What is Voice Dialogue?
Voice Dialogue is the method developed by notable husband and wife psychologists, teachers and authors Drs Hal and Sidra Stone that enables you to become aware of and to embrace the various parts of your psyche – your selves.
Voice Dialogue and its theoretical base, The Psychology of Selves and of the Aware Ego Process, is rooted in Jungian psychology. Hal was a Jungian Analyst, while Sidra’s thinking was influenced by Hermann Hesse and Nikos Kazantzakis. When Hal and Sidra embarked on their lives together – both personally and professionally – Voice Dialogue and the Psychology of Selves was born.
Read Sidra Stone’s article on the origins of Voice Dialogue.
What Will Voice Dialogue Do For You?
Most people regard themselves – in fact experience themselves – as one person, with consistent values, perspectives and needs. But we now know that each of us is really a mix of selves, each with its own characteristics, values and rules. (Various psychotherapeutic systems work with selves, including Gestalt and Internal Family Systems therapy.)
We are in contact with some of our selves, and when we think about it we can see them operating in our lives. While other selves have been relegated to the unconscious and affect our lives without us being aware of their influence.
These selves include your Vulnerable Inner Child and Playful Child, the Pleaser, the Critic, the Selfish Self, the Spiritual Self, the Rational Mind, the inner Mother or Father, the Responsible Self, the Spontaneous Self, the Creative Self, the Romantic, the Practical Self, the Visionary, the Rebel, and many more. (Which Self Are You? gives you an overview of 45 selves.)
- When you become aware of and listen to the different parts of you, and you learn about their concerns and how they influence you, you gain a deeper insight into your behaviour, feelings and life choices.
- You start to realise which selves are running your life – including your relationships, career choices and goals in general – and which selves do not get much say.
- As your awareness of the various selves within you grows, you develop the ability to make increasingly conscious choices, rather than acting – or reacting – from habit.
- This process of growing awareness and of embracing often very opposite selves within your own psyche develops a more centred and inclusive sense of who you are.
- You become more aware of all the aspects of your humanity, be they spiritual, instinctual, materially-focused, service-oriented, emotional, rational, parental, or childlike.
Which Self Are You?
Discover which selves are within you now: the Pleaser, Inner Critic, Perfectionist, Responsible Parent, Achiever, Warrior, Romantic, Spiritual Seeker, Procrastinator, Joker, Adventurer, Princess, Creative, Vulnerable Child?Details Here
Manage Your Energy Field
Voice Dialogue involves work with your energy field. Each self has a particular energy or ‘feel’ and it is helpful to become aware of the energy you express and how to manage it; for example, learning to use warm, personal energy and cooler, impersonal energy more consciously in your relationships, setting healthy boundaries, and managing how you connect with others.
Understand Your Relationships
Voice Dialogue also gives you a framework for understanding how relationships work. It includes work with the positive and negative bonding patterns that are like blueprints for how people relate to each other.
When you start to become conscious of the selves that have been running your life and integrate those that have been left out, a consciousness process within you is ignited that’s known as the Aware Ego Process. It is a state of consciousness, an I-am-ness, that can exist between opposite selves. It is not awareness, or the witness state, as experienced in meditation. It involves awareness but it also involves the embodied experience of the selves. The Drs Stone have called it the Aware Ego .