Zest Programs

Braving the Transitions Our Developmental Stages Examined

Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development posits that personality evolves through eight distinct stages from infancy to adulthood. Each stage is characterized by a specific psychosocial crisis that can influence personality development either positively or negatively. This approach views development from an experiential perspective, emphasizing the influence of family and environment in shaping our growth.

Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development posits that personality evolves through eight distinct stages from infancy to adulthood. Each stage is characterized by a specific psychosocial crisis that can influence personality development either positively or negatively. This approach views development from an experiential perspective, emphasizing the influence of family and environment in shaping our growth.

The framework highlights four critical life stages: preschool, teenage years, adulthood, and mid-life. These stages are considered pivotal due to the limited time available for development. Additional resources are provided for those interested in a deeper understanding, along with support for individuals grappling with a weakened sense of self due to their upbringing.

​​The weekend program offers a retreat designed to aid adults in understanding their relationship dynamics and recalling past nurturing experiences. It helps individuals recognize their identity development during their teenage years and the influence of parenting and mentorship during this period. The retreat offers insights into different life stages and their impact on our current situations.

  • To provide a tool for awakening and deepening our understanding of life’s developmental stages. It’s based on the belief that God, our creator, makes no mistakes and that the journey of human development is a universal experience shared by all. This process underscores our collective journey, with God as an integral part of it. By developing a prayerful connection, we learn to communicate with God, grappling with and seeking to comprehend His intentions for us, especially through the various challenges we face.

  • To enhance our relationship with God. Success is measured by the ability to foster a space where participants can address and resolve any misconceptions or superficial connections they have with the divine. This experience aims to bring about an enlightenment regarding each stage of life, encouraging participants to seek God’s guidance for clearer understanding.

  • Introduces us to a non-dualistic form of spirituality, one that accepts and cherishes our imperfect yet lovable selves. Through our personal experiences, we come to realize that, despite our flaws, we are still cherished by God. This realization allows us to not only accept divine grace but also to extend that same grace and love to others, acknowledging the shared experience of being loved despite our imperfections.

This program is designed for anyone interested in developing self-awareness. It encourages a reflective look at our upbringing, recognizing how we’ve managed crises and the resilience we’ve developed throughout our life’s journey. For those in coaching, counseling, or supportive roles, it’s beneficial to understand how an individual’s experiences at home, school, and in their community have shaped their levels of trust or mistrust. This understanding helps us gauge the foundation of their character.

Particularly during the teenage years, individuals undergo significant physical and emotional changes as they transition from childhood to adulthood. These years can be tumultuous, filled with the challenge of discovering one’s true identity. Understanding this phase is crucial for parents, counselors, and mentors, enabling them to empathize and provide appropriate guidance and support.

The program also addresses the unique experiences of adults and those in midlife. Recognizing the distinct challenges and experiences at each life stage allows us to offer more empathetic and effective support. This awareness is an invaluable tool for professionals in the helping fields, aiding them in better understanding, empathizing with, and supporting individuals through different phases of their lives.

Teaching # 1 birth to toddler: Trust vs Mistrust

Trust Development in Infants:

  • Responsive Caregiving: When caregivers promptly respond to an infant’s cries, it teaches the baby to rely on others.
  • Sense of Security: Consistent fulfillment of an infant’s needs by caregivers develops a sense of trust and safety in the baby.
  • Emotional Availability: Infants assess whether their primary caregivers are emotionally present to meet their needs, fostering trust.

Consequences of Caregiver Neglect:

  • Mistrust: Sporadic or neglectful care can lead infants to feel insecure and learn that they cannot depend on others.
  • Fear of Abandonment: Inconsistent caregiving can lead to fears of being abandoned or neglected.

Impact of Positive Caregiving on Child Development:

  • Confidence in Identity: Secure and well-cared-for infants are more likely to grow up with confidence in their identity.
  • Learning Boundaries: As children mature, they learn about the world’s boundaries through disciplined guidance from their parents.
  • Encouragement of Imagination: Children are encouraged to express themselves and explore through imaginative play.
  • Development of Competence: Support in various activities helps children recognize their skills, boosting self-esteem and a sense of worthiness.
Teaching # 2 Ages 13-20: Identity vs Role Confusion

Development of Identity in Adolescence:

  • Establishing Self-Concept: Adolescents need to form a clear and coherent sense of self.
  • Setting Priorities: Determining what is important in life, such as family values and academic goals.
  • Goal Formation: Adolescents should set personal goals aligned with their identified values.

Challenges of Role Confusion:

  • Weak Self-Identity: Some adolescents struggle with forming a solid sense of self, influenced by parental or peer expectations.
  • Confusion About Future: Inconsistent self-identity can lead to uncertainty regarding future desires and goals.

Adolescent Changes and Expectations:

  • Physical and Emotional Changes: Notable changes in body and emotions, along with changes in social circles like friends moving schools.
  • Transition Phase: Feeling in-between childhood and adulthood, with increased expectations from others.

Self-Discovery Process:

  • Increased Self-Focus: Adolescents often become more introspective and self-conscious during this stage.
  • Seeking Independence: A natural inclination to assert independence while still needing parental guidance.

Cultural and Familial Dynamics:

  • Rites of Passage: Many cultures use specific ceremonies to mark the transition to adulthood.
  • Role of Mentors: Adolescents may seek guidance from mentors outside the family unit.
  • Parental Adjustment: Parents may need to adapt to providing space for independence while maintaining a supportive presence.
Teaching # 3 Adulthood – Ages 21- 35: Intimacy vs. Isolation

Stage 1 (Ages 21-25) – Early Adulthood:

  • Focus on Intimate Relationships: Young adults at this stage often prioritize forming intimate, loving relationships.
  • Outcome of Relationship Efforts: Successful relationship building can lead to strong connections, while failure might result in feelings of loneliness and isolation.
  • Exploration of Personal Relationships: This period is characterized by the exploration and establishment of personal relationships.
  • Career and Individual Development:
  • Career Establishment: Young adults fresh out of college are often in the process of finding their footing in their chosen careers.
  • Process of Individuation: This age group is typically focused on developing their individual identities separate from their familial and social circles.
  • Long-term Relationship Goals: Alongside career aspirations, there is often an emphasis on finding a life partner.

Stage 2: 25-30 Adults

  • The adult may or may not have found their partner in life, or have decided for a single life, but they will have established their career pattern and are going towards stability. This is the stage of adulting which I would call the stabilizing stage. Getting their feet grounded and preparing to grow their own unit.
  • Erikson believed it was vital that people develop close, committed relationships with other people, This could be at work, in communities or through extended families.
  • We discuss the challenges of adulting and their need to balance the focus in which they have to invest their lives in. We take into consideration the physical attributes during this stage of life and acknowledge the amount of energy that a young person has. The energy is channeled into all these endeavours and the objective is towards settling down and forming the next generational unit.

Stage 3 Adults 30-35 Moving into Midlife

  • Most people settle down at this stage. We acknowledge the women’s biological clocks and observe its role in the lives of those who are full blown adults and preparing for midlife.
  • Some families may begin to have children who are now going into adolescence, others may just be starting their families. Many may be getting to the top of their careers and asking what next. Others are beginning to realise that their role as parents will be coming to an end. Or their roles in the career path are at a dead end. It is the beginning of the end of the adult stage and the realization of the midlife stage. Parents of the adults, at this stage are beginning to age and this is becoming a reality to the whole extended family unit. The moving into midlife adults are having to give time to their ageing parents and simultaneously bring up their own adolescents or preschoolers. Life is demanding a balance.
  • Remember that each step builds on skills learned in previous steps. Erikson believed that a strong sense of personal identity was important for developing intimate relationships. Studies have demonstrated that those with a poor sense of self tend to have less committed relationships and are more likely to struggle with emotional isolation, loneliness, and depression.
Teaching #4 Midlife : 35 -65 years old: Generativity vs. Stagnation

Adults have created and  nurtured things that will outlast them. If They have been  Successful they will be feeling useful and accomplished at this stage, while failure results in shallow involvement in the world. They will be feeling a shift on whether they are satisfied with their first half of life and become aware of their last chance to do what they’ve always really wanted to do.

Physically they will be feeling a need to slow down.  Their bodies begin to change, weight gain, drooping skin, less energy are typical for those closer to their 50s onwards.  This is beginning to be noticeable.  Together with this there is beginning to be a perspective that our energy is flagging and I am beginning to be called by my body to slow down.  Everything seems to be in the direction of slowing down. 

During the midlife stage , we see retirement in the horizon, empty nesting is a reality and we have to consider our circumstances. If you have been  successful during this phase will feel that they are contributing to the world by being active at home and community.  Your purpose continues to matter or your life might shift to becoming more purposeful as opposed to having to find a means of income. 2 If life challenges have become a deterrent to growth one might find oneself feeling unproductive and unable to continue to contribute to the world.  

This is a very important time in one’s life accepting and realizing that you’re getting a 2nd chance if you’ve failed in the first instance.  You try to put things right, you reconcile, you release forgiveness and you make it right.  This is an invigorating time in one’s life as there is a newness in it.  No more children, perhaps grandchildren are on the horizon, new opportunities, time to travel, time for new relationships.  Time, time and more time is the reality of this new ness.  How to make the most of your time.


Those Interested Must

  • Click the Sign Up button to launch the form and fill it up. If you have attended a retreat with us before, please send us an email of intent so we can enlist you and guide you through confirming your participation.
  • Undergo an interview through phone call or video call. The schedule of the interview will be set upon submission of the application form.

Please submit your application on or before 
June 15, 2024.


June 22-23, 2024, Saturday-Sunday


Online: ZOOM
Please download the Zoom app at www.zoom.us

  • Pay P1,500 per day via bank deposit, online transfer, or PayPal.
  • This payment is refundable until June 15, 2024, seven (7) days prior to the event.
  • The payment details will be sent to you upon acceptance after your interview.

For any inquiries, please contact programs@spiritualformation.center or
0917 188 6883.


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