Stages of Development

Stages of Development
Rollo May is the only existential psychologist who discusses certain ‘stages’ of development, Innocence, Rebellion, Ordinary, and Creative. These stages signify a sequence of major issues in each individual’s life (Boeree, 2006). The stages of development that Rollo May set out are not stages in the conventional sense (not in the strict Freudian sense) i.e. a child may be innocent, ordinary or creative at any given time. An adult can also be rebellious as the expression "mid-life crisis" suggests (Ellis & Abrams,2009).
May's (1953) four stages are set out below:


The pre self-conscious stage of the infant. The innocent is pre-moral and only doing what he or she must do in order to survive.


This is the childhood and adolescent stage of development and developing ones ego/self-conscious by means of contrast with adults. They want freedom as yet there is no full understanding of the responsibility of what goes with this freedom.


This is the normal adult ego. To the look a little dull, perhaps.

This is the authentic adult, beyond ego and self-actualisation. This is the person who, accepting destiny faces anxiety with courage.