About Voice Dialogue

In the late 1970's, Drs Hal and Sidra Stone developed a transformational approach to personal development which they called Voice Dialogue and the Psychology of Selves.

Voice Dialogue is a method for talking directly with a person's inner community of selves. Each dialogue is with a separate self, and is engaged in without judgement and with full recognition of the importance the self has in the person's life.

This process enables you to tune in to your different inner selves and to hear their voices more clearly and distinctly. Listening objectively to specific parts of you like your Pusher (that continually drives you to achieve and accomplish), your Pleaser (that wants you to be nice to others all the time), or your Inner Critic (that reprimands you for every mistake you make) gives you the freedom to choose whether to act on their imperatives or not.

The Psychology of Selves is the name given to the theoretical framework of Voice Dialogue. It describes the development of the different primary and disowned selves; the interaction of the selves with one another; and the relationship between the selves of two people, termed bonding patterns. It also describes the three levels of the Stone's consciousness model: Awareness, Experience of the Selves, and the Aware Ego Process.

A Primary Self is a self that is dominant in the personality and one that a person is identified with. Primary selves have a protective function and develop in infancy or early childhood to keep the child as safe as possible in order that s/he survives and thrives. Some typical primary selves are: the Rule Maker, the Critic, the Pusher, the Pleaser and the Perfectionist. As a person matures, different primary selves may develop and come to dominate the personality.

Disowned Selves are the selves that represent the opposite value structure to the primary selves. They are considered by the primary selves to be threatening to a person's safety and are therefore rejected or hidden away in the growing up process.

The Aware Ego Process is the third level of the consciousness model. Every time we dialogue with and then separate from a primary or disowned self we enter into and strengthen the Aware Ego.

Example: If you are strongly identified with a Pusher self and during a Voice Dialogue session you get to hear from that self and then separate from it, the "you" that began the session is no longer the same "you" because you are no longer identified with that Pusher. You are then free to go to the other side and to hear from an opposite self - perhaps an Easy Going part. If you hear that self's motivations and then separate from it, when you come back to the centre again you are a new "you" - one that is neither identified with your Pusher nor with your Easy Going self.

Resting between this pair of opposites is the Aware Ego space. From here, informed by different selves, more conscious choices naturally arise. Since there are literally hundreds of opposing selves or energies within us, the process is dynamic and continually evolving.



 

Voice Dialogue can help you:


  • Deepen connections with family and friends

  • Express yourselves more freely in intimate relationships

  • Break repetitive patterns of self-sabotaging behaviour

  • Reduce stress by taking care of underlying vulnerabilities

  • Access hidden resources of energy and creativity

  • Respond more sensitively to your body’s needs

  • Befriend you inner critic and enhance self-esteem

  • Handle change in life without being knocked off balance

  • Get the most out of life by knowing your “selves” better