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Milestones in Psychosocial Development courses

Milestones in Psychosocial Development

MPD-400 Milestones in Psychosocial Development

Counselling Training Milestones in Psychosocial Development

This course in a nutshell:

Discussion topics: Chronological stages relating to emotional and social developmental tasks from infancy through very old age, and the role each stage plays in personality development. Skills: You will learn to identify incomplete developmental tasks from earlier stages that relate to clients’ current presenting problem and include this information in treatment planning. You will investigate your own developmental history and chart milestones which played significant roles in your personal development.


This course will focus primarily on personality and social development as important components in understanding issues that apply specifically to various counselling situations.

Research studies in the fields of developmental and social psychology have produced volumes of information associated with each chronological stage of development. The context of the areas explored in this course will be presented in accordance with the basic premises held by researchers:

  • developmental changes occur over the entire life cycle,
  • developmental changes are influenced by genetic, socio-economic, cultural, and family factors,
  • developmental change is cumulative, affecting subsequent stages of development.
  • delays in social and psychological development can be “caught up” later in life once the intervening environmental factors are altered.

Social and personality development is of vital concern to professional counselors in all types of mental health settings. When developmental tasks are not completed within the expected time-frame, the result can lead to social and/or emotional deficiencies that can affect areas of function later in life. By understanding the social and emotional tasks that individuals face during each chronological stage of development, counselors can better assess the factors associated with their clients’ presenting concerns.


What you will learn:

Your level of proficiency and competence with the skills introduced in this course will deepen as you proceed through the program. Upon graduation from the Diploma or Certificate program, you may include the following skills as part of your Professional Portfolio:

A chronological approach will be used to explore each milestone of development. The writings of Erik Erikson and other researchers provide the conceptual framework for understanding how the tasks of each stage of development influence future functioning. The following stages of development will be explored:

  1. pregnancy and prenatal development
  2. infancy
  3. toddler-hood
  4. early school age
  5. middle childhood
  6. early adolescence
  7. later adolescence
  8. early adulthood
  9. middle adulthood
  10. later adulthood
  11. old age.

Students will then learn:

  1. how developmental tasks in each chronological stage can influence later stages;
  2. how issues and concerns presented by clients during counselling situations may be related to incomplete tasks from early stages.
  3. How to identify and incorporate important milestones from each stage of psychological and social development throughout the assessment and treatment planning phases of counselling.
  4. how developmental concepts apply to a wide variety of counselling situations.
  5. how to use therapeutic skills to help clients identify areas of difficulty originating from various stages of development that may be affecting current life problems.
  6. Students will chart their own personal development, record milestones and assess how each developmental task has affected their personality and social development and current life functioning.

(NOTE: The skill set you will learn in this course comprises areas of core competence required in the practice of professional counselling.)

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