The Psychology of Selves, was developed in the 1980s by therapists Hal & Sidra Stone, who started to dialogue the different voices in each other as a way of gaining clarity around difficulties in their own relationship. They soon realised the enormous potential of the tool they had stumbled upon in this way, and went on to develop the communication method Voice Dialogue as a training in self-knowledge and conscious transformation, based on the concept that our personality is made up of different parts.
This open, fresh approach can reveal exciting revelations about the different selves. It is a journey of self discovery into yourself as you meet and get to know the different inner voices, some of which have never had a chance to speak out. These selves are not concepts; we experience them constantly, on a practical level in daily life and we actually follow their rules, living according to their belief systems without really knowing or understanding what is happening.
Taking time to get to know the different opposing selves enables us to become more aware and thus to create more freedom of choice. As we learn to live with this tension of opposites, we develop, in Voice Dialogue terms, an Aware Ego. This represents a central position from which we can interact with the world, standing in balance between different selves, honouring them, perceiving their differing needs and taking action based on wholeness and integration rather than duality, control and repression.
Becoming more self-aware in this way is a life-long process of unfolding, involving our full range of selves including our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual planes.
Individual weekly therapy sessions are a good way to enter into this process, learning with the guidance of a Voice dialogue Facilitator. After a period of learning and support in this way, many people go on to ‘self dialogue’, working on their own unfolding awareness in between sessions or after a course of therapy has finished.