In Voice Dialogue we engage these parts in the dialogue. It’s important to understand that the dialogue is not only a rational or mental dialogue but also engages the energies that are connected with the body. That’s why the term consciousness includes both awareness and the experience of energy.
As we have seen in the former chapter that a subpersonality occupies its own space, so in Voice Dialogue we invite the part for example the controller where it would like to sit or stand. So our experienced energies that are felt are translated into the different personality parts. Voice dialogue is an elegant method that identifies these subpersonalities.
In Voice Dialogue therefore we don’t speak of resistance but we speak about primary selves, and the accent will be about how to become friends with this subpersonality eg. the Controller rather than to fight it. So we simply ask the person to move aside and become aware of the energy in this case the Controller and then you are able to identify the felt sense that is connected with a certain position in the body. In the same time during the interview with the facilitator the Controller starts to be aware of itself. These dynamics as mentioned here also apply to any of the subpersonalities.
Willpower as a major principle of a subpersonality
So to point out a major principle we are touching here is that as Hal and Sidra Stone have put, is that every subpersonality has its own willpower, its thoughts and feelings, and its own voice (Stone & Stone, 1989, e.a.). Another basic principle of the existence of subpersonalities is that they are organized in polarities. These parts are usually well developed in one way as by a means of a survival kit for the individual. However this also means that these well-developed parts, usually thanks to survival strategies, have their respective counterparts. These counterparts are being identified as dissent parts that each one of them tend to live unattended in the shadow of the primary self. So exactly the reason why the one part of the personality in the polarity stands in the light, is called a primary subpersonality, is leading to that part of the personality that stands in the shadow, lives a lesser developed existence and is identified as our disowned part or disowned self.
So the inclusive aspect of Voice Dialogue is that this method is literally ‘giving a voice’ to the different parts of the personality. Essentially to the method also is that by experiencing these different parts in their different positions in the process of giving them their own voice, is resulting in a growing awareness of these parts. There will be an increasing awareness of the ego, a mechanism described as the Aware Ego in the overarching consciousness model.
Next to the process of transformation and growing awareness in the Aware Ego, a similar process of increasing awareness is to be observed in the involved subpersonalities as well.
While on the one hand this applies to us as individuals, this phenomenon on the other hand also applies to a group of individuals, who are part of a family-system or are working as a collective within the framework of an organization.
Experiencing imbalance within ourselves is often the moment that we need the other pole to be more active, we need the opposite to get ourselves(s) in balance. So summarizing the above, we need to give the subpersonality a voice, or a home. Secondly Voice Dialogue offers the opportunity to experience that part (for example the forgotten part) fully, by its voice, its feelings and its posture or energy. Thirdly this process makes the person aware of the parts that need attention, and be able to deal with the subpersonality. Lastly the Aware Ego process, by means of increasing awareness enhances the integration of the different personalities within us.
Now we will take a look at some practical cases. It would be useful to describe some frequently occurring personality parts where the question of balance and imbalance are made clear. These examples are taken from the article Polarities in Personal Coaching by Halbertsma and Stamboliev (2002).