Weinholds LOVEvolution logoDevelopmental Systems Theory (DST)is an integrative metatheory that draws from and integrates many other theories, sources and research related to human development. We combine specific contributions from these areas in a unique way to anchor our research on the LOVEvolution and Developmental Trauma Tracks of human development within a body of scientific knowledge.

DST includes psychodynamic and developmental theories, Family Systems Theory, Object Relations Theories, Transpersonal & Humanistic Theories, Mindells’ Global Process Work, MacLean’s Triune Brain Theory, and Kegan’s Stages of Consciousness. It also integrates the fields of traumatology, pre- and perinatal psychology, bioenergetics,  psychobiology, brain research, bioenergetics,.

We also draw on Bruce Lipton’s model of fractal evolution and his innovative concepts of cellular consciousness, conscious parenting, and electromagnetic medicine; Porges & Carter’s Polyvagal Theory; and Allen Schore’s Theory of Affect Regulation.

Our Four Stage Model of Development

Developmental Systems Theory is a framework for understanding how humans evolve as a species. We discovered that couples, families, groups, organizations and nation-states and the human species as whole, follow the four same stages of development that individuals follow: codependence, counterdependence, independence and interdependence.

systems-theoryEach stage contains essential developmental processes that must be completed in order for an individual, couple, family, group, organization or nation-state to move on to the next stage. The most critical factor in our model is making sure that children are able to complete these processes on time and in a healthy family environment. Then they are able to move forward in their development.

To degree to which children are able to complete these developmental processes determines the course of their lives. Children who are loved unconditionally are able to give and receive love. So they are able to evolve.

Children who experience trauma carry baggage involving unmet needs that puts them on the Trauma Track of development. Their residue of trauma and unmet needs emerge later in life as issues with addictions, codependency and counterdependency issues, relational instability, twisted beliefs, post-traumatic stress disorder and a susceptibility to con artists.


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