Voice Dialogue Edmonton - Psychology of the Selves & the Aware Ego Process

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Voice Dialogue - Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in exploring what the Voice Dialogue method can offer and we hope the following information will shed some light on questions you may be dealing with.

What is Voice Dialogue?
Why should I learn Voice Dialogue?
What is different or unique about Voice Dialogue?
“So if I do Voice Dialogue, how will it change my life?”

More Info

The following four questions with their corresponding answers are linked to Dr. Hal and Sidra Stone, the founders of the Voice Dialogue method, on their International website.

What are the Selves?
What is the Aware Ego’s role?
Is the Aware Ego “I Am?”
Voice Dialogue, God and Guides

What is Voice Dialogue?

When people are described for example as “pushy, nice, head strong, manipulative, a hard worker, insecure, a Mother Theresa, brainy, reliable, a yes person, aloof, or always helpful”, we are describing a characteristic in their personality that stands out above the rest. In Voice Dialogue, we see each of these characteristics as sub-personalities or selves of the individual. Because these selves have become so dominant in the person, we often mistakenly assume that this is who the person is. What we are not aware of is that there is an opposite self to this dominant self that is not seen very often. For example, the hard working part of us doesn’t want us to rest and in its extreme has us working from morning till night. So the part of us that would put our feet up can rarely come out. This could be one reason why it takes many people a week out of their two week holiday to relax and stop having to do, do, do.

Voice Dialogue is a method that helps us to become aware of the many different selves that are either running our life or need to be brought more into our life in order to achieve balance. This awareness is the first essential step in making the kind of changes we want. As this self-awareness grows, we experience the unfolding of the uniqueness of who we are as human beings as well as how all our relationships are impacted by these sub-personalities.

In Voice Dialogue, through an actual conversation with your sub-personalities, you get to experience just how much these selves either run your life or need to be brought into your life. This seems weird or strange at first, but as these conversations continue, you become aware of just how real these selves are. This process of dialoguing can be exciting and scary at the same time.

With a deepening awareness of ourselves and others, you are able to understand situations in your life differently and make choices that you’ve never been able to make before. That’s exciting. For example, when I become aware of how much the Self that says “yes” to people but now am aware of the Self that can say “no” sometimes, I have “true” choice in my life. With being able to choose ‘yes’ and ‘no’, I can enjoy my relationships more because I commit to doing what fits for me.

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Why should I learn Voice Dialogue?

Please don’t feel pressured or obligated to learn Voice Dialogue or any other self-growth system. If you are curious about Voice Dialogue and want to explore it further, here are some of the benefits Voice Dialogue could bring to your life:

  • Give new meaning or perspective to your life
  • Help you get unstuck from old, repetitive habits
  • Not be held hostage by those internal voices that can be so critical, exhausting, and leave you feeling so inadequate
  • Be less run by rules, your emotions, or your head
  • Experience real choice in your life
  • Be more effective and efficient
  • Re-kindle passion and life energy
  • Profoundly increase your awareness of yourself, others, and your world around you
  • Overcome your debilitating fears and learn how to use them to your advantage
  • Understand the complexity of relationships and what makes them work or not work
  • Have a compassion for our humanness that honours the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful in our self and others
  • Deeply experience the essence/uniqueness of who you are
  • Do the unimaginable by making the seemingly impossible possible

Many other spiritual, philosophical, and psychological approaches can also bring you many of these benefits. So the question is:

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What is different or unique about Voice Dialogue?

There are four key concepts that make Voice Dialogue unique:

1) Focusing on the “Who” of the Issue

One of the favourite sayings in Voice Dialogue is: “Who is talking?” In Voice Dialogue you want to understand which sub-personality or self is actually involved in the issue or problem. So if the problem is anger, you want to talk to the self that is angry rather than talking about the situation that makes the person angry. Voice Dialogue is less interested in the why, how, what or when of the problem because once you understand who is talking, it becomes clear why the problem is there in the first place.

2) The Voice Dialogue Method

Although Voice Dialogue can resemble other psychological approaches such as Gestalt Therapy, the process of having people dialogue with their different sub-personalities or selves as real personalities is unique to Voice Dialogue. Energetically separating from these selves and using them as resources adds to Voice Dialogue’s uniqueness.

3) The Development of the Aware Ego Process

The Voice Dialogue method first focuses on awareness; that is, becoming aware of who is actually running your life and what you have had to disown. Then, as you become increasingly aware of the gifts and limitations of the selves in your life, you begin to have more and more conscious choice about what you really want for yourself. The art of using or not using different parts of your personality is probably the key concept in Voice Dialogue.

4) Conscious Linkage

The ability to stay in relationship with another person, especially if you are in conflict with that person, is another critical key concept in Voice Dialogue. This is a very hard concept to explain. It really needs to be experienced to be understood.

When you are in relationship with someone, you have the opportunity to extend your energy out to them; like sun rays coming through the clouds. These rays are easy to extend when you have warm feelings toward someone. However, if you are angry at them, you usually withdraw your energy; like the clouds blocking out the Sun.

It is important in building and maintaining relationships to stay connected to the other person so that you don’t feel abandoned or minimized when trouble comes in the relationship. In Voice Dialogue, one of the key ways to stay in conscious linkage with people is to understand their vulnerability. From seeing their vulnerability, you have the potential to become compassionate about the struggles they are in; that is, they are human beings like your self. To consciously choose to keep our energetic connection to the other person is uniquely hard to do but also creates an amazing problem-solving process if you do.

Another question emerges from these four key concepts and that is:

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“So if I do Voice Dialogue, how will it change my life?”

When the four key concepts above are implemented, certain attitudes and practices emerge from the Voice Dialogue experience:

  • When you completely embrace all of your sub-personalities and do not try to get rid of anything you don’t like about your ‘Selves’, there is a deep acceptance of the gifts and limitations that every Self brings to your life.

  • With the acceptance of these gifts and limitations, a profound compassion evolves for our humanness.

  • When you truly accept your humanness, there is a peace/contentment inside because there is no need to be right or wrong, no need to blame self or others, no need to judge others, and no need for ‘me vs. them’.

  • Once there is not a ‘me vs. them’ attitude, you can allow yourself your
    vulnerability without the usual defences. Now it is possible for you to see yourself in others and how others mirror back who you are. Everyone and every situation becomes a teacher for you.

One of the most important teachings in Voice Dialogue is how to balance the various ‘Selves’ in your life. Through the Awareness/Consciousness that evolves from the dialoguing process, you learn how to use your different Selves in a balance that works for you at any give moment in any given situation. This, of course, is a life-long learning.

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More Info

The previous pages of questions and their corresponding answers are areas which Donna & Murray expand on in their Guides and PowerPoint Presentations on the Basics of Voice Dialogue. Their resources are available through the Bookstore at this site. Also, the Armstrong’s offer group trainings with extensive experiential exposure using the Voice Dialogue method. If you are interested please refer to the Announcements and Trainings section of this website.

We offer these questions and their answers to assist you in expanding your understand of Voice Dialogue and the Aware Ego Process in order to “re/member our wholeness”, which Donna and Murray mentor as their motto for Voice Dialogue Edmonton.

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