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Erik Erikson Case

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Erik Erikson's Psychosocial Development theory is most effective when trying to understand development of the character, Will Hunting. It is quite obvious that Will has a tough time relying on other people due to the fact that he has been abandoned by his biological parents, this is an example of failure in the trust versus mistrust stage (Erikson). Development of the trust versus mistrust stage begins from birth, children begin to learn what trust is and who to trust due to the consistency of their caregivers (Erikson). If caregivers show no concern for the child, the child will lose trust and interest in their caregiver as well other individuals and develop serious trust issues (Erikson). Will was born into violence, and as he grew older, he continued to promote violence because that is all he witnessed while growing up in South Boston. Not only did Will witness violent behavior in his home, he was also severely abused in the several different foster homes he was placed in. Failure in completing the trust versus mistrust stage results in the inability to trust, which allows an individual to develop fear of the inconsistent world (Erikson). Will is unable to trust because he was abandoned at such a young and vulnerable age. Because of Will's inability to trust, he also possesses the inability to maintain healthy relationships, which is known as the Intimacy versus Isolation stage (Erikson). This stage occurs in young adulthood, when a young individual is open to share themselves with others (Erikson).



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