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Voice Dialogue Therapy

 Brief Therapy in Depth

 Voice Dialogue creates a living experience of your whole self.  This modality allows participants to access parts of themselves in revealing, therapeutic, and uniquely enlightening ways.  This experiential non-pathological process empowers clients by helping them honor conscious and unconscious aspects of themselves. This model is deeply accepting and respectful of the client.  Adding the perspective of Voice Dialogue will add insight and creativity to all types of therapy.

Voice Dialogue refers to a process in which one speaks from inner selves.  The Voice Dialogue method is based on the Psychology of Selves, originated by Hal Stone, Ph.D., and Sidra Stone, Ph.D., who have trained thousands of people internationally.  This developmental theory proposes that the human psyche is an intricate network of selves---subpersonalities or energies---which form an inner family that impact us cognitively, somatically, and behaviorally.  The possibilities are as varied as people themselves, each a part of a set of opposites.  “Primary Selves” are aspects of personality that develop to protect our inherent vulnerability.   They develop throughout the life span, but often originate in early seminal (possibly forgotten) childhood experiences or trauma, and remain alive and operative despite or along with other developing parts of self, as they develop internal rules to ensure safety and connection.  “Disowned (shadow) Selves” are energies that have been negated, split off, or undeveloped in order to sustain the Primary Self system.  Each person’s disowned selves show up in the people in that person’s life; we have a reaction to them and usually either judge them or learn from them.

Voice Dialogue provides a systemic map of how these selves interact internally and in interpersonal relationships. This unique way of conceptualizing and working with the inner-family system of selves enables therapists to quickly identify underlying psychodynamic issues, work with resistance without a power struggle, minimize transference, and accelerate insight and behavior change. 

A facilitator engages in dialogue with voices or sub-personalities such as the pleaser, pusher, adventurer, rebel, critic, perfectionist, child, etc.  Emphasis is placed on the experience of the subpersonality and learning to see an overview from a detached position of awareness.  Opposing energies are respectfully acknowledged and integrated.  The goal is to strengthen the center (Aware Ego) from which one makes decisions reflecting increasing clarity and flexibility and choice.

Integrating all the parts of the self though an "Aware Ego" Process is the goal of Voice Dialogue.  Creating this centered presence is similar to the “transcendent function” in Jungian psychology.  If the opposites are held in tension, the psyche will produce an experience, which is both a synthesis of the opposites, yet, something that transcends them both.  We also might liken it to Winnicott’s “transitional space,” which if lived in long enough leads to creative emergence of the true self.  Similar to Mindfulness based practices, the process of Voice Dialogue creates intrapersonal attunement, which promotes increased interpersonal attunement and a deep sense of wellbeing.

“Wellbeing emerges when we create connections in our lives and when the brain can achieve and maintain integration.  Integration is a process by which separate elements are linked together into a working whole.  Without integration we can become imprisoned in behavioral ruts – anxiety and depression, greed, obsession and addiction.” (Daniel J. Siegel)

Voice Dialogue complements and enhances most therapeutic approaches.  Therapists ranging from psychoanalytic, depth psychology, humanistic, mind/body, cognitive/behavioral, and family system backgrounds use Voice Dialogue as an instrument to operationalize their model of the psyche and create a powerful change experience for their clients. 

 

SUGGESTED READING:

Embracing Our Selves
: The Voice Dialogue Training Manual by Hal Stone, PhD & Sidra Stone, Ph.D., New World Library

Embracing Each Other:  Relationship as Teach, Healer, & Guide  Hal Stone, PhD & Sidra Stone, Ph.D., New World Library

Embracing Your Inner Critic: Turning Self Criticism into a Creative Asset- Hal Stone, PhD & Sidra Stone, Ph.D., Harper San Francisco

Embracing Heaven and Earth: A Personal Odyssey - Hal Stone, Ph.D.
DeVorss & Co.

The Shadow King: The Invisible Force That Holds Women Back - Sidra Stone, Ph.D.,
Nataraj Publishing

Partnering: A New Kind of Relationship -Hal Stone, PhD & Sidra Stone, Ph.D.,
Nataraj Publishing