Psychosocial Development Case Study Analysis Essay

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Psychosocial Development Case Study Analysis

Survey of Research in Human Development for Professional Counselors

Instructor: Dr. Rebekah Cole

For this paper, I viewed the movie “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”. I will identify the life stages the three characters I chose are in, what their psychological crisis each is, apply psychosocial theories to the situation presented, discuss the character’s life, how they function as a family unit, and evaluate the significant challenges and strengths related to wellness and resilience.

In this particular movie, there are three characters that I would like to focus on. Gilbert, is an older sibling who is primarily the
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tinkering with cars, baby-sitting for neighbors, affiliating with certain political or religious groups). Eventually, Erikson proposed, most adolescents achieve a sense of identity regarding who they are and where their lives are headed. Because of Arnie’s autism, I would say he’s really at the stage of Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt for ages 2-4. Gilbert and his siblings provide a strong base of a security from which the child can venture out to assert their will. Arnie likes to explore the world around him and he is constantly learning about his environment. Caution must be taken at this age while children may explore things that are dangerous to their health and safety. In addition, at this age children develop their first interests. For example, a child who enjoys music may like to play with the radio. Children who enjoy the outdoors may be interested in animals and plants. Highly restrictive parents, however, are more likely to instill in the child a sense of doubt, and reluctance to attempt new challenges.
With family dynamics, I think it is significant to mention the extent to which the children went to protect their mother. It seems apparent that this woman should have received counseling or mental support. Her grieving process for the husband was completely dysfunctional. I found that the children aided in her practice of isolation by providing total care for her. Gilbert was the only one who seemed to look at the reality of her situation and declare how bizarre

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