Voice Dialogue :: Experiential Depth Psychotherapy

What is Voice Dialogue?

Voice Dialogue is a highly creative,  experiential therapy for increasing self awareness and personal empowerment. The technique helps individuals access and honor the conscious and unconscious parts of the self in a deeply nourishing and accepting way.  This modality can be integrated into a standard psychotherapy session or used as a stand alone session.

Voice Dialogue was developed in the 1970s  by Hal Stone, Ph.D. and Sidra Stone, Ph.D. It developed out of the belief that the human psyche is a composite of multiple inner-self parts. Each of these parts emerges with a unique purpose at a particular time in our development. Each one possesses its own outlook and agenda, for instance, ‘the critic,’ ‘the inner-child,’ ‘the responsible one’, ‘the rebel’, ‘the athlete,’ ‘the couch potato,’ etc. How we relate to our self, other people and the world largely depends on how this multiplicity of selves within us interacts and plays out in our daily lives.

What happens during Voice Dialogue?

The process of Voice Dialogue involves identifying our dominant parts or “primary selves.” These are the parts of ourselves that we are most comfortable embodying; they are, in fact, the parts of us that define us to ourselves and to the world. Voice Dialogue also works to discover and respectfully acknowledge the parts of us that we negate or choose not to identify with – parts known as “disowned selves.”

The session is facilitated in a conversational interview format, in which I ask a series of questions that are relevant to the particular inner self-part being addressed. The intent is to get to the core essence of that particular self-part, in order to develop greater awareness, understanding and appreciation of how that part functions in your everyday life.

Each part that receives facilitation must physically move to a different location on the couch or in the room. Movement in this aspect of the work grounds the experience in the physical realm of the body, and helps bring attention to the changes in felt presence between and among different inner-self parts.

What is the goal of Voice Dialogue?

The goal of Voice Dialogue is the development of the “Aware Ego Process” – this is the aspect of the self that is able to witness and embrace the tension between the primary/conscious parts and the disowned/unconscious parts. The “Aware Ego” is comfortable with polarities; it holds rather than controls the struggle that sometimes exists within the psyche.

Empowerment, clarity, and integration within oneself is enhanced by strengthening the “Aware Ego.” Voice Dialogue is akin to other mindfulness-based, parts-work therapies (such as Gestalt or Internal Family Systems) in creating room for the organic unfolding of energies within the mind-body continuum. Ultimately, it is through this deep attunement with our inner-self parts that we can discover new pathways toward integration, acceptance, and peace.

“Leave the familiar for a while…change rooms in your mind for a day… greet yourself in your thousand other forms as you mount the hidden tide and travel back home… all the hemispheres in heaven are sitting around a fire chatting while stitching themselves into the Great Circle inside of you.”
Hafiz