Journal of Experiential Psychotherapy, vol. 21, no3 (83) September 2018
A Developmental View of the Personal Psychological Journey
Jon Freeman** Spiral Futures, Future Considerations, Salisbury, UK
Introduction: This paper offers a staged view of individual psychological development based
on the research of Clare W. Graves and the theory popularly known as Spiral Dynamics Integral.
Objectives: To describe each of the stages as identified by the theory and relate the ways that
they appear in individuals from the perspective of healthy and damaged aspects.
Methods: The paper presents an analytical, observational and experiential viewpoint based
on what the theory tells us to expect and on experience gained, both personal and reports from others,
in the varying practice arenas of coach, mentor, parent and trainer, as well as on personal
Results: There are clear patterns in personal development and behaviour that correspond to
the predictions of the Graves paradigm in its evolutionary, societal and organisational descriptions
and predictions. These patterns can be related to both cultural context and individual upbringing.
They offer a valuable lens for observation and understanding of psychological difficulties and useful
prescriptive guidance for parenting that will act to reduce such difficulties.
Conclusions: The paper offers a strong basis for the use of the Spiral Dynamics lens as an
additional perspective when working with individuals, and for further detailed research into the way
that an individual forms their worldview and creates meaning as an adaptive process for thriving
under differing conditions of existence.
Keywords: Spiral Dynamics, parenting, child development, Graves theory
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