For his entire career, Erik Erikson was interested in the conversations that might develop between psychoanalysis and other disciplines. His early masterwork, Childhood and Society, is a brilliant “record…of one worker’s itinerary” of intellectual travels. Chapters on a Marine’s combat crisis, the child-rearing practices of Native Americans and the childhoods of major European figures can be thought of as a two-way study in “application” – from psychoanalysis to anthropology, for example, but also vice versa.
In that spirit, the Erikson Institute attempts to bring the learning from the intensive and extensive clinical program at Riggs into interaction with other disciplines, practices and societal problems. The Erikson Scholar program works toward generating new knowledge at the interface between disciplines. The Application Program attempts to bring psychodynamic understanding to institutional and societal problems. This takes a number of forms including: