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Psychological Freedom using Voice Dialogue with Selves

Hal and Sidra Stone, founders of Voice Dialogue therapy, identified our primary and disowned selves, how they impact our relationships, and how to balance them. http://www.voicedialogue.org: their article “The Basic Elements of Voice Dialogue” is very interesting reading. See also Miriam Dyak’s The Voice Dialogue Facilitator’s Handbook. Primary selves make up operating ego, disowned selves are the opposites, and aware ego separates from the selves with perspective.

Identify one of your primary selves. What qualities are you proud of having?

Could be the pusher, the critic, the judge, the protector/controller, the rational mind, the “entitled” or “not-entitled” voice, the rebel, child, responsible mother or father, the pleaser, perfectionist, teacher, spiritual self, earthy self, etc.

(www.voicedialogue.org, www.bonniebernell.com/handvoice.html)

The facilitator connects, matches, or makes linkage with the primary self, getting to know it and its energy field. The selves are honored as they are, not corrected or changed. The selves don’t interact with each other.

Move your chair where you meet your center energetically. I’d like to meet your primary self, the ___.

What do you like?

What do you do for ….

When did you first come in?

Where did you learn how to be what you are?

How much of your room is filled by this self?

What do you worry about?

How would things be different if you were in charge?

Anything you’d like to tell the center (your name)? 


Go back to center. What are 3 things you see or hear?

How do you feel differently? What do you notice?


The disowned self can be identified by thinking about people you judge, who irrigate you a lot or whom you revere to reveal your disowned self.


Is there any issue in your life you’d like to work on? Or, is there a common theme in your dreams? They reveal the disowned selves that need separation from the primaries. Or talk with a disowned self that you feel is there. Note that primary selves don’t care about their opposites, were developed to protect them, feel doing their job.

Be in the observer–the aware ego process develops as separation from the primary self and its opposite disowned self. The Aware Ego is like an orchestra conductor. Take time to think and feel with this self. Make eye contact with each other. Deep breathes. Repeat the line of questioning. Aim is to get at the vulnerable selves who aren’t defensive, who allow intimacy, and separate from the primary self to a middle place between it and the disowned self, the opposites with the aware ego.


PS Also think about bonding patterns in relationships like approving mother and proud son (positive where negativity isn’t expressed) or negative bonding like abandoned daughter and cold father. The goal is to move to flexibility. Also, linkages where you get a lot of juice—can include computer, TV, pets, as well as people. The selves that enable linkage or connection include the vulnerable child, the sensual self, the soul self, and the spiritual self, heart-based. The aim is to “access greater choice by moving beyond dualistic thinking and embracing opposites.”




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