Understanding behaviour and promoting development in a targeted way:

7 stages of development


If we look at our own development through the lens of the 7 stages of development, an exciting view is revealed. Many everyday problems – such as learning difficulties and behavioural blockades – can be found in them. In order to access our full potential and develop our own competence to act, we need all 7 stages well integrated.

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Stage 1

noun Fish 37044 1fish

This stage stands for basic security, basic trust. This is the foundation stone for the development of self-confidence, self-assurance, the ability to love and also to be able to pass on this love. Negative experiences show themselves in the refusal to grow up and in fears for the future. Aimlessness or dreamy attending the school lessons are behaviours for this stage.


The basis for our self-confidence


At birth, the early brain stage of the fish is dominant. This explains the one-dimensionality and the typical rolling movements of an infant. These movements activate the growth of that brain centre from which the amphibian and reptilian part of development then emerges. We learn through movement. This creates the necessary networks in the brain.

Stage 2

amphibian  noun Frog 37044

This level stands for experiential security, the joy of experience. That is why curiosity is the focus here. Discovering and getting to know new things is what drives our development. This stage influences enthusiasm and motivation. It is the next step towards two-dimensionality.


We learn because we are curious


A blockade in this stage often shows itself through shyness, "not daring to do anything". But being shy is not a bad thing, it means being able to protect yourself. However, a good balance is needed between the two poles. On the one hand, to go on a journey of discovery and on the other hand, to be able to withdraw again.

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Stage 3

noun reptile2 37044the reptile

The 'reptilian brain', our cerebellum, is instinct-driven. It acts and reacts according to its needs and is part of survival for the reptile. But those who are trapped at this level have no way of recognising feelings. For humans, the 'reptilian brain' often shows itself through aggressive and hyperactive behaviour or it slows down, whereby the ability to react is inhibited.


The strength is to be found in serenity


At this level, body confidence is trained. This is about getting started in a flash and pausing to concentrate your strength. That is the bridge that is being built between these two polarities. It's about the conscious control of physical strength – our mainspring for life.

Blockades at this stage show up in concentration problems, stubbornness, bed wetting, biting, being over-excited or not being able to get going. This is especially important for parents to understand. To verbally confront a child who shows these blockades shows little chance of success.

Stage 4

noun panther2 37044the mammal

This stage stands for the development of emotional security, self-control. Emotions are perceived consciously. The development into three-dimensionality, such as forward/backward, right/left, up/down begins.


That scares me


Who doesn't know this? Stomach ache before school or before certain exams or situations... actions are evaluated emotionally. Positive and negative experiences determine our behaviour. They control closeness and distance to other people and are responsible for the way we react.


This stage is about the correct assessment of situations that are consciously controlled by feelings. In doing so, one can experience oneself as a doer or as a person affected. A blockade becomes apparent when only one of these perspectives is available. Learning blockades, confusing right and left, nervousness, black-outs and fears can be assigned to this stage.

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Stage 5

noun monkey 37044the monkey

In this stage, movement in three-dimensional space is developed and matured. A monkey climbs and jumps from top to bottom, forwards and backwards, from left to right. This physical mobility is largely responsible for thinking in three-dimensional space. The qualities of this stage are a sense of balance and coordination, which in turn are the prerequisites for optimal learning.


Psychological stability develops


An integrated 'monkey stage' is the condition for language development and also has positive effects for humans on memory as well as the re-recording of information. Our individuality and group consciousness mature at this stage. The focus is on the purpose of the action. The skills to be able to proceed in a targeted manner and to have an overview of certain situations develop.


If the behavioural bandwidth of this level is available, a free choice can be made between independence and adaptation in the group. One's own team competence is acquired. Bullying, class clowning, when one is not good at something, not participating - these are behaviours that point to this level.


Puberty and the Monkey


Especially during puberty, the 'monkey' in the brain is loose: the brain has an enormous growth spurt. It is about rebuilding and sorting out existing connections. Emotional outbursts and volatility are on every day's agenda.

Stage 6

the prehistoric mannoun prehist 37044

At this level, the ability to communicate is trained. The development of linguistic expression and fine motor skills play an important role. Language becomes a means to an end and fosters self-esteem. Contacts are formed through language, relationships are established. The development of fine motor skills leads to abilities that can be used in a targeted manner.


I am who I am.
But who am I actually?


If this 6th brain developmental stage is not fully developed or well integrated, this becomes noticeable above all through deficits in the linguistic area, such as a lack of expressive ability, difficulties in building relationships or the difficulty in solving conflicts verbally.

Insensitive behavior or the use of physical strength are often attempts to resolve conflicts that verbally fail. Strength must not be avoided, it must be translated into language.


Personality development has a lot to do with finding one's own rhythm. If the language is not available for expressing yourself, the body is used for it.

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Stage 7

noun modern 37044modern man

The human stage embodies the optimal use of intellect and feeling with the integration of the entire personality: testimony of a mature self-awareness. This would be the ideal situation. 


My personality is found


Personality development is therefore the most important event of this stage: only through it, it is possible to establish a balance between understanding and compassion.


However, our 'I' has no innate core, but is a fragile construct that has to be constantly kept in balance. The integration of all evolutionary stages is important, because an unstable core carries only a light construction in the upper floor.