content: What is Voice dialogue?

Voice Dialogue development started in 1972 with Hal and Sidra Stone encounter and still continues to evolve. It is used by individuals for their own personal growth and by professionals in the fields of psychotherapy, counseling, personal coaching, bodywork, and business & organizational consulting.

Practicing Voice Dialogue means embracing more and more of our selves and developing an Aware Ego, thus empowering us in life, in our professions, and in our relationships.


The Psychology of Selves

The Voice Dialogue approach is based on the psychology of selves; the idea that a person is made up of not one, but a large number of selves, also called subpersonalities or parts. Hal and Sidra's first realization was that the selves inside us behave like real people and that they have to be treated with the greatest respect. If they sens that they are judged in any way or manipulated in any way, they withdraw.
The Psychology of Selves provides a clear explanation of how the selves operate in our life and how they keep us from realizing our full potential. The selves determine the way we see the world, control our behavior, and limit our choices. We are more than any one of our individual selves. They come into existence as the result of one's experiences and constitute a system of primary and disowned selves. We identify with our primary selves, and reject the disowned selves. The different selves are really very different kinds of energetic configurations e.g.Someone walks into a room and you can feel the presence of the person. He or she is expanded. There is a feeling that the body extends out much further than the actual physical body. Another person feels totally contracted. You can feel their shyness or fear or sense of awkwardness and the resulting energetic contraction is palpable. We are constantly engaged in these energetic exchanges in life.
In Voice Dialogue we work directly on an energetic level with individuals and their selves

The Awareness model and the Aware Ego Process

The Ego is often described as the executive function of the psyche. It is the 'I' that we refer to when we talk about ourselves. This all-powerful Ego is, in fact, a group of primary selves that together run our lives and rule the personality without anyone knowing it. It can be the Rational Mind, the Pusher, the Pleaser, the Responsible Parent, the Independent One, the Rebel, it is whatever it is that we think we are, it is whichever selves are running our lives. This group of selves is called the 'Operating Ego' in Voice Dialogue.
According to Hal and Sidra Stone , one of the most important element in Voice Dialogue is the development of the Aware Ego process. The Aware Ego is an ideal central place that can be experienced by sitting between polarities: not identified with primary selves any more, and at the same time, knowing and integrating the opposite disowned selves. Awareness is the first level of the Aware Ego Process. It gives us the ability to step back and see the big picture. It does not act. It is not attached to outcome.
The Aware Ego is not a place to be reached finally and definitively, it is an ongoing process of experience. One might be well centred in the middle between two opposites, and the next day hit a situation or question where there is no middle at all. And this is normal! The Aware Ego Process is never finished!

The Vulnerability

In Voice Dialogue, when we talk about vulnerability or the vulnerable inner child we are not talking about weakness but about the basic sensitivity of all human beings.
If we are not aware of our own vulnerability and we don't take care of it consciously, we will unconsciously place our sensitivities and needs in the hands of others and - in the deepest sense - we are very vulnerable in life.Discovering and caring for one's own vulnerability is key in Voice Dailogue as it is indispensable for anyone who wants the freedom of choice in life. It is also the very foundation for a good relationship.

The Selves in Relationships: The Theory of Bonding Patterns

Voice Dialogue gives a map for working with the selves in relationships, whether they are relationships between a man and a woman, between two people of the same sex, between parents and children, between employers and employees, and even between two strangers meeting for the first time.
As Hal and Sidra Stone studied the rhythms of relationships, they discovered certain predictable patterns. They called them 'bonding patterns' - automatic parent/child interactions between pairs of selves that exist within two people. Because it is a pair of selves, and not the people, who are interacting, there is little choice available to the individuals involved.
Working with Voice Dialogue in relationships means establishing an Aware Ego within the relation. Each partner is invited to integrate the disowned selves mirrored to them by their partner, and find ways to embrace their own vulnerability, the key to intimacy.

The Dream Process

In Voice Dialogue, we consider that a profound intelligence lives within us and constantly tries to help us sort things out in our psyche. Voice Dialogue proposes ways to explore our dreams as well as our daydreams to discover how our primary self behaves in the world and to find ways to integrate our disowned selves. This contributes strongly to the development of the Aware Ego Process.
The more we access our dreams, the more we are accessing our unconscious and our unconscious becomes our inner teacher.

Voice Dialogue as a Method

During a Voice Dialogue session, the facilitator asks the client to move to a different place and let one, or several, selves step forward and express themselves fully. The parts that present themselves are not judged in any way. They are not pushed to change their behaviour. Instead they are asked about their characteristics and their roles, in a respectful manner. Contact is established with both primary and disowned selves. Getting some distance from primary selves allows integration of the respective disowned selves that embody opposite characteristics and energy. The ability to embrace our selves - the inner spectrum of qualities and resources - starts to grow.
After each self that shows up, the client comes back to the place in the middle, to the Aware Ego 'place'
The ultimate aim in Voice Dialogue is an Aware Ego Process, a process of developing an inner middle, a centre of awareness, between the opposites. Aware Ego allows us to gain some distance from our selves and take charge, instead of being pulled between opposing selves.
With an Aware Ego, we develop different ways of relating and acquire possibilities of choice.

For a more complete description of the way Voice Dialogue actually works, check out the ressources room .

And

Hal and Sidra Stone, as well as many experienced Voice Dialogue facilitators and trainers all over the world, are developing Voice Dialogue further. They are adding new influences, combining Voice Dialogue with other methods, etc.
A few developments within Voice Dialogue are listed below.

  • Body Dialogue
  • BodyMind Dialogue
  • Conscious Body - The Self behind the Symptom
  • Dream Work
  • Embodied Presence
  • L'intelligence de Soi
  • Transpersonal Dialogue
  • Voice Constellation
  • Voice Dance
  • Voice Drama

Contact us if you know about others.