What is Voice Dialogue?
Voice Dialogue is a method for self-exploration that enables you to become aware of and give voice to the various parts of your psyche.
These parts are called inner selves, sub-personalities or selves.
Your selves may include the Pleaser, Perfectionist, Inner Critic, Responsible Parent, Achiever, Warrior, Worrier, Romantic, Spiritual Seeker, Procrastinator, Joker, Adventurer, Princess, Creative, Playful Child, Rebel, Patriarch, the Wise self, and the Vulnerable Inner Child.
The Disney Pixar movie Inside Out portrays selves as emotions, such as Joy, Anger and Sadness.
The term ‘Voice Dialogue’ is also used to refer to the theory that attends the Voice Dialogue process: The Psychology of Selves, also known as The Psychology of the Aware Ego.
Many well-known self-development teachers and psychotherapeutic systems have been influenced by The Psychology of Selves and use aspects of it in their own work.
But Voice Dialogue was developed by American husband and wife psychologists, teachers and authors Drs Hal and Sidra Stone.
You can read Sidra Stone’s article on the origins of Voice Dialogue here.
What Makes Voice Dialogue Unique?
Although other psychotherapeutic systems work with selves, such as Gestalt and Internal Family Systems therapy, and some personal development teachers deal with particular selves, such as the Inner Critic and Inner Child, only Voice Dialogue accepts the selves as real and doesn’t attempt to change any self or regard any one self as more worthy or valid than any other.
Instead, with Voice Dialogue you listen to and honour each self for who and what it is. You also develop the ability to feel the energetic nature of each self, and so you become sensitive to how the selves operate within you on an energetic level.
You begin a process where as your awareness of your selves grows, you can unhook from the selves that you have been identified with and find the ability to sit between opposite selves – and to accept both. This process is called the Aware Ego Process.
What Will Voice Dialogue Do For You?
- 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.
- Your relationships transform as you realise that your judgements about others hold important lessons about yourself, and that your selves bond with the selves in other people in predictable patterns.
- You learn to use the energies the selves hold, such as warm, personal energy and cool, impersonal energy, and you can more easily set healthy boundaries and manage how you connect with others.