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AQAL

AQAL [pronunciation: ah-qwal] is a term coined by Ken Wilber, and it stands for “all quadrants, all levels, all lines, all states, all types.” It is a basis of Wilber’s current version of Integral Metatheory and Practice. Wilber’s work has attracted a lot of interest internationally, and practitioners and researchers of this AQAL-based Integral approach can be found on awarenow platform, from different countries of the world.

The basic idea of the AQAL approach can be summarized as follows: Any given modality, if it aims at being truly holistic or comprehensive, must enact or at least take into account all these elements and factors (i.e., the four quadrants, all developmental levels, all developmental lines, all states, all types). Usually, less-than-integral approaches focus only on one or two elements. 

All these parameters taken as a whole are also known as “the AQAL matrix.” Simultaneous awareness and enactment of the full AQAL matrix is the essence of Wilber’s Integral vision and is known as Integral Methodological Pluralism. 

This Integral—that is, comprehensive, non-reductionistic and wholeness-based—approach can be applied to any human discipline—not just psychology and psychotherapy but also business, economy, politics, ecology, spirituality, etc.

The AQAL matrix (mainly applied to Integral Psychology and Integral Psychotherapy) includes: 

• all quadrants (four fundamental dimensions of reality: interior subjective self/consciousness; internal intersubjective culture/relationships; exterior objective brain/organism; exterior inter-objective social systems/environment); 

• all levels—or “waves”—of development (pre-rational to rational to trans-rational; pre-conventional to conventional to post-conventional; body to mind to spirit, etc.—see the psychology of Adult Development); 

• all developmental lines—or “streams” (multiple intelligences which include cognitive intelligence, emotional intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, spiritual intelligence, somatic intelligence, etc.);

• all states of consciousness and being (the varieties of ordinary and non-ordinary mental states, from gross to subtle to causal to witnessing to non-dual; in terms of brain and physiology it is the dynamism of mind and physiological states); 

• all types of personality and events (in terms of human beings it is various typological differences, such as sex, gender, personality type, etc.);

• and self (that is which navigates, grows through and makes sense of all these various factors).

In other words, any truly holistic—or “Integral”—psychology, and any genuinely Integral psychologist or psychotherapist for that matter, must take into account all these quadrants, levels, lines, states, types, and self in their dynamics. 

Thus, AQAL-based psychologies and therapies may utilize—and expand—knowledge of classical theories of psychological functioning (such as shadow formation and treatment), vertical adult development, spiritual models of consciousness evolution, embodiment theories and practices (often including subtle/bioenergetic approaches), use of mindfulness meditation and altered states of consciousness as methods of awareness cultivation as well as therapeutic intervention, application of both alternative and biomedical methods of healing (especially when in the context of Integral Medicine), neuroscientific discoveries, and so on. 

See also: Integral Psychology, Integral Psychotherapy, Integral Meditation.

This entry was written initially for the awarenow wiki.

Author:

Eugene Pustoshkin https://awarenow.io/eugene

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Melissa Álvarez Mangual, Ed.D., CDE, ACC
I cultivate bravery and strategic action in people to be inclusive and equitable leaders who shift organizational culture and practices. I coach leaders to lead inclusively & equitably, with emotional intelligence, so they achieve or exceed their goals; BIPOC/womxn leaders to navigate the complexity of identity in the workplace and achieve their personal and professional goals; and leaders who are parents working to balance career ambition and passion while being present and engaged with their children.
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Coaching: Executive; Inclusive, BIPOC & Women's Leadership
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LORNA WESTON-SMYTH
I specialize in leadership development and communication, turning around culture and teams for mid-sized organizations. I model every concept that I coach and train on. I roll up my sleeves and get dirty, working with your team and your business. I will not bring your people to my classroom and subject them to some franchised, pre-prepared, one-size-fits-all, canned content. As Allen Weiss said, you don’t want a ski coach who sits in the lodge sipping brandy and talking ski theory. You want someone who grabs you and says follow me down the hill. I’ve been leading people and teams for years in the hardest arena there is – VOLUNTEERS. You don’t have a pay cheque to hold over their heads so it takes real influence to lead them where you want to go. If you are looking to improve the babysitting skills of your managers, I’m not the one you want. You only want me if you are serious about increasing the leadership skills of your managers and their teams.
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