Voice Dialogue Europe - Site of the European Voice Dialogue Facilitators

content: Voice Dialogue and the Psychology of Selves

Voice Dialogue was developed by Hal and Sidra Stone in 1972 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.

Voice Dialogue and the Psychology of Selves presuppose that the human personality is not a single entity, but consists of various sub-personalities or selves. They come into existence as the result of one's experiences and constitute a system of primary and disowned selves. We identify with some of our inner selves, and reject others. 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.

There are three layers to the Psychology of Selves:

  • The Selves - inner sub-personalities
  • The Aware Ego - a central place amongst the selves
  • The Awareness - a place of non-judgemental observation

The Aware Ego and the Aware Ego Process

In Voice Dialogue according to Hal and Sidra Stone, the most important element is the development of an Aware Ego. 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.

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 Selves in Relationships

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. From this perspective, the person begins to connect and interact. We begin to integrate the disowned selves mirrored to us by our partner, and we find ways to embrace the vulnerable Inner Child, the key to intimacy.

How does it work? What is a Voice Dialogue session like?
More about Voice Dialogue - the Method.

See Books & Media for more information about Voice Dialogue.

See Hal & Sidra Stone for more information about the founders of Voice Dialogue.

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