Developmental Tasks:

*To form a strong bond with another human being.

*To be taken care of.

*To build the foundations of a self, an identity.

*To accept touch.

*To accept nurture.

*To be sensual.

The self is formed by reflection off another human being. One can't develop self alone. The baby can establish a basic sense of trust in self and others, a sense that the world is a safe place. From the bonded position the infant can proceed with the task of separating, individuating and becoming an independent and autonomous person.

Core Questions:

Can I be safe? This is a trust issue.

Can I be me ? This is an identity issue.

Can I be accepted? This is an attachment issue.


1) to be provided with a calm, predictable, consistent and loving environment.

2) eye contact

3) meaningful, loving touch

4) verbal communication with loving intonation and playful intonation

Affirmations for being:

*I'm glad you're here.

*Your needs are OK with me.

*I'm glad you're a boy or a girl.

*You don't have to hurry.

*I like to hold you.

* You can have all your feelings.

*I love you and care for you willingly.

IMPACT OF ADDICTION or being reared in a dysfunctional family

*Alcoholism causes personality changes which result in parents not being predictable.

*Infants have difficulty being calm and anticipating their needs will be met.

*Unpredictable responses to needs: a loving response / no response / an angry, rejecting response, or worse.

*Infant has a defense against pain if negative responses, may learn to split off awareness of needs and feelings, stop taking initiative to meet his needs, wait passively for any caretaking . Later on this becomes "Don't feel" "Don't be selfish"

*Difficulty trusting

*May later not believe the world is a safe place or that relationships can be reliable. Predictability is not rigidity.

Predictability for infants means that when they cry, they will be comforted.

Consistency is also not rigidity. Consistency means that there are limits that nurturing falls within and that it always falls within these limits.

Calm is not the absence of stimulation. Calm is stimulation which the child can absorb, stimulation that does not overpower the child and frighten him or her.

*Conrad Lorenz - Nobel prize for research on bonding - with geese
*Tom Brewster - Bonding and the Missionary Task


Developmental Tasks:

*To explore the environment without having to think about it.

*Develop sensory awareness by doing.

*Continues forming secure attachments with parents.

*Gets help in times of stress.

* Develops initiative.


1) A safe secure environment.

2)The questions "Can I be me?" "Can I be accepted ?" "Can I be safe?" are being asked in the most primal way.


I see that you are doing things.

You don't have to do things to get approval. i.e. be cute, sick, sad, mad, scared.

It's OK to do things---try things, initiate things, be curious, be intuitive ---and get support and protection at the same time.

I love you when you are active and when you are quiet.

IMPACT OF ADDICTION or being reared in a dysfunctional family

*Parent may confine and restrict the child to avoid dealing with frustrations and difficulties.

*Parent may withdraw emotional support for fear of losing control of the child.

*Parent may abandon the child to his/her own devices.

As a result of confining, restricting, withdrawal, or abandonment instead of learning to trust her own inner signals; the child looks for signals from the parent to move toward what interests her, but the parent regularly distracts the child from her natural course.

Providing continuous stimulation which keeps the toddler from exploring freely, teaches him/her to ignore his own exploratory impulses. Instead of exploring on his own, he learns to respond primarily to the external stimulation and striking provided by the parent. This teaches him to manipulate for strokes by trying to please others. Become the good responsible child.


Developmental Tasks:

*Testing reality

*Pushing against others and boundaries

*Expressing negativity i.e. anger and other feelings

*Learning to think and solve problems. Cause and effect must be experienced.

* Establishing independent identity, autonomy


1) To foster the child's need for independence, consistency, autonomy.

2) To continue to ask the questions "Can I push against you and still be safe?"

"Can I be accepted if I problem-solve immaturely?"

"Can I be me and not someone false and unreal in order to get your approval?"

Affirmations for learning to think and individuate:

I expect you to start learning cause and effect thinking.

I'm glad you are growing up.

I'm not afraid of your anger.

You can both think and feel at the same time.

You don't have to take care of me when you think.

You can express what you need.

You can become separate from me and I will continue to love you.

IMPACT OF ADDICTION or being reared in a dysfunctional family

*Parents inconsistency at this time may develop excessive dependency needs in the child / Rewarding an activity one time and punishing it the next time.

* Lack of predictability for the consequence of actions---for such things as playing, laughing, crying. Thus cause and effect can't be learned * Encouraging independence is difficult for this taps into the alcoholic's own ambivalence over his lack of independence from alcohol.

*Encouraging independence is also difficult because of a great need to be needed

Homes with verbal, physical, emotional,& sexual abuse also have a huge impact on the child.

Child who has been traumatized by an earlier feeling of abandonment, or who is already trying to avoid negative attention or abuse often avoids the oppositional behavior essential for healthy individuation at this stage.

* Child who is already "good" is often too involved with earning approval from the parent to even attempt to become separate.

* If child has enough strength to rebel, parents may be too distracted to provide appropriate limits, or may overpower the child with total restriction and repression.

* Child learns to count on only himself at certain times and only others at other times, but never both at the same time. This accounts for difficulty in intimate relationships. * Child learns to abandon his/her power to others; they try to please. They may be overtly responsible, but covertly long to be taken care of.


By Erik Erikson in Childhood and Society

Each stage of development has its particular goals, concerns, accomplishments, and dangers. The stages are interdependent and contain a developmental crisis. The way the person resolves this crisis will have a lasting effect on the person's self-esteem and view of society. An unhealthy resolution will result in negative repercussions throughout life.


1.Trust vs Mistrust

0-1 years
Infants need for nourishment & care are met.
Parental responsivenes and consistency.

2. Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt

1 - 2 years
Greater control of self in the environment--self-feeding, toileting, dressing. Parental reassurance available, avoid overprotection.

3. Initative vs Guilt

Early Child
2 - 6 years
Pursuing activity for its own sake;learning to accept without guilt that some things are not allowed, Imagination, play-acting adult roles.

4. Industry vs inferiority

Elementary School
6 -12 years
Discovery of pleasure in perseverance and productivity; neighborhood, peer, & school interaction become increasingly important.

5. Identity vs role confusion

Adolescence Conscious search for identity, built upon outcomes of previous crises. Trying to answer "Who am I ?" Develop feeling of competence. Involves deliberate decisions & choices re: vocation, sex orientation, and "philosophy of life".

6. Intimacy vs Isolation

Young Adulthood Openness and commitment to others in deepening relationships.

7. Generativity vs stagnation

Young & Middle AdulthoodHaving and nurturing children & /or involvement with future generations, productivity, creativity.

8. Integity vs Despair

Later adult
old age
Consolidation of identity; sense of fulfillment acceptance of death.