Unique Self Institute

Marc Gafni and Terri O’Fallon
in Dialogue


In this insightful dialogue which is more mutual inquiry than simply intellectual conversation, Dr. Terri O’Fallon and Dr. Marc Gafni explore the relationship between Unique Self and levels of ego-maturity. In contrast to Marc’s dialogues with Don Beck, which rely upon the Spiral Dynamics Integral framework, this dialogue references the Leadership Developmental Framework (LDF) based on the methodology of Jane Loevinger and Susanne Cook-Greuter among others.

The LDF scale is an ego maturity developmental assessment tool, and the dialogue explores the ways in which Unique Self may appear up and down the scale. “I suspect that the Unique Self asserts itself at every level in a different way,” says O’Fallon. Distinguishing between Unique Self’s expressions as both states and structures of consciousness allows O’Fallon and Gafni to look at the ways in which the Unique Self is relevant not only to people at advanced levels of development — Indigo altitude or Magician stage — but for people at virtually any developmental station.

Near the end of the dialogue, Marc inquires about the reasons why his Unique Self teaching meets resistance among some people at high levels of development. “People at green [altitude / Individualist] have an aversion to Unique Self because they confuse Unique Self and ego,” owing to “an inability to hold hierarchy and allow natural meritocracies to emerge,” Marc says. In response, Terri observes that Unique Self may be something “grasped a bit better” by persons at some stages rather than others, potentially receiving a more favorable uptake by persons at “late Achiever, Strategist /yellow / teal, and late Magician.”

About Terri O’Fallon

Terri O’Fallon, PhD is an Integral scholar whose research spans 40 years, including eleven research studies conducted in various colleges, public schools, and private research venues. Her most recent theory, and the culmination of a lifetime of work, is the STAGES model of human development. STAGES integrates several developmental models and is informed by Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory and Terri’s own research, to form a robust and predictive map that is being used by numerous scholars, practitioners, and leaders throughout the world.