Dassie Hoffman PH.D., A.D.T.R. Psychotherapist
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What Is Voice Dialogue?

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What Is Voice Dialogue


What is Voice Dialogue?

With its roots in Jungian and Gestalt psychology, Voice Dialogue, created in the 1980's by Drs. Hal and Sidra Stone, is an experiential modality compatible with many theoretical orientations. It is a model of consciousness incorporating the Psychology of the Selves, and the Aware Ego. The technique involves learning to identify primary and disowned selves, understanding how the selves develop and evolve in the personality, and incorporating the dynamics of the energy systems fueling the selves.

In practice, the core of Voice Dialogue is the experience of meeting parts of ourselves in a structured way. This safe and effective method of personal investigation involves engaging in a dialogue directly with various parts of your psyche.

The aim is to discover which Selves you are identified with, gain awareness of these parts and how they influence your life so you can "grow" a more Aware Ego. As you deepen your knowledge of your Primary Self system and discover the influence of previously hidden and disowned Selves, this transformational work releases energy that is now consciously available. We are able to relate candidly with these Selves rather than be driven by them, allowing us more choice and flexibility in all aspects of our lives.

Voice Dialogue often melts black-and-white thinking. It is an extremely powerful tool that helps separate from a dominant point of view, which could include breaking habits of anxiety, depression, negative and distored thinking, catastrophizing, addiction, eating disordered behaviors, lack of creativity, any of which can be part of a lifestyle of poor relationships, poor physical/fiscal health,poor decisions/indecision and more...

How can Voice Dialogue help?

  • Expands and deepens your horizons as you journey toward personal and creative fulfillment
  • Helps you gain clarity in order to make difficult decisions
  • Offers emotional support as you identify and release past injuries and grief
  • Heals as the direct experience of the Selves reduces symptoms that can include depression, anxiety and physical problems
Voice Dialogue is right for you, especially if you are:

  • Engaging in self-defeating and self-destructive behaviors
  • Suffering depression, anxiety, addictions, eating disorders
  • Can't seem to make a decision
  • In a life transition and entering a new phase (whether or not it's your choice) including marriage, graduation, "coming out", divorce, menopause, "empty nest syndrome"
  • Feel stuck in your career and maybe even considering changing fields
  • Know what you don't want, but are unable to figure out what you do want
  • In a negative bonding pattern with a partner, boss, friend, lover, family member, pet
  • Feeling powerless over reactions and behaviors
  • Having trouble controlling anger and hostility
  • Wrestling with underachievement
  • Having difficulty realizing your potential and liberating your creativity

It's not new that we use different parts of ourselves all the time...

The premise of Voice Dialogue is that our personality consists of an assortment of Selves (sometimes called Sub-personalities) that live within us and are usually experienced as voices with different energies. This is a natural result of growing up.

Over time our caretakers reinforced some parts of ourselves and rejected other aspects. We become identified with family-approved Selves (like The Pleaser, or even The Scapegoat.) We think of a few Selves as the self we are most identified with. These become Primary Selves (the public face that the self that the public knows best. knows like The Likable Self, The Get-It-Done Self, The Good Parent Self.) We disown the opposites that were rejected early in our lives at home and school, such as the Angry Self, The Procrastinator Self, The Acting-Out-Rebel, or even The Vulnerable Child.

Disowned Selves are often expressed in our dreams as well as brought into our lives by having to deal with people we detest or idolize (like your boss and your best friend.) These energy patterns are repressed, but not destroyed and live in our unconscious. Our Disowned Selves carry tremendous power and may make themselves known physically through exhaustion, mood swings, addictions, compulsions, and a bewildering sense of not being able to trust yourself.

Voice Dialogue recognizes that each Self has its own history, role, wisdom, energetics, habits, internal rules, memories and values with its own function, physical expression, health status, emotional needs, abilities and goals. This is true even if the individual is unaware of the force a particular Self is exerting on daily life.

Each Self experiences life in its own way. An example might be an Angry Self, who is expressed through a headache. The Inner Critic may generate endless thoughts of self-hate, fueling the need to be perfect. No Self is "better" than another. Every Self is honored as every aspect of the personality is indispensable for wholeness. The goal is never to eliminate a Self, but to integrate the Selves through expanding awareness.

The idea is to awaken and develop an Aware Ego process that evolves into a non-judgmental witnessing of all the Selves, unlocking personal freedom and authenticity as automatic reactions transform into active choices. Voice Dialogue is a powerful, effective life-charging tool!

To your MUSE: Welcome! You will discover and connect to your unique passions. How exciting!

To your SCARED SELF: Our motto, which is also one of the fundamental premises of Voice Dialogue, is that whatever you are feeling, there is wisdom to it and you will be treated well as we investigate your particular benefits.

To your INNER CRITIC: You may advise but you may not bully.

To your VULNERABLE SELVES: Voice Dialogue is gentle, supportive, respectful and safe as you explore where you want to go as well as what gets in your way. Your privacy is always honored.

To your BORED SELF: Voice Dialogue is action-packed. Facilitation sessions and workshops can include movement, art-making, music, dreams, energetic work and more. We can access Archetypal forces (safely!) This is particularly useful for performing, writing, working with animals and other creative pursuits.

To your PURPOSEFUL SELF: Voice Dialogue leads to many "aha! moments" and doesn't stop there. It encourages the ability to keep on moving. And you do not walk alone. Revel in the liberation of your authentic expressions of creativity.

To your ANXIOUS and WORRIED SELVES: No prior experience necessary. The Voice Dialogue system is safe and takes wonderful care of you. You will be inspired and learn whether you've never heard of Voice Dialogue or are a veteran practitioner!

To your ANGRY SELF: Voice Dialogue actively listens to your justified outrage. You are heard, validated and will never be asked to speak nicely (if you don't want to!)

To your MASTERFUL SELF: Whether you are a coach, writer, singer, mental health practitioner, scientist, body worker, professional, parent, teacher, therapist, performer, mediator, healer, organizer, lawyer, extreme athlete or anything else, the skills you learn through Voice Dialogue will simply make you more effective. Period.

What will I gain from Voice Dialogue?

  • Nearly everyone has experienced the phenomenon of the alarm clock ringing at 5:30 AM.
  • A part of you is adamant about staying in bed.
  • Another part of you is responsible and wants to get out of bed.
  • Still another part of you loves to play and is excited to get up BUT ONLY IF it means sneaking to the beach.
Inner struggle ensues. This is a simple demonstration highlighting that we are composed of many Selves, many parts of our personality, which is the basis of the Voice Dialogue method.

Voice Dialogue is a Jungian based technique developed by the Drs Hal and Sidra Stone during the 1970's. The premise is that our personality is made up of a family of internal selves or sub-personalities. As we grow up, we identify with some and reject others.

This over-identification with some Selves (examples include your Protector Self or Responsible Self or even your Inner Critic) and rejection of other Selves (like your Lazy Self or Wild Self) creates imbalance, blind spots, stuckness, and a general feeling of not being whole.

Voice Dialogue moves beyond gaining insight. For many, as the secret and powerful intentions of the various Selves are revealed through Voice Dialogue facilitation sessions, keys to problem-solving, letting go, gaining courage and more, are discovered and present solutions.

Voice Dialogue can lead you to savor a life of joy as you ease towards your potential.

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