Erikson Institute has been my professional home for so many moons. Erikson embraced me as a young practitioner seeking contemporary knowledge and advancing competence both as a developmental therapist and infant early childhood mental health consultant.
Erikson captivated me as a boundless learner transitioning from student to instructor. Knowing that one does not land but continues to evolve in the context of relating, I remain aware that I will be orbiting Erikson as professional generativity peaks and integrity surfaces. Erikson continues to serve as a mecca for infant and early childhood professionals looking to partner with families, systems, and multi-disciplinary colleagues to promote wellbeing.
Erikson advances practice by unfolding and reweaving current research into pragmatic service strategies, acknowledging anecdotal observations to herald the advancement of critical insights and calls practitioners to advocate for equitable solutions in partnership with those served. The emphasis on self-knowledge as an imperative to offering culturally sensitive, attuned service that honors diverse populations is central to the premise. The invitation to learn from, alongside, and in relationship with others is foundational to Erikson’s allure.
In partnership with Erikson and community social service agencies, I have witnessed significant advancements in the field of Early Intervention. Erikson Institute allocated expertise to promote the addition of the Social Emotional Component and Trauma-Informed Early Intervention practices. The SE Component identified and endeavors to address the unmet needs of caregivers and their children experiencing developmental delays. The Trauma-Informed EI initiative brought to light unrecognized incidents of trauma that affect children’s development and illuminated competency practices to build the skills of practitioners and related system supports. Both innovations instilled reflective practice and infant early childhood mental health consultation to sustain resilience-centered engagement at all levels of influence.
Belonging to Erikson is a membership in a diverse community of intersecting like-minded organizations. The Illinois Association of Infant Mental Health and Zero to Three have been integral partners with Erikson in shaping the infant and early childhood field and my work. Erikson invites intellectual curiosity couched in humble inquiry, honors diverse perspectives, acknowledges contributing resiliency and adversity factors, and emboldens just action. Erikson Institute in my experience is an integrative pathway that leads to the best possible professional you.