5 Stages of Emotional Development

"How does the emotional healing process work?," is a common question I am asked by people entering their transformative journey.  I wrote this piece as a sort of roadmap for the emotional healing and transformation process.  

The 5 Stages of Emotional Development is a conceptual foundation for the growth process my clients experience on their path toward personal freedom, empowerment, and self-realization.  While these phases are not so clearly delineated in an individual's actual healing journey, it is helpful to distinctly identify them to understand the process.

Stage 1: Acute

When most people first find me, they are at some type of breaking point where they just can’t deal with ______________ (fill in the blank) any longer.  This is what I call Stage 1 or the “Acute Stage.”  It depends upon how severe someone’s acute situation is, but usually I can help move someone to a place of greater ease and less stress pretty quickly (usually within the first few treatments).

Often when moving beyond the Acute Stage, people report feeling better than they’ve felt in a long time (or in their entire life).  The danger here, because people can feel such relief, is in quitting the work before addressing the underlying “Stage 2” work that put you in the Acute Stage to begin with.

Stage 2: Clearing

Stage 2 work is clearing the backlog in your emotional closet.  This is the stuff that animates most of the problems in your life.  Moving through this will allow you to start to operate on an entirely new level.  This stage of the healing is the bulk of the “clearing” part of our work and paves the way for the “building” part — which undertake in Stage 3.

The duration of the Stage 2 “Clearing Stage” will depend entirely upon what is available to clear from your system.  You might be surprised at how much you have “taken on” in your system that has nothing to do with who you really are!

Stage 3: Authentic Self

Stage 3 is where things get very exciting.  They way I like to describe this is in reference to a “baseline” of zero.  Everything up until this point was “below the baseline” — clearing negativity from your system.  When we we enter Stage 3, we start getting into fostering the “true you” coming forward into life.  Stage 3 is about birthing the Authentic Self.

I never cease to be awe struck as I enter Stage 3 of the healing with a client.  Despite how many different people there are on this planet, every single one, when expressing his or her authentic self, is completely unique.  To see that unique light begin to shine through more and more is truly stunning and the wonder that drives my passion for this important work.

Stage 4: Refining Your Gifts

In Stage 4, you take the “new you” that we have been birthing and start to figure out how it works — like learning to fly with your brand new wings!  Much of the work that happens here has to do with expanding out your sense of self into new, uncharted territory.

This is a big growth phase that can be fun, expansive and scary at the same time.  Here we challenge and move beyond concepts of “upper limits” in terms of what you, your family, your community, and your culture thought you were/are capable of.  We are stretching the concepts of human potential.

Stage 5: Mastery & Leadership

In Stage 5, you know who you are, you have learned to use your gifts and you are now beginning to make your unique contribution to the world and to life.  When you are truly living your purpose in an empowered way, things start to happen in your presence — long-standing conflicts easily become resolved, people start to open up in new ways, incredible opportunities present themselves, you feel life pouring through you — the word “grace” takes on a whole new meaning.

This phase of mastery and leadership is the opus of this work and, in my opinion, a key reason we are all here on this planet — to become self-realized.