Terri O’Fallons Stages Matrix and the Wider Embraces Method

Terri O'Fallon Stages Matrix

For me, it’s been encouraging to find Terri O’Fallon’s Stages Matrix and recognise how well it corresponds with the Wider Embraces method. I’ve got a more clear view of what we are doing and why we have ended up using the same steps in the same order every time; apparently, there is an underlying pattern. 

Terri O’Fallons Stages Matrix maps out three tiers; Concrete, Subtle and MetAware. Each tier is divided into two social preferences; starting with the individual and moving into the collective for each tier. There is a third set of levels; the learning style. Though there are interesting overlaps with the Wider Embraces method, I leave that, for now, to not make this too complex and long.

The Wider Embraces method mapped on the Stages Matrix

In figure 1, you can see the Stages Matrix’s main levels and the corresponding steps in the Wider Embraces method. WE adds the dimension of who is taking the perspective and a way to navigate the matrix.

TierWider Embraces MethodPerspective
Concrete IndividualI consist of particles, atoms, molecules/cells, organs/knowledge, language, skills …Personal inwards
CollectiveI’m part of the planet, galaxy, universe/global family tree, ecosystem/family, nation, humanity … Personal outwards
SubtleIndividualI become aware of the Embrace of the Universe/Biosphere/Humanity/Group …
I rest in that Embrace, I belong here.
Personal outwards
CollectiveI lean out into the Embrace of X.  As the Embrace of X I feel Y. I lean inwards and align my parts.Embrace inwards
MetAwareIndividualAs the Embrace of X, I get insights about my parts and surroundings.Embrace outwards
CollectiveI am the whole system of Embraces and parts.  I get insights as the structure.Embraces in- and outwards
Figure 1, The Stages Matrix mapped onto the steps in the Wider Embraces process.

I’m aware that there is a difference between a developmental model and a practice, and that I’m using the Stages Matrix in a way it wasn’t initially designed for. Nevertheless, an interpenetrative dance always reveals new aspects. 

You will find a great overview of the Stages Matrix here, and here you can read an in-depth view of each step of the Wider Embraces Method (new window).

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