Many Selves, Many Voices, Many Choices


An Introduction to Voice Dialogue by Bill E. Goldberg

Voice Dialogue is a process by which we get in touch with our family of inner selves.
It is a highly energetic alive process where we have the opportunity to express a host of
characters that have very different ways of being in the world.  The process is often
dramatic and quite entertaining.  Characters like the protector, pleaser, rebel, critic, and
inner child prove to be great sources of information and guidance.  Voice Dialogue is
equally about developing an aware ego that is conscious of yet separate from all selves.
The aware ego is like the CEO of a business who integrates all the employees.  It is not
identified with any self and therefore has great freedom of choice.  The process comes
from the point of view that every self has a gift and any one self dominating the personality
will be very limiting.  Voice Dialogue was created by Drs. Hal and Sidra Stone and the
ideas presented here are from their book Embracing Ourselves.

Primary Selves – We come into this world very vulnerable.  Often in early life we
experience emotional injuries.  The primary selves develop in response to these injuries
and their function is to protect us.  Examples of the primary selves are the protector,
critic, perfectionist, pleaser, and pusher.  These selves tend to move us away from our
feelings and into our minds.


Disowned Selves – In the process of protecting ourselves, we can deny parts that create
vulnerability.  Voice Dialogue assists us in experiencing these disowned or denied parts. 
A primary focus of this work is integrating our vulnerability, emotions, intuition, spiritual
selves, and instinctual selves (i.e. sexuality, anger, etc.).  Integrating our disowned parts
tends to get us more grounded in our bodies.


Balance and Choice – The process involves expressing a voice and then exploring its
opposite.  If the critic is expressed, then the compassionate one is allowed to speak.  This
creates balance in the personality.  It also increases our awareness and the choices that we
have available to  us.  Creativity, in part, is seen as coming from holding the tension of

















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