Recently, I attended a 2 day workshop on Voice Dialogue with Rufus May and Elizabeth Svanholmer in the Wellness Centre in Dublin City University. It was Before attending I didn’t really know what I was getting myself in to. I thought it would just teach us how to speak to client’s voices or teach the client themselves how to hold conversation with them. To my surprise, it taught me a whole lot about myself too. There were also a lot of grounding exercises thrown in and the whole vibe of the workshop was very relaxed and meditative. It taught me how to build my own self-awareness and how to facilitate others to build upon their own. A lot of emotions came about throughout the workshop and with each emotion completely different energies were felt. Personally, it gave me a whole new outlook on mental health and those who come into difficulties and times of distress. I think its an amazing approach and helped me understand myself and others more easily. I know its not an approach for everyone and there are people out there who are very medical and scientific based but if you’re a bit more free spirited and open-minded than those then you’ll love it!
I wont go into too much detail on this new approach but I’ll give you a synopsis and then leave some links below that you can click if you want to learn more.
So what is Voice Dialogue?
- It is a psycho-spiritual approach to consciousness which was founded by Dr Hal Stone and Dr Sidra Stone in 1972.
- It believes ‘we are not one but many’. It teaches us how to contact, learn about and work with our many selves that make up each of us.These different selves can determine how we see the world, how we interpret different situations, how we cope and how we communicate.
- Different people we meet along the way will bring out different parts of ourselves either hidden or obvious.
- The relationships we are part of can be shaped by these selves. This approach helps highlight problems in these relationships and teaches us how to use the problems to gain more control over our lives.
- It is also believed we are all made up of different energies and different people we encounter can drain us of these energies.
- Our dreams are trying to communicate and guide us from within. Our dreams teach us a lot about our selves and we can learn great wisdom from them. This approach teaches us how to interpret our dreams in a different way.
So basically the exercise we done was as follows:
- We learned about the theory.
- We identified our primary selves by mapping them out. I chose DREAMER, PASSION, JOY. These are selves that are prominent in our lives.
- We identified our hidden selves. These are selves which have been pushed to the back of our subconscious because people or events have not deemed them acceptable. One of the hidden selves I chose was ANGER. As a child we’re told to refrain from being angry. It’s socially acceptable to hide this part of ourselves.
- We then chose one self we wanted to hold dialogue with. We were given a piece of paper and a pen and told to ask this self the following questions: How are you? What do you want for ____? What would ______’s life be like without you there? How does ______relate to you? How long have you been in ____’s life? Would you like anything to change in your relationship with _____? Do you have any advice for ____? Thank you.
- Reflect on the answers the self has given.
It was nice to zone in on different parts of ourselves, recognising they’re still there, acknowledging their purpose, and understanding that each part has a meaning and purpose in our lives. It may all sound like a load of hippie crap again, but each approach won’t suit everyone. Each to their own and all that jazz.
I have attached some useful links below if you are interested and want to learn more: