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What is Meta Dynamics™ Coaching?

Meta Dynamics™ is a research-based thinking model designed to help us become conscious of, tune into, and accept all aspects of ourselves, as we make the changes we want to make to help us have a more fulfilling, meaningful, and purposeful life. Meta Dynamics™, like so much in this field, borrows from other modalities, including self-regulation theory, neuro linguistic programming, neuroscience, compassionate mindfulness, coaching, attachment theory, internal family systems, positive psychology, self-determination theory, and adult learning and development models.

Created by Remi Pearson in 2013, Meta Dynamics™ was created first and foremost to help coaches see their clients as whole, as having a Past, a Now, and a Future, and to focus in on the aspects of a client’s experience that make the most difference – our mindset, our categories of experience that we attend to (or neglect), our actions (or non-actions), and who we interact with (and how). By focusing on these four dimensions (the Critical Alignment Model), we can build, explore and impact in positive ways the key elements of our experience.

“Meta Dynamics™ helps us to focus in on the four main dimensions of human experience – why we care, and within this how we think, believe, value, and feel; what we focus on (and exclude from our focus), what we do about what we care about (and won’t do); and who we relate with and the quality of these relationships. The four dimensions provide a focus for us that tunes into the differentiators that are the difference that makes the difference.” Remi Pearson, Creator of Meta Dynamics™

Meta Dynamics™ coaching is taught exclusively here at the International Coaching Institute, and provides you with a research-based coaching methodology that gives a sound foundation for how to help the client become conscious of, tune into, and nurture aspects of themselves that they have neglected, and to embody their essential nature.

The Meta Dynamics™ coaching methodology – called the Critical Alignment Model – is a universal thinking model, which means it can be utilised by the coach in all contexts – it is a cross contextual thinking model. It proposes and works from the assumption that we have four major dimensions to all experience, and that if we are aware of, understand, bring into consciousness, focus on, and update what we attend to within these four dimensions, we improve our experience of life.

The Critical Alignment Model (CAM) is based on four dimensions:

Environment –

Our purpose, our goals, our values, our standards, our beliefs, and our attitude

Structure –

Our categories of experience, how we measure progress, and what we attend to (or neglect)

Implementation –

What we are willing and prepared to do (or not do), how we approach what we do, and what we neglect that is costing us fulfilment

People –

Who we have around us, who we turn to when we need comfort or reassurance, our sources of support (or lack), and how we support others

Click here to claim your free 'Getting Started as a Life Coach Gift Pack' to learn more about Meta Dynamics™ and the evidence-based coaching models taught at International Coaching Institute

These four dimensions of experience provide a complete, cross-contextual map of our experience of ourselves and our world. Drawing on the most important concept in coaching, therapy, neuro linguistic programming, and neuroscience – the map is not the territory – this methodology provides ample space for the coach to explore, bring to life, and help the client embody their whole selves, rather than shutting down, suppressing, neglecting, or denying aspects of themselves (and thus feeling inauthentic).

The D.A.R.E. Model for Coaching

The Critical Alignment Model’s four dimensions form the foundation for the coaching session. You can download the full D.A.R.E. Coaching Model here for free.

D.A.R.E. is an acronym: D: Design; A: Access; R: Realise; E: Evolve.


This is where the coach helps the client to design their ideal outcome. It is based on the first dimension of the Critical Alignment Model (CAM), Environment. The coach and the client explore the client’s ideal outcome, what their beliefs are about this attaining this goal, what standards and habits they would need if this was a reality, and explore how the client will know they have achieved their goal (what would be different).


This is where the coach and client explore the resources the client will need, already has, and will need to get to attain their desired outcome. This is based on the second dimension of the CAM Model, Structure. The coach and client explore the client’s strengths, models of excellence they can study or turn to, and what the indicators of the desired outcome may be.


This is when the coach and client dive into bringing the goal to life through actions, or through letting go of thoughts and behaviours that are not useful or even harmful to the client. This is based on the third dimension of the CAM Model, Implementation. The coach and client explore the desired thoughts, beliefs, and actions that would align with this goal becoming reality.


This is the coach and client exploring the inner world of the client, as all change occurs within us before there is any evidence of the change in our actions. The coach explores with the client what they are anticipating learning from this journey, how they may grow, and what would make the journey worthwhile, regardless of whether they attain the goal or not.


This coaching model is an extension of, and deeper exploration of the client’s goals and aspirations for themselves than the standard G.R.O.W. model of coaching used by most coaches and developed by Whitmore in the 1980’s (1). As Grant suggests in the paper Is it time to REGROW the GROW model?(2), the G.R.O.W. model is limited and can create disjointed coaching sessions. The D.A.R.E. model addressed this fully in the first dimension, Design.

The D.A.R.E. model ensures the coaching conversation is solution-focused, with research showing that a problem-focused coaching session can feel good for the client, however more progress is made when the conversation is solution-focused (3).

Click here to claim your free 'Getting Started as a Life Coach Gift Pack' to learn more about Meta Dynamics™ and the evidence-based coaching models taught at International Coaching Institute

Research References:

  1. Whitmore, J. (1996). Coaching for performance. N. Brealey Pub..

  2. Grant, A. M. (2011). Is it time to REGROW the GROW model? Issues related to teaching coaching session structures. The Coaching Psychologist, 7(2), 118-126.

  3. Grant, A. M., & O'Connor, S. A. (2010). The differential effects of solution‐focused and problem‐focused coaching questions: a pilot study with implications for practice. Industrial and Commercial Training.