What follows is a transcript for the podcast Human Development - Dr. Terri O’Fallon - Integral Theory.
Topics within the interview include:
- Why every stage of human development is valuable
- Human development is not linear, it’s like blowing up a balloon
- The impact of changing levels of development on relationships
- The developmental scale of maturity of human consciousness
- The influence of later stages of human development on emotions and cognition
Dr. Dan Stickler: All right. Welcome to the Collective Insights podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Dan Stickler for this amazing session. This was a personal request from me to have Dr. Terri O'Fallon on the show. I became a huge fan over the last several years, and really got to know her fairly well over the last probably three or four months now. And so I wanted to share her gifts with many people because I think this is something that many of you will find valuable. So to give you some background on Dr. O'Fallon, Terri states that she's lived enough life to appreciate her own tarnished halo life. It has polished her rather than worn her out. She is the oldest of six siblings and they literally grew up in a house that was like a little house on the prairie in Central Montana. She went on to receive her Bachelor's degree in Science and Education.
She worked as a teacher, school superintendent and also as a principal. She went on to complete her PhD and has taught in the university level for probably the past 20 years, I would say. Her life's purpose seems to be culminating in her work with the stages model, and this is what we're going to be talking about today. It's a scoring system that is derived from Ken Wilber's quadrant polar pairs which provide the frame for his AQAL Quadratic theory. So welcome, Terri. And I would love to start off with you just telling us about growing up in Central Montana and becoming a teacher in these one room schoolhouses.
Dr. Terri O'Fallon: Well, thank you so much, Dan. It's really good to be here with you and to see you again so soon after the conference and retreat that we just shared together a few days ago. Well, one of the things that I really appreciate about how I grew up and where I grew up is that I've had the opportunity to live the life of more generations than most people because when I grew up, Montana was... And our part of Montana was far enough behind at least the city cultures, that we had no running water. We had no indoor bathroom, until I was five I had no electricity. There was no telephone until I was 15.
So I grew up in, it truly was a little house on the prairie, and I'm the oldest of seven siblings. My youngest brother is 18 years younger than I. And when you grow up like that, there is not a lot of exterior influences on you except for nature and your own family and your own extended family, so it's just truly in a real innocence, I think, is what I had the opportunity to experience during all those years, so that's a little bit of the background. My mother had all kinds of educational aspirations for me, and I didn't even know what an educational aspiration was, but she did, so she worked it out so that I could go to college. I started out teaching when I was 19 years old. I had a first grade class, and in those days in Montana you could get a teaching certificate with only two years of college.
I was the set of people that got that certificate after those two years, they insisted that people get a Bachelor's degree after that. And once I got a touch of teaching and of education, it just never left me. My mother had a good idea of what I would be good at, and she was right, I have to say. So I've been educating all my life in one form or another from kindergarten, all of the grades in elementary and high school, university teaching, as you mentioned, being an administrator at public schools both as a superintendent and as a principal. Then going on to get my PhD and eventually helping set up the GTC program which is something that many of you are familiar with. And you're right, my last, I don't know if it's my last yet, I haven't figured out what the last thing is I'll be doing yet.
Things change all the time, and so that's a little bit of a sketch of my life. But all those generations in between, I had an opportunity to experience and actually live in them, and I know now the millennials are really leaping forward, and I have a really, a wonderful bunch of beautiful young people in that generation and my grandchildren are in the following generation, so that's a lot of generations to have experience in. And I celebrate that because I just think every generation has so much to offer, and especially much to offer the collective aspects of our world, our country, our communities, and how not only do we grow up individually by taking on greater perspectives, but we also have the opportunity to have a say in what kind of collective we live in our lives, and having seen so many different levels of them, I really feel blessed that I've had an opportunity to have a live experience of so many of them.
How the STAGES Model was Born
Dr. Dan Stickler: You've had quite an exposure to developmental levels more so than most people could say that they have, and this stages model that you've developed really is one of the most impactful models that I've ever experienced personally in not only looking at the developmental stages of myself, but also really getting a better understanding of my progression through these various levels. And I guess, would we say this is developmental levels of consciousness? Would that be the best way to summarize it?
Dr. Terri O'Fallon: Well, there are many descriptions. What we measure are the perspectives that people take, and of course, there are the developmental perspectives that line up with the developmental stages of development very, very well. But they also, I mean, people who are in their spiritual life also take insightful perspectives on a spiritual level which are, in my view, embedded in the developmental frame as well. So it is a growing up of consciousness, and of course, as our consciousness changes so does our behavior and everything about us changes when we change our minds. So whether it's a perspectival change or ways that we think and analyze and feel, but also the moral development that we take on through the years and the understanding of our shadows, and on the aspects of ourselves that maybe are less unwise that need to grow up too.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah, I've learned a lot about my shadows that I denied existed in the last couple of months.
Dr. Terri O'Fallon: That's [inaudible 00:08:55], you're a normal person.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah. I always said, "Oh, my childhood was perfect. There was nothing there. I had everything," and sure enough, they come up and once you start paying attention to them, you realize that there were aspects of your life that you just glossed over in that regard. But this model takes you through different tiers. So we start off with 1.0, 1.5, and it goes all the way to 7, 7.5. And some people look at that as a competition of, "Oh, I'm more conscious than you are," which this is absolutely not. It's just a defining of the stage of development which I found really interesting. I mean, from my standpoint, I took the assessment back in August and I mean, the last year I'd been going through this process that I thought I was actually starting to lose my mind because I had lost real interest and motivation in doing things. I just interviewed Rick Hanson a couple of weeks ago, and I talked about this with him as well, but I didn't have the motivation to do anything.
I didn't see the point of doing anything which was completely different for me because I've always been driven based on money, success, that kind of stuff, being a surgeon and in all of that, but in the last year, that all went away. I mean, I didn't care about money anymore. I didn't really see the point in working. I just wanted to play an experience and just have fun in life, and then when I was doing my debrief on my assessment, Heidi was telling me all this stuff that I've been going through and I was like, "That's exactly what I've been going through," and people thought I was losing my mind. I thought I was losing my mind with it, and she told me that some people in this stage actually just walk away from their jobs, they walk away from their marriages, they moved to a different city and then they realized that, "Oh, this was just a little transformation that I was going through or a big one."
Why Human Development Is Like Blowing Up a Balloon
Dr. Terri O'Fallon: Yes, it was because when you jump a tier, each perspective has three aspects to it, and when you transform into the next major perspective at least one of those aspects has to change, and you in this transformation, you changed all three of them, so you can see that's one of the biggest ones. One of the things that people don't understand sometimes about transformation is that, quite often people don't think something is going on it's right. They think something is going on it's wrong and of course, that doesn't help you get through the transformation at all if you're pulling back from it and worried about what's happening to you and that kind of concern. So 00:12:17 one of the big messages I constantly give to people is, when you're in a sense of confusion, when you feel like you are getting into a big change, don't make the assumption that something is wrong.
Check out and see if you're in a transformation because something might be right, and then you can laugh at the little glitches you have because every transformation has some confusions and some wavy places where you don't get what's happening right away, and you can just laugh at yourself and say, "Well, that's just part of this process right now, and I'll get there at some point, but right now I can just be in the process and enjoy it," and it makes that transformation so much simpler. 00:12:58 And one of the things that we feel very strongly about... Well, there's several things, but one of them is that, there's no hurry to grow up, and what's important is that you become very healthy at the stage you're at, especially if you've got a lot of shadow material because you don't want those shadows to grow developmentally too.
Some of them will, some of them will stay down. I mean, shadows have a developmental level, but some of them can grow up into greater shadows and others may stay part of your younger self and that sort of thing, so you have to pay attention to where those shadows rest, but you sure don't want any of them to grow up and be more agile and lively than they already are. So growing up is not really an issue that we're concerned about, but we are concerned about people. When your families and your communities see somebody like you start changing, they're wondering what's going on and they want you to be the way you used to be, and that can put a lot of pressure on a person in a bewildering transformation anyway. So we just want people to be able to know where they are in their own developmental frame and celebrate where they are, do the best they can to just become as healthy as they can where they are, and if they're in a transformation, especially a three parameter transformation, you really want to get some good information about that.
And if you know where you are, you'll probably know where the next stage is going to be so you can be on the lookout for it a little bit more than you would be if you didn't have any sense at all where you were at, so getting to know these developmental stages are really important. Now, you made a good point a few minutes ago about that it's more than just a ladder that you climb up. It really isn't, in our view, it's more like blowing up a balloon. A baby is just a tiny little balloon because they're just born, however, you blow the balloon up and you blow the whole balloon up, but you wouldn't say that the baby's balloon is less valuable than yours is just because it's not blowing up as much.
Every stage is really, really critical and really valuable, and so we celebrate every single stage and I love every one of them, and every one of them have their own imperfections of course, but we live through it and other people live through it, and that's part of the spice of life, I guess, is learning and understanding the areas that we don't see well yet and then growing into those areas.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah. The thing that I've found really interesting is looking at, understanding these stages helped me to better communicate with people because I couldn't... There're many a times I would talk to people and I couldn't understand why they wouldn't get it. I'm like, it's so simple, but it's also that the stage that they're at they're receptive in a certain way and communicating in the way I was doing wasn't effective, and so being able to identify those stages has helped me a lot with my communication with patients, with friends, with family even because you really honor the person for the stage that they're in.
Dr. Terri O'Fallon: Right. You've got it better than a lot of people do. There's a preferred communication approach with every developmental level, and sometimes their preferred approach to communicating isn't at all your favorite one, so that's often why we're like ships passing in the night, we're at different developmental levels. We use our favorite communication style, it doesn't match up with somebody else's, and we make the assumption that they don't understand and they probably are making their same assumption of us, you just don't understand. But basically, it's the capacity of perspective that we can take and the communication approach that we prefer at a perspective that we're at that sometimes causes dissent and disengagement with people when actually, once you understand that, you can see the beauty of what they're saying and they can see the beauty of what you are saying understanding that it's just not my favorite way of communicating, you can listen from new ears.
The Impact of Changing Levels of Human Development On Relationships
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah, I love that. The other thing I wanted to address in that was sometimes the disparity that occurs in couples. At the retreat, this was a topic area that my wife and I wanted to explore in understanding couples that have different levels that they're at and how that works because we saw there were a couple of the participants there that were a bit disenchanted, I guess, because they were progressing into the upper or higher levels. I don't like to use that term, but-
Dr. Terri O'Fallon: No, we just call them later, but it's-
Dr. Dan Stickler: ... later.
Dr. Terri O'Fallon: ... yeah.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Okay. But they were frustrated by it, but then there were others that were very different. I mean, three levels apart even, that they had great relationships, so how does that play out with most people? I mean, is it usually that they do create that loving bond that stays there despite changing levels? Or does it typically fall apart?
Dr. Terri O'Fallon: Well, sometimes it falls apart as a result of, and some matches are more strained than others. For instance, if you have one person in the couple who is at what we call a 0.0 stage, an active stage, and then the other one is in a receptive stage, I mean, it just doesn't... It's a little bit like oil and water, and if you have one person at an earlier 0.0 stage and another person at a later 0.0 stage, you're both flowing along and it works out a little better. Or you have one person that is at a earlier 0.5 stage and a later person at a 0.5 stage, you're both active, so you just can... So it's when we have a more of a laid back receptive experience connected with somebody that's a very active process that we see the most dissension and the biggest trouble.
One of the things that I always like to tell people though is that, it does not matter, and I'm sure you know this because you've been around with your relationship for a while now, nobody ever stays the same and you have to make up your... And once you understand that some things are going to be rough and you can use the model to determine what causes the edgy parts, you'll notice that if one of you moves on into a 0.0 stage and the other one is at a 0.5 stage and you notice discomfort there, you can just look at the model and say, "Oh, that's one reason why one of us is in a completely different mindset when it comes to our view of communication, our view of action or orientation, our view of inter subjectivity, our cognitive approaches, our emotional approaches," so all of those change, and they won't always match.
And this is the beautiful thing about understanding this because you understand at some point they're going to change and they'll be more like you, and then some point you're going to change or you might change and then you'll be more like them. So you have to make a commitment to stay through these niggly times and it does nothing, but making a commitment like that with a perfectly good relationship that just is going through a bump, making a commitment like that, usually in my experience will... It's like it will file off the rough edges, and you learn to love that person even more just because you understand that they're going through a transformation or you love that person more because you are going through a transformation they see you're putting up, they're putting up with you while you're experimenting with all of this.
And many people can't get through that because they think that the changes are forever after change. They don't see that there's probably going to be multiple changes in a relationship over time, and do you have the commitment to stick through those relationships to help each other when they're in a transformation to support them, to be supported? What a difference it makes because when you have two perfectly beautiful people, and especially if they're so young, they don't understand these developmental levels, many, many divorces happen at this, for instance, a 3.5 level, if you've got a 3.0 and a 3.5 together, many happen between a 3.5 and a 4.0. 4.0 just goes through this, it's almost a crazy making time compared to what 3.5 is at, and they do not understand at all. I don't have any statistics on this, but my experience is, that's the time when there's more likely to be a divorce or when you have those kinds of changes.
Dr. Dan Stickler: And we went through, I guess, in the more subtle tiers, I think we moved fairly easily through those in our personal constructs, but it was that three part transition that was so rough, but we had such a great relationship that she would get after me for not being focused on work anymore. We not only do our, we're partners, but we also own businesses together, and she couldn't understand why I had lost all of my drive and motivation, and now she's going through that and I'm like, I understand it all because I just went through it, so it's easy for me to hold that space for her while she's navigating this, and I think it's been a beautiful journey for us.
But one of the things that we talked about in one of our groups at the retreat, we were talking about how the eastern philosophies, eastern religions seem to become more forefront in the latter tiers of the developmental stages. Many, many people that were at that had talked about taking [inaudible 00:25:12] and practicing a lot of the eastern practices. Is this because the eastern practices really tapped into this very early on? Or is it that as we progress through these different stages, do you become more aware of aspects of that philosophy?
The Influence of Later Stages of Human Development on Emotions and Cognition
Dr. Terri O'Fallon: Well, you may have run into more people in the retreat who were in the western or in the eastern traditions, but I have to say that the Christian tradition has that very same. When it grows up, it grows up to the same kind of understanding, and you just have to work with people like Father Thomas Keating, with Meister Eckhart with some of these kinds of saints. There's quite a number of Christians who really, they've stepped into a Buddhism, Hinduism and some of the eastern traditions because it so much matches their own, and I don't know if the eastern traditions tend to move into the Christian mindset either, but one of the things I've noticed is that when you get dissatisfied with your own spiritual path, you tend to glom onto one that's completely different than the one you're in.
And so in the United States, it's a highly Christianized nation by comparison to other traditions, and so I think that they sometimes become very attracted to the eastern traditions, not to say that everyone does that, but I did notice that some of the people who I knew who moved here, who grew up in the eastern traditions, they were embracing Christianity, a totally different path. So I think it's easy to break with the path that we're in when we are fishing around for something that can give us some insights, but if you read Roger Walsh's book, Essential Spirituality, he did a wonderful study on the major religions and how they were significant aspects of all those major religions that are very, very much the same, and so I think you could use any one of them. The thing that you're bringing forward though is that, there's something very important that starts happening at the 4.0 plural stage, and that is for the first time, they bring awareness to things that are not themselves.
It's beyond being self-aware. They become aware of later level cognition and emotions. They become aware of assumptions, for instance. They can pick up assumptions. They go beyond fact and interpretation to looking at an assumption, noticing that there are assumptions, for example, maybe a fact, but it may also be an interpretation, but it is assumption, and then you often take it as a fact or you take it as an interpretation, but assumptions go beyond, but you need to have a level of awareness to see an assumption. You also have to have a level of awareness to see projections, and at 4.0 people can see other folks projecting on them, "Oh, he's just projecting on me. Oh, she's just projecting on me." They don't see when they're projecting on other people yet though, that's the trick there. That happens at the next developmental level, so you need to be aware in order to see this, and awareness is a remarkable capacity, in my view the basis...
One of the most important aspects of the later spiritual states begins at this 4.0 stage. Of course, they can get them at earlier stages too, but in order to become at 4.0, you have to have awareness because the major aspects of that 4.0 stage can't be seen without awareness, and awareness is the T that fits with both the developmental stages of relativity and the spiritual stages, and it fits both. And from then on, it just grows, and along with the developmental stages, you can't actually get into 4.0 until you're aware, for instance...
Well, people don't see their own sub-personalities and their ego states until they're at 4.0. They have to be aware in order to see something that refine in themselves. They don't see their assumptions, they don't see their projections. There's all of these things. They don't see complex adaptive systems. There's so many things they can't see without awareness, awareness on the interior and awareness on the exterior. So awareness is a pivotal point and it's a joiner, and of course, there's a lot of other things that you need to be able to get insight to in order to move towards awakening or even the last stages of development in the stages model, the 6.5 level. But it's a journey at that level at 4.0 and later, the journey is gradually bringing together the states and the stages, and not to say that you can't do that earlier, it's just that you can't get into those later stages without those more advanced states.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah. I have found that the teachings that you've developed have been really helpful for moving through that stuff. I think had I not discovered you in stages, I think I would've been stuck in this stage for quite a while because I didn't understand any aspect of it, and I think that's one of the most valuable things that I have discovered from this. But let's talk a little bit about the assessments. It's an interesting assessment, one I've never taken before, where you use a sentence STEM model for people to complete. And we were at the retreat and you were talking about how many thousands of STEMs you went through and categorized to come up with these 36 STEMs. I was just blown away.
The Developmental Scale of Maturity of Human Consciousness
Dr. Terri O'Fallon: Well, Loevinger and Susanne Cook-Greuter both use the 36 STEM model, but in order to categorize, I went through all of their manuals three or four times in order to categorize them into Ken Wilber's model, and into a scoring system that worked with the connection between those two. And so I was standing on the shoulders of very great people, and all I contributed toward was connecting these two great capacities, philosophies, and I had a lot of help. I certainly didn't do this by myself. But one thing I have, I've had a persistence and a draw for some reason of this whole process, and I think that you really hit on something very, very...
It's not a documented thing yet, but I think you've hit on something when you say it, you might have gotten stuck because one of the things that we know about all of these developmental models is that when you get to teal or as Ken calls it, or 4.5 as we call it or it Loevinger used to, I think she called it integrated and some people have called it strategist, but it's all about the same stage or maybe a few minor differences. But when you get to that stage, you can see that there are developmental levels, and just the very fact that you can see that you've been through a lot of developmental levels, and that every person is in a developmental perspective, you know there are more to come, and so you have the motivation or at least, if not the motivation and the intention to grow vertically, diagonally and horizontally, at least you understand that it's likely to happen anyway because it's already happened to you eight times.
Before that stage though you don't know that, and so if you get stuck, let's say that you have a big awakening experience and you manage to do a good job of waking up as completely as anybody knows at the 4.0 stage, 4.0 stage doesn't know their developmental levels yet. And so what motivation or what insights would they have towards learning more from a developmental perspective, would there be? So I think some people, I think it is a possibility that stuckness could happen, especially for particular stages they don't understand how we grow up vertically. We grow up like a balloon, but you don't want to have a flat balloon. You want to have a big round balloon that's vertical and horizontal and diagonal and a nice round balloon. You don't want a skinny balloon laying on the ground.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah.
Dr. Terri O'Fallon: So you want to blow your whole balloon up, and then eventually the balloon disappears and you find your everything and nothing as some people say.
Dr. Dan Stickler: I can tell you, I find that the people at these later levels, their loving nature of them from a collective aspect is mind blowing. I mean, all of the people that I met at the conference and at the retreat were people that you just develop instant friendships with, and a lot of people will look at consciousness levels more from a knowing or intellectual standpoint, but that emotional, that empathetic, I mean, as I've gone into later levels, my emotions came online which is something that I had constructed myself to not really display emotions and to be that masculine person that my father and that generation really emphasize as far as not paying attention to the emotions, and that came on for me pretty strong and meeting a bunch of people that also were experiencing that was really valuable for me.
Dr. Terri O'Fallon: So your senses grow up and that includes the emotional, the visual, the auditory, the kinesthetic or the primary ones I think, and so your reflective capacities get much greater. They grow up into a witnessing capacity that is far, far greater than anything that you can get at an earlier level. The kinesthetic emotional aspects also grow up. Energetically, you can feel much finer vibratory aspects as time goes on. You can feel the aliveness in your own body even though at times you don't know where your body begins and something else ends, so you become much larger in your own liveliness. And then you would tune to people with your listening capacities and your speaking capacities so that you can attune to the other person that you're talking to, and you feel a resonance there in that and the right words come out. Also, the right listening, and some people advanced, that are at earlier levels of development because of some background that they've had. They can grow these capacities up faster.
I know that my mother was the best attuner I've ever met. She seldom said a word, but people could speak into her listening and her listening was so powerful that she didn't say a word, and when they got done talking to her, they'll say, "Oh, thank you so much. I'm so glad, you helped me figure this out," and she didn't say a word. I experienced that many, many times, and some people get very, very good at these, but the tendency when you start moving into the metaware tier is to get better at them, and it doesn't mean you're not going to fall flat on your face from time to time, it just happens.
Even the best of us and the most mature people have their bumps in the road. It's just a part of human life and you have to love it, but these capacities, the sensory capacities and the emotional capacities really, really continue and grow and change, and especially love and compassion, the positive energies, the positive emotions really can start. 00:40:52 Emotions like love and compassion start at a very early developmental level, but they grow up all our lives. It doesn't matter how late we are developmentally or how realized we are in our spiritual life, those emotions extend a farther and farther reach. It's less and less about me, more and more about the we, or other people, and we just don't know the depths to where these emotions can go and the positive ripple it has on everyone around us.
How to Choose Which STAGES Assessment Is Right for You
Dr. Dan Stickler: Yeah. I know a lot of people are going to want to look into getting this assessment after hearing this, so when you go to stagesinternational.com, there's a link to order an assessment. Now, you have two there though, you have the personal assessment and then you have the leadership assessment. What would make one person choose one over the other?
Dr. Terri O'Fallon: Well, let me start with the leadership one. It has six STEMs in it that relate to your leadership, and in that test you get a sub test. The first test, there's enough there to let you know what your personal developmental level is, but you also can see what your leadership level is like, and some people that are in business or consulting and that sort of thing, would like to have some insight into that, so that's good. The other one is more just looking at your personal... We have some STEMs in that one where you can get some insights into leadership as well, but not as many, and we haven't verified the STEMs as much as we have. We've got statistical grounding in the six stems that we have in the leadership inventory, so you actually get two inventories there, the personal and the leadership.
But the other one is mostly about, what we like to do is have... We understand that we are giving people an opportunity to use their own words, not somebody else's words, which happens so much when you have forced choice or all of these quicker assessments. It takes us a while to score these, but we want to see what is your own personal interpretation here and not somebody else's words about it or interpretation, what are your words? We have 36 sentences that can evoke your response in these 36 different contexts, and we've categorized those sentence STEMs in four areas. One are your interiors which include emotional and your cognitive. Another is your action orientation, what are you doing in the world and how is your internal and interior and exterior behavior. The third one is your inner subjectivity, how you relate with other people, and the fourth area is, what kind of structures are you recognizing because that makes a big difference as to your capacity to see larger parts of the world.
Are you seeing only the humanity or are you starting to see the interconnection of all of the planetary aspects? Are you seeing the universe? Those are all structural aspects. So we look to see if there's balance there because one of the most important things, and there are some ways that we can see people's shadows, some of your people's shadows will come out in some of those areas. So the important thing is that we do the best that we can to show people based on the research that we know about balancing their emotions with their cognitive capacities, about balancing all four of those interiors, action orientation, inter subjectivity, relationships with other people and the structural aspects of the whole. Are you anemic in some of those areas? Are some of them completely missing or are you muscle bound in some of the areas that's where you're good, but you're too good because they're overwhelming the other areas?
We look for as much a perfect balance as we can, and once we do the audit on your STEMs, the scoring and the audit, then we come up with the recommendations based on making that stage that you scored at as strong as it can be, as healthy as it can be, taking care of any shadow elements we see, taking care of any imbalances that we see, and then you don't have to ever worry about developing to the next stage because when you're in balance, it just happens naturally. You just naturally grow up into the next, you blow your balloon up a little bit bigger when you're balanced, so that's the way we look at it. We take a great deal of time and attention with these particular inventories. We've got some that are a little faster, but they don't give you this information, so that's a little bit of a sketch of the inventory itself. I hope it's been helpful for you, Dan.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Oh yeah. I mean, this whole thing, there's courses offered on the stages international site too, and my wife and I both signed up for the 12 month Mind's Eye which has been huge for us. I mean, to be able to look back at your constructs of yourself at different stages and really identifying those has been pretty amazing, and the deconstructing of stealth on several of these layers as well. But I mean, it's hugely valuable.
Even just one of the things we were talking about was for parents and in the way that they interact with their children, knowing what those characteristics are of the stage that child's in. It doesn't do you any good to, and it can be detrimental by relating to them at a stage that they're not there yet, so we want to incorporate some of this into our medical practice because we do a lot of preconception and birth planning and early years of life, so that's been valuable as well. I'm in such gratitude for having met you and what you've created, and I want to share this with as many people as possible because it's been so transformative for me and others that have gone through it.
Dr. Terri O'Fallon: Well, I appreciate this so much, Dan. And of course, one of the things that is always so important is to recognize that we were socially constructed by parents who didn't know they were doing the social construction, but we also are socially constructing other people, so now we know that we can learn to adapt our behavior to the best hopes and dreams of the person we're around so that we don't cause harm to them because sometimes parents cause harm to their children and they don't know it. They have their favorite parenting style and they don't know that that style is not appropriate.
For instance, a two year old, it's great for a birth or it's not appropriate for a teenager, and it can still be the favorite parenting style, so you learn to adapt and adjust and then maybe when you're raising your children, you have a better idea of what can help them stay healthy through those stages. There's so many just little ways like that we can just try to understand so we won't do harm because nobody, a very few people intend to do harm. It's just the inadvertent, I call it little ignorances that we have along the way that prevent us from giving the best of what we have to people.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Well, again, thank you so much, and I appreciate you taking the time today to sit for this interview. I know you've had a very busy two weeks here, so get some rest and I guess, I'll see you Thursday night.
Dr. Terri O'Fallon: See you Thursday. Thank you so much, Dan.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Thank you.
Dr. Terri O'Fallon: All right, bye.
Dr. Dan Stickler: Bye.