Voice Dialogue

Common Questions

Voice Dialogue Frequently Asked Questions

What is Voice Dialogue?
Created by Hal and Sidra Stone, Voice Dialogue is a specific method developed to explore the parts of an individual known as the Selves. When we are born, we are completely vulnerable. As we grow, we develop specific coping strategies to deal with the world – we smile to please our parents, we cry to get attention etc. Depending on our environment and our basic nature, certain parts of ourselves become stronger, our primary way of dealing with the world known as our Operating Ego. And the opposite way of dealing with the world becomes disowned and not used. While this method of growth works well for a child, many find that as an adult, that these strategies no longer serve us. Voice Dialogue is a way of giving both the Primary Selves and the Disowned Selves a voice. A chance to be heard and for you to discover how they are influencing your life.

What are some examples of the Selves that may be part of the Operating Ego?
Two Primary Selves which everyone seems to have are:

  • The Protector – this self protects you – often since childhood and knows what you need to do to keep safe.
  • The Inner Critic – this self takes the criticism that you heard as a child and internalizes it. Now the Inner Critic tells you everything you do that is “wrong”.

While each person is different, there are some fairly common selves you may recognize:

  • The Pusher – who pushes through to meet the goal – the opposite is the Laid Back Dude – who is relaxed about everything.
  • The Pleaser – who bends over backwards to meet the needs of those around you – the opposite may be the Selfish One – who doesn’t care about anyone else.
  • The Responsible Self – who believes in personal accountability – the opposite may the Irresponsible one – who just lets things happen.
  • The Perfectionist – who must do everything perfectly – the opposite may be the slob – that does everything in a slip-shod way

What makes Voice Dialogue different from other psychological theories that work with the different parts of the self?
Voice Dialogue is different in several ways. First, the goal of talking to the selves is not to get rid of them or to change them. Although change does occur, it is by listening to and accepting the selves – primary and dis-owned – that we receive their gifts. Second, just talking to the selves is not the goal of Voice Dialogue, the goal is to develop an Aware Ego – a process of rising above the Selves to a place of awareness where we can choose which self we wish to use in any situation. Third, Voice Dialogue is always done with a facilitator, while other theories may be done alone

What is an Aware Ego?
Also known as the Aware Ego Process, its job is to organize the Selves so that they are chosen for each situation – as opposed to the Operating Ego which operates on “automatic”. For example, the Selves are like the instruments in an orchestra. If only certain instruments are playing all the time – the music is not as rich or powerful as it can be. The Aware Ego is the conductor – it uses all the instruments in the orchestra to create a magnificent song i.e. your life.

What can I expect in a Voice Dialogue session?
Like any therapy session, we will first take a history and talk about your goals for therapy. We usually start each session talking to your Protector – the self that has, often from early childhood, protected you. It is important to talk to the Protector first to gain permission so that you feel safe during the session. Often the Protector will know which Self needs to speak. We usually start with the Primary Self – to learn of its gifts and strategies and then move to the opposite Dis-owned Self. To help you differentiate from each self, you will be asked to move to the location where that Self may speak. At the end of the session, we review what has been learned from the selves and talk with the Aware Ego to determine how the selves may be used in a way that is more consistent with your personal goals.

How long does Voice Dialogue take to be effective?
Many people see a change in their lives just by discovering a self that is in their Operating Ego and this can occur in one session. However, to develop the Aware Ego takes time – usually many sessions. Each session is usually 1 ½ to 2 hours long. Session do not have to be sequential to be effective. I find that many people benefit from three sessions to deal with a particular issue – and then may take a break for a while during which time they process what they discovered in the sessions. Then return for more sessions when a new issue “pops up” to be addressed.

For more information on Voice Dialogue please visit http://delos-inc.com for books and CDs.

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Start your new path in life and be the change today!

Contact Me

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