Perspectives on Development: Introducing the STAGES Model

Terri O'Fallon Buddha In Therapy, Cognitive, Intrapersonal, Psychology, Self-Identity, Video 3 Comments

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Terri O’Fallon takes us on a guided journey through her STAGES model, an integrally based development model that charts human development from infancy to the highest levels of development that humans are capable of.

Terri’s research is based in the number of perspectives a person can take (1st through 7th) – and she explains how different levels of fluency with these perspectives can often cause us to talk “past” or “over” one another, and how familiarizing ourselves with these perspectives can help us stop doing that.

The discussion begins with a brief overview of what exactly adult ego growth is, and why it matters. They also explore why adult developmental psychology — despite being part of the academic culture for more than 100 years — isn’t more understood and used by mainstream therapist and psychologists.

Terri also explores how many of our culture wars are generated from conflicts between these stages — certain perspectives are able to see (and therefore respond to) social challenges that other perspectives simply cannot yet fully perceive.

Finally, Terri spends some time unpacking her data on a 5th person perspective (mature Integral, or Turquoise) what that perspective sees, how it relates to the Wilber-Combs Lattice and to Post-Modernity (and to Integral), and how one might know for themselves what this means.

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Previous Episodes of Buddha In Therapy

The Highest Stages of Conscious Development

The Highest Stages of Conscious Development

Terri O'Fallon and Keith Martin-Smith dive into a deeper and more detailed exploration of Terri's STAGES model, focusing on a smaller section of the model: stages 3.0 – 6.0 (roughly Amber/Orange to Turquoise/Indigo). Terri outlines what makes each level of her model unique from the last, what causes people to shift from one level to another, as well as what the mature expressions look like for 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0 stages.
How to Build a Conscious Community

How to Build a Conscious Community

Keith Martin-Smith talks with Dr. John Churchill about the themes in Keith's latest book, When the Buddha Needs Therapy: shadow and awakening, the problem and promise of spiritual communities, the state-stage model as it relates to trauma and growth, narcissism and other personality disorders inside of spirituality, the power and trap of lineage, and what a fully Western version of an awakened spiritual path might look like.
Therapy & Awakening: A New Integration

Therapy & Awakening: A New Integration

Keith Martin-Smith speaks with Chad Bennett, a psychotherapist and ordained Zen priest, about why our existing ideas of therapy are often limited and keep us bound inside of the therapeutic relationship, unable to learn the skills necessary to continue our own growth towards psychological wholeness.
Who Awakens? How to Be Free From Your Freedom

Who Awakens? How to Be Free From Your Freedom

In this talk, Keith Martin-Smith dives into some topics of particular interest to those on a spiritual path. He first addresses the question head on: what is awakening, exactly? To answer this, he presents the listeners with a Zen koan, or riddle: Who awakens?
Terri O'Fallon

About Terri O'Fallon

Terri O’Fallon, PhD is an Integral scholar whose research spans 40 years, including eleven research studies conducted in various colleges, public schools, and private research venues. Her most recent theory, and the culmination of a lifetime of work, is the STAGES model of human development. STAGES integrates several developmental models and is informed by Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory and Terri’s own research, to form a robust and predictive map that is being used by numerous scholars, practitioners, and leaders throughout the world.

Keith Martin-Smith

About Keith Martin-Smith

Keith Martin-Smith is an award-winning author, writing coach, and Zen priest. He is passionate about human connection, creativity, and evolution. His books include "The Mysterious Divination of Tea Leaves", "A Heart Blown Open", and "The Heart of Zen". His most recent book is his first novel, "Only Everything", a novel that explores the promise and the pain of following an artist's path.

Notable Replies

  1. Caught this one on a lunch break. At first, I found all the stages, numbers, levels, etc. intimidating and was not sure if this framework was for me. But as examples starting flowing, it all started to resonate. The biggest highlight was the idea of 4.0 (green? postmodern?) swimming in complex adaptive systems but not able to visualize the systems themselves. Also, that same type of consciousness acting like a bird in flock. How evocative!

    I feel fairly able to get perspectives on getting perspectives on getting perspectives …, so maybe that indicates a whopping score somewhere on this scale. Or, alternatively, it may just reflect my appreciation of Jorge Luis Borges, most of whose stories were pretty much about that sort thing. Anyway - check it out! I’d love to get dirty in the details of the model and especially the examples cited in the presentation.

  2. Danke sehr für dieses wundervolle Geschenk (und die Transsciption, die für mich sehr wichtig ist, weil mein Schulenglisch 50 Jahre alt ist) !
    Die Diskussion löst all die Fragen, die ich in der Vorbereitung eines integralen Online-Kurses (im Bereich Erwachsenenbildung für Multiplikatoren im Begegnungsfeld Migration & Integration als Chance für Potentialentiwcklung und Transformation) hatte, da ich mit Menschen auf fast allen Bewusstseinsebenen zu tun habe. Ich liebe es, zu differenzieren, also habe ich in diesem komplexen Feld auch die Perspektiven auf möglichst vielen Ebenen zu berücksichtigen.
    LG Johanna Lehmacher

  3. Willkommen, Johanna, und vielen Dank, dass Sie dieses Forum noch mehr internationaler gemacht haben! (Mein Schuldeutsch ist vom gleichen Jahrgang wie sein Englisch, aber Google Translate hilft sehr!)

    I also work in adult education with students from all over the world, including many refugees. So the AQAL approach considering many stages, altitudes, lines, etc. makes sense as a comprehensive framework for being able to welcome literally the entire world.

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