Why Middle Adulthood Needs to be Reimagined… NOW…

Kassandra Vaughn
6 min readJan 23, 2023

Almost every description of middle adulthood sucks…

As I was writing a book and doing research on lifespan development, I reconnected with some of my therapy training. It’s funny what happens when you re-read a certain adult development stage when you’re actually in that stage.

When I was working on my Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy, I was in my early 30s. Now in my 40s, as I re-read Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development, I was struck by how jaded and wrong his concept of ‘middle adulthood’ is.

First of all, let’s get clear on Erik Erikson. Born on June 15, 1902 in Frankfurt, Germany, Erikson was a neo-Freudian teacher who had no formal degree or training… and still held teaching positions at the University of California Berkeley, Yale, Harvard, the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute, Austen Riggs Center, and the Center for Advanced Studies of the Behavior Sciences.

Bravo that he could allow his talents to speak for themselves and let’s be clear- the history books call him a ‘psychologist’ and he had a private practice in child psychoanalysis but no formal higher education training in psychology.

Contextual analysis and understanding of the historical environment in which our ‘theorists’ grew up matters. Informed consent is all about…

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Kassandra Vaughn

* Mindset Coach | Author | Soon-to-be Therapist * On a mission to help women 30 and above rebuild their self-worth & reclaim their power.