An Overview of Voice Dialogue Therapy:
Over the years there have been tons of therapies developed to help promote mental well-being. The newest of these therapies is Voice dialogue, developed by Hal and Sidra Stone. But just What is Voice Dialogue Therapy? Voice dialogue is A Gestalt-based therapy which introduces the client to an unconscious reality where they operate as archetypal sub-personalities. Every person will typically exhibit different aspects of personality depending on the dynamics present. As such, Voice dialogue is a theoretical structure and technique that makes it possible for the client to collate different aspects of their psyche including their disowned or shadow selves.
Voice dialogue therapy works to create a dialogue between the different components of their personality. Voice dialogue thus fosters a discussion of the components of the personality at odds with each other. By understanding and expressing the self, the client becomes more self-aware and even functions better within relationships.
Are you interested in becoming a facilitator by taking an online course from the creators of voice dialogue therapy? You can learn more about the course from this video:
A History of The Therapy’s Use:
Voice Dialogue Therapy was first proposed by Hal and Sidra Stone in the 1970s. Hal and Sidra Stone had met when Sidra attended a session where Hal was a trainer in guided imagery. It was in the sessions that the two discovered that the human psyche was composed of numerous sub-personalities that they called selves or energy patterns. According to the Stones, each of the sub-personalities is a real person with its own behaviors, rules, characteristics, and beliefs. By communicating with the unique selves, they discovered the important roles each of the thought persons could have in protecting the individual. Their theory involved an analysis of the self’s psychology, including how they operate, how they function in relationships and how they influence decisions and choices and lastly how they impact the evolution of the conscious self.
The Stones went on to identify two distinct components of the self the disowned self and the primary self. The primary self also referred to as the operating ego is the group of dominant selves that control a person’s life and defines their individual personality. The disowned self refers to the sub-personalities that are opposite yet equal to the primary selves. While the two branches of the selves have conflicting values, they all contribute to a person’s social and survival skills and overall wellbeing. For the Stones, it is thus very important to treat the two selves with great respect in therapy sessions.
The two researchers would later learn that therapy would work better if they harnessed the experiences of both the disowned and primary selves simultaneously. To achieve this the client would need to separate themselves from the primary self, away from the operating ego and into a central space. From this space, they can then observe both the disowned and primary self. They can then be better able to understand themselves and make centered conscious choices in what the Stones called the Aware Ego Process.
The Inventors of the Voice Dialogue Therapy System:
Hal and Sidra Stone were influenced by the likes of Hermann Hesse, Kazantzakis, B.F Skinner and Carl Jung in developing the Voice Dialogue Therapy System. The two psychologists are married and conduct their research together.
The psychologist was born in 1927 and is a graduate of the University of California and Los Angeles, from where he got a doctorate in psychology in 1953. Hal was a Navy psychologist for four years before he left to study at the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles. He would become an analyst and spend 14 years at the Institute before resigning in 1974. In 1973, he founded the Center for the Healing Arts, where he was a director for the next six years until 1979.
Sidra Stone was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1937 and is a graduate of the Barnard College. She went on to study at the University of Maryland, where she earned her doctorate in 1962. Thereafter, she worked in the public service as a mental health specialist, before she became a private psychotherapist. She was also the director of a residential treatment center for adolescent girls – the Hamburger Home.
The couple met in 1972 and by 1977 were married. They worked together on the Voice Dialogue Theory and wrote several books together. Among their books are “Embracing Our Selves: The Voice Dialogue Manual” published in 2011 and “Embracing Each Other: How to Make All Your Relationships Work for You” that they published in 1989. Since 1977 the Stones have been offering seminars on the Voice Dialogue Therapy techniques.
Interested in Becoming a Facilitator of Voice Dialogue Therapy? Here’s where you can take a course:
A website by a facilitator of Voice Dialogue sessions, Astra Niedra where she explains Voice Dialogue Theory and system. You get resources in the forms of articles, eBooks, books and DVDs about the selves, relationships, you and parenting.
More Notable Sites Where You Can Learn More About This Therapy Technique:
This is the official website of the founders of the Voice Dialogue Therapy System. The website provides resources explaining the theory and provides training on the same in the form of tutorials, webinars, and retreats. You can also get a series of MP3s and eBooks on the website about the Voice Dialogue system.
A transformation psychology website that is dedicated to providing information about Voice Dialogue Therapy, and Relationship Therapy. The website provides resources in the form of articles, books, CDs, and DVDs to explain Voice Dialogue. They also provide in session training on transformational psychology for professionals using the Voice Dialogue system in Italy, the Netherlands, Andalusia, and other parts of the world.
A Counselling, Psychotherapy and Voice Dialogue website with resources on all aspects of the Voice Dialogue system. They provide foundation training through workshops and training events for health professionals on how to use Voice Dialogues in their practice.