Voice Dialogue in Practice

By Francesca Starr, Ph.D., CPC

Why did I choose Voice Dialogue as the cornerstone of my transformational coaching and training practice? Voice Dialogue is the most inclusive, non-judgmental approach to personal and professional development I have encountered in over forty years of working with people and groups. Through this structured, safe and engaging pathway we meet the diverse sub-personalities, energy patterns, or Inner Selves that we all have within. We identify with certain parts of us – our Primary Selves, while we repress or disown the opposite of those aspects – our Disowned Selves. Using Voice Dialogue we meet both Primary and Disowned and learn to incorporate both in our lives in ways that bring a sense of wholeness and conscious choice.The basic rules of this work support my conclusion.

The basic rules of Voice Dialogue support the sense of safety, inclusivity, acceptance and respect people experience throughout the process:
1. Each Inner Self is treated with respect and curiosity, and as though it is a real self or energy pattern, unique and different from the other parts within.
2. No part of us is to: be eliminated (or killed); asked to change its essential nature; or asked to compromise its position.
3. Each Inner Self is considered essential in bringing specific skills and talents to the whole; is given time to offer its gifts in our lives in a more balanced manner.
4. The Inner Self no longer has to fear for its very survival or have to continue to do battle with other, opposite Selves.

As the Voice Dialogue process continues, the inner world begins to relax like never before, as these very different characters experience the positive changes that occur, and realize that their positions are secure. Therapists use Voice Dialogue to move clients through the most profound healing of life’s traumas. Coaches use Voice Dialogue to carry the client beyond the issues of the past, to more fully realize their potential. The process brings the facilitator and the client into a collaborative, safe crucible that guides the client through their complex, captivating inner landscape. With new skills to manage and conduct these Inner Selves or characters in life, clients begin to achieve “extreme psychological, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.” With the help of Voice Dialogue they have the tools and self-knowledge to resiliently and effectively respond to crossroads, conflicts and conundrums; while achieving their potential, and creating their dreams.

1. Voice Dialogue is a brilliantly constructed method that allows me to draw on all of who I am. All the skills, insight, knowledge, and wisdom I have gleaned from a lifetime of personal and professional growth express through me as I facilitate a Voice Dialogue session. Through Voice Dialogue my clients get the very best of what I have to offer in each session.

2. Voice dialogue makes sense. Co-created by psychologists Drs. Hal and Sidra Stone, Voice Dialogue is based on over fifty years of study, clinical experience, and mapping of the human psyche (our inner world). It is founded on the premise that humans are not a single entity. Rather, they are made up of an organization of numerous and distinct structures called inner selves, sub-personalities, parts, or energy patterns. Each is born with a purpose, has its own beliefs about us and reality, and carries certain characteristics and behaviors. We develop and identify with our Primary Selves, while we bury or repress equal and opposite Disowned Selves. For much of our lives the Primary Selves are who we think we are. They are making our choices and driving our psychological/spiritual car. By the very nature of life there comes a time where this imbalance creates problems and makes us blind to many new options or choices. Until we have choice, we are not free.

3. Voice dialogue is a well thought out, structured process by which we enter into direct communication with the client’s Inner Selves or sub-personalities. This careful step-by-step process makes Voice Dialogue the safest and most respectful tool for accessing the inner world of the client that I have encountered. We never intrude into a person’s inner world without the permission of the existing ego structure (Primary Self System.) This means that if I have a dialogue with a disowned self (an aspect that is in the unconscious or shadow), the more conscious or primary selves have opened the gate to that territory voluntarily. This collaborative, inclusive approach brings astounding self-knowledge, and results in lasting healing and growth from the inside-out.

4. Voice dialogue guides the client toward a larger, more objective perspective, called the Aware Ego Process that finds the gold in every sub-personality. This is a very expansive, neutral view that welcomes and includes even the most polarized and repressed aspects. Clients learn to incorporate the essence from opposite inner selves in response to life’s inevitable adversities; and to live, create, and communicate from much more of the totality of their being. The aware ego becomes a master of paradox (the ability to “sweat the tension of the opposites,”) which is the foundation for living a more conscious life.

5. Voice Dialogue works. In addition to learning about each inner self’s history, purpose, opinions, and behaviors; clients become aware that each has a distinct kinesthetic or energetic feel to it. One of the great gifts of the Aware Ego is its growing ability to conduct, or dial up and down, the energies of the selves. The Aware Ego Process is like a conductor of the whole inner orchestra. As the client masters conducting, managing, and moderating the inner selves, almost unlimited options and choices become available. The client lives more from conscious choice than from automatic reactions and habits.

6. Voice dialogue is a flexible method. It supports the resolution of a full spectrum of presenting personal and professional concerns. Therapists use Voice Dialogue to successfully grow the clients’  capacity for making life-affirming, positive changes in: depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, healing childhood trauma, recovery form destructive relationships and/or groups, processing loss and grief, sexual identity, blocks to creativity and aliveness, all kinds of relationship issues, eating disorders, lack of meaning or purpose, spiritual crisis or emergence, etc. Voice dialogue profoundly generates conscious evolution. Coaches use Voice Dialogue to clarify the client’s goals, discover which Inner Selves are involved in blocking the achievement of those goals, and meet the lesser known Aspects that have the skills needed to move through the blocks to the successful achievement of the goals. Then the “Conductor” is strengthened through the process to dis-identify, or energetically separate from each pair of opposite Inner Selves, while understanding and appreciating the gifts they both bear. Usually, the Conductor finds a path to resolution or creativity by honoring both sides of a polarity ( such as: Pleaser – “Selfish”/Self-Caring, Rational Mind – Non-Rational/Intuitive/Emotional, Pusher/Achiever – “Lazy”/Being.)

7. Voice dialogue empowers clients to be self-responsible. It gives them the skills to love, nurture and heal their wounded, traumatized inner child, and other sensitive Inner Selves. As this happens, this vulnerable, sensitive, and essential part of the psyche no longer needs to reach out to get its needs met by another person. In turn, this generates relationships between equal adult partners that are more alive and spontaneous; and maintain connection, passion, and appropriate boundaries. They learn to love each other without losing themselves.

8. Voice dialogue is a fascinating, unpredictable, engaging process for both facilitator and client. As a counselor and coach my days are filled with intensely meaningful, enlivening, and life-changing work with my clients. I can honestly say I have never been bored, ever. My practice expanded tremendously as I incorporated voice dialogue into the mix. Word of mouth spread quickly as clients reported their successes.

This article was originally published by GoodTherapy.org

© Copyright 2010 by www.GoodTherapy.org Staten Island Bureau – All Rights Reserved.


Francesca Starr, Ph.D., CPC info@FrancescaStarr.comwww.FrancescaStarr.com,
Certified Professional Coach, Post Graduate Voice Dialogue Training with Drs. Hal and Sidra Stone (Creators of Voice Dialogue), Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, MA Transpersonal Psychology, MA Education. Francesca brings finely honed skills and knowledge from previous careers (1. education, 2. business, and 3. counseling) to her current passion as a Voice Dialogue Coach and Trainer. Her clients, through Voice Dialogue, engage in gentle conversations with their Inner Selves that transform their lives. Francesca offers inspired, breakthrough coaching to resolve life and work issues, generate conscious choice and creative action, and evolve consciousness.

Contact Francesca for a complimentary consultation to determine if working with her and Voice Dialogue might be just what you are looking for, or not. Francesca offers in-person sessions in the heart of Denver, phone consultations, and Skype consultations.

303-894-0260 * info@FrancescaStarr.com * www.FrancescaStarr.com

Solve life/work issues and create positive changes in hours, not years!