (1964) and Identity: Youth and Crisis (1968). In 1969 he published Gandhi's Truth, a sensitive effort to understand how a man could emerge as a spokesman for an entire nation in its struggle for independence. Typically, the reader learns not only about the life of an important world figure, but also about the way in which a given psychological theory, in this case Freudianism, can be broadened and integrated into such disciplines as history, political science, and philosophy. His other works include the essays Life and the Historical Moment (1975), Toys and Reasons (1977), The Life Cycle Completed: A Review (1982), and A Way of Looking at Things (1987), a selection of papers from 1930 to 1980.


    • Vital Involvement in Old Age
    • Erikson's now-famous concept of the life cycle delineates eight stages of psychological development through which each of us progresses.


    Fellow: American Academy Arts and Sciences. Member: National Academy Education, American Psychoanalytic Association (life), Cambridge Science Club, Phi Beta Kappa, Signet Society.


    • Son of parents Danish citizens. Married Joan Mowat Serson, April 1, 1930. Children: Kai T., Jon M., Sue Erikson Bloland.
    • spouse: Joan Mowat Serson
    • children: Kai T. Erikson
    • Jon M. Erikson
    • Sue Erikson Bloland Erikson
    • colleague: Anna Freud
      She was his analyst in Vienna Psychoanalysis Institute
    Erik Homburger Erikson
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    Born June 15, 1902
    Died March 12, 1994
    (aged 91)
    • 1933
      Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute
    • 1960
      Harvard University
    • 1978
      Harvard University
    • 1968
      University California
    • 1972
      Brown University
    • 1969
      Loyola University at Chicago
    • 1971
      Yale University
    • 1980
      University Lund
    • 1987
      Copenhagen University
    • 1933 - 1994
    • 1934 - 1935
    • 1936 - 1939
    • 1939 - 1951
    • 1942 - 1994
      training psychoanalyst
    • 1951 - 1960
      senior, staff member Austen Riggs Center
      Stockbridge, Georgia, United States
    • 1951 - 1960
      visiting professor, University Pittsburgh School Medicine
    • 1960 - 1970
      professor, psychiatry Harvard University
    • 1960 - 1970
      lecturer, psychiatry Harvard University
    • 1972 - 1994
      senior, consultant in psychiatry Mount Zion Hospital
      San Francisco, California, United States
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    Yuliya Yefimchik last changed 10/05/2017 view changes
    • Nationalities
      • German
      • Germany
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