The THEORY is that each person is made up of many selves. We identify with some and deny or disown others. This over identification with some selves and the loss of wholeness that comes from rejection of others can create imbalances and blind spots. This work involves embracing all the selves in order to achieve insight and balance. Acceptance leads to positive internal shifts and new perspectives of self and others.
The TECHINIQUE involves the client: 1) establishing an aware ego 2) identifying a conflict 3) conflicting selves are interviewed in the third person by the therapist, and 4) from the aware ego position, the client decides on the balance of the two selves.
The APPROACH: the client sits in the center of the couch in the role of the aware ego. An internal conflict is identified by the client. Example: the passive, placating, people-pleasing self vs. the forceful, angry, bite-your-head-off self. The client moves to the right and left of the couch as each self is interviewed by the therapist. When the interviews are completed, the client moves back to center in the aware ego position. The client decides on the balance of the two conflicted selves.
The POSITIVE RESULTS: provides the client with a useful, everyday, nonjudgmental tool that can be utilized to provide insight and acceptance of all the selves. Through this process a positive shift in perspective and behavior often occur. Voice Dialogue also enhances balance, peace, and self love.
POSSIBLE NEGATIVES: the client should have a somewhat stable sense of self (aware ego) for Voice Dialogue to be effective. This treatment should not be used with DID clients.
MATERIALS and TRAINING: Contact Hal and Sidra Stone website for training. Stone, Hal and Sidra, Embracing Our Selves: The Voice Dialogue Manuel
Kathy Bird 2014