The quality of our life, work, and relationships depend largely on how we understand ourselves.

The STAGES Matrix is a unique lens to support deeper self-understanding. Quickly gain insights about “Who you are” with our introduction to the STAGES developmental model: The Three Questions, a three hour self-paced course.


“Who am I?”

One of the most important questions you will ask yourself. But the answer shifts mysteriously with life’s experiences.

Why is that?

That’s because human beings regularly change—we develop.

We go through experiences that bring new perspectives and change who we experience ourselves to be. Our relationship with others and our life context matures. But these growth spurts often begin with a developmental confusion—a sense of bewilderment about our identity or purpose. The STAGES model maps out 12 developmental stages or fulcrums from infancy to the most advanced psychological and spiritual maturity stages. It predicts a disorientating shockwave at the transitions between these 12 developmental perspectives. Overcome these confusions, and we find new perspectives that transcend and include what came before.

There’s always something to prompt change. And throughout our lives, challenging or intense situations, or deep self-reflection, launch us into new perspectives. Though often disorienting, seeing these situations as healthy makes us more compassionate, resilient, and understanding. These life questions point to a sequence of courses created by STAGES International. The three courses, ranging from beginner (The Three Questions) to intermediate (Developmental Confusions) to advanced (The Mind’s I), are designed to equip you with the necessary knowledge to understand each stage, helping you move through life with more compassion for and understanding of yourself and others. Many more courses and community offerings will be rolled out in the coming months.

Who should take this course?

This course is open to anyone who wants to better understand their developmental stages and “Who they are” developmentally at this present time.

It’s designed for those interested in self-reflection, self-development, self-awareness, and self-empowerment—all of which can lead to a more satisfying, productive, and connected life.

You do not need to understand the STAGES model to take this course; you only need to be curious and open-minded!

The course is an accessible two-hour introduction to STAGES and a prerequisite to future courses and offerings. The Three Questions is your entry point into a new world of learning material, personal insights, and community connections.

Understanding the STAGES Matrix

Built on decades of published research, the STAGES model describes how someone is likely to think, feel, and behave in various stages of psycho-spiritual or ego maturity.

 The STAGES Matrix is designed to help you understand each life stage, how and why you go through it, how to support healthy development in all levels of the self, and the importance of cleaning up shadow material in earlier levels of the psyche.

The STAGES model contains 12 distinct stages within 6 different person-perspectives - from the 1st person perspective of a toddler to the 3rd person perspective of an engineer to the 6th person perspective of the most advanced ego stage discovered by researchers. The perspectives arise through three distinct tiers: Concrete, Subtle, and Metaware. The model is unique in how it shows a repeating pattern of growth and challenges that happens with each of the three tiers.


Question 1

What kinds of objects and processes are most important to me? This the "tier question," which identifies whether your perspective is more Concrete, Subtle, or Metaware.

Question 2

Do I have more of an Individual or Collective perspective on the world? For example, whether you orient more to personal achievements or relationships at this time in your life. 

Question 3

How do I process and learn from experiences at this time in my life? We distinguish four learning/being styles: receptive, active, reciprocal, and interpenetrative.

When you look at all of the permutations of these three questions, you will find 12 developmental perspectives, and you can identify which combination of these three parameters fits you best.

Each level is associated with particular strengths and challenges. You can use the STAGES Matrix to identify what stage or developmental perspective you are acting from in different life contexts (such as work, parenting, school, leadership) and gain insight into enhancing each of these contexts.

About Terri O’Fallon

Terri O’Fallon is a researcher, teacher, coach, spiritual director, and designer of transformative containers committed to ongoing research on the integral STAGES developmental model.

She is a founder of STAGES International, which creates programs based on the STAGES model.

Terri holds a master’s degree in Special Education in Spiritual direction and an Integral Ph.D. in Transformative Learning and Change. She is internationally recognized as a leader in developmental theory and has taught classes and given conference presentations on the STAGES model worldwide.

I have been working with the MAP/STAGES model for many years and find the assessments and underlying theory to be invaluable in working with leaders to better understand themselves and improve their effectiveness. When leaders understand their center of gravity and can assess others, they are able to modulate their leadership approach and communication style to resonate with those being led. This understanding and ability to adjust can significantly improve the leader’s ability to deliver against the organization’s mission.

Maureen Metcalf
CEO, Metcalf & Associates, Inc.

Why learn about The Three Questions?

The STAGES Matrix explains the underlying drivers of human development in terms of three parameters which define three questions one can ask about the complexity, depth, and maturity of a belief system or life orientation. Answering Question 1 locates you within the three Tiers of the model. Answering Question 2 determines your orientation and social grounding within an individual-vs-collective polarity. Question 3 zeros in on the learning and assimilation style of your leading edge: is it receptive, active, reciprocal, or interpenetrative?

The STAGES Matrix identifies twelve perspectives rather than the three commonly held first, second, and third-person perspectives. This allows us more nuance and room to connect with a perspective that actually matches who we experience ourselves to be.

What's included?


A 4-hour on-demand drip course introducing the STAGES Matrix in easy-to-digest, 10-minute segments.

An introduction into the STAGES developmental model.

A downloadable manual and applications manual to help integrate the learning into your life.

What happens next?


To order through our secure payment system, click the Join Now button below


Once your payment is accepted, you will receive a welcome email with your login information and instructions to access the course.


Once you’ve logged in, you can begin working through the course material at your own pace.



After that, you will be able to enroll in more advanced courses at STAGES International.



Have a team you feel can develop greatly but you don’t yet know the means to that greatness? Need to strategically grow your own capability to meet these dynamic times? Have you seen your own perspective grow, or is it limited, but you don’t know why?

I’ve used the STAGES/MAP as the CEO of a $750MM company, to grow my own capacity and our senior team to meet VUCA complexity as our Business expanded to achieve the complex adaptations we needed to grow personal and business vitality.

It works in ways unimaginable. Do it.

David Ford
Former CEO, CareOregon