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Barrett: Seven Stages of Psychological Development Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


There are two aspects to the Seven Levels Model: the Stages of Psycho­logical Develo­pment model and the Levels of Consci­ousness model. We grow in stages (of psycho­logical develo­pment) and we operate at levels (of consci­ous­ness).

1. Surviving

The quest for survival starts as soon as a human baby is born. The infant child instin­ctively knows, through its DNA progra­mming, how to regulate its body’s internal functi­oning, how to suckle, and how to signal to its parents that it has unmet physio­logical needs.

2. Conforming

Having learned how to survive, the task at the second stage of develo­pment is for the child to learn how to feel safe in its parent­al/­fam­ily­/social enviro­nment. It learns how to conform and fit in. It also learns how to recognise danger signal­s—p­ote­ntial threats to its safety.

3. Differ­ent­iating

During the differ­ent­iation stage of psycho­logical develo­pment, the child/­tee­nager expands his or her operat­ional horizons. Whereas parental relations where of signif­icant importance during the surviving and conforming stages, peer relati­onships and external contro­lling author­ities such as schools and teachers now take on more importance in the child/­tee­nager’s life.

4. Indivi­duating

The task at the indivi­duating stage of develo­pment is to find your True Self—d­iscover who you are beyond your parental progra­mming, beyond the peer group pressures that influenced your behaviour when you were a teenager, and beyond your cultural condit­ioning. You are done with being depend­ent­—se­eking the validation of others to feel good about who you are. You want freedom. You want to be respon­sible and accoun­table for every aspect of your life. You want to embrace your own values. You want to find answers to the question, “Who am I?”

Seven Stages of Psycho­logical Develo­pment

5. Self-A­ctu­alising

Having begun to explore the question “Who am I?” at the indivi­duating stage and get in touch with your True Self, you now begin to explore the question “Why am I here?” and get in touch with your Unique Self. You search for the meaning and purpose in your life: What stirs your passion in life—the reason why your soul incarnated as you.

6. Integr­ating

The integr­ating stage of develo­pment is all about actual­ising your sense of purpos­e—using your unique gifts and talents, along with your creativity to make a difference in the world. This is where you bring together the connection part of your Self-e­xpr­ession with the contri­bution part of your Self-e­xpr­ession.

7. Serving

During the last stage of develo­pment you will feel drawn to a life of self-less service, especially if you have become financ­ially indepe­ndent, have a pension or no longer depend on the income from your work for your survival. At this stage of develo­pment, you want to give back to the world and leave a legacy. You will find yourself being drawn to supporting people in your community, helping to alleviate their suffering, caring for the disadv­ant­aged, building a better society or helping people with their develo­pment. At the same time, you will also become more intros­pec­tive, looking for ways to deepen your sense of connection to your soul. You will find yourself becoming a keeper of wisdom, an elder or the person that younger people turn to for guidance and mentoring.