"In every corner of my soul exists an altar to a different god." Fernando Pessoa - poet and astrologer

I have been a psychological astrologer for roughly thirty years, I have been an energy healer for twenty years and in the last ten years I have also worked as a trainer and facilitator of the transpersonal process known as Voice Dialogue. Voice Dialogue is a great compliment to the body-psychotherapy that is part of my approach to energy healing. Both methods lead us away from mental analysis and into direct contact with the body, with our human energy field and, eventually into our own personal connection with the Divine. I realise that not so many people know what Voice Dialogue is or have even heard of it. So it seems to be time for me to write something about it.

The method of Voice Dialogue, was developed by Drs Hal and Siddra Stone, as a way of working with 'The Psychology of Selves' - the theory that every person's psyche is made up of a vast range of different sub-personalities. As the psychosynthesis therapist Pierro Ferrucci says - "Each of us is a crowd"! At any given moment, we will have different aspects of self expressing different needs, sometimes completely conflicting needs.

For example, what happens when someone decides to do a bungee-jump? As they step up to do the jump - there'll be one adventurous, sub-personality saying "Wow! This is fun, look how high up I am!" Meanwhile there'll be another, more health and safety oriented voice saying "What the Hell are you doing? Get away from the edge.....Oh God no, we're going to die!!!" One of these voices will win and the person will either make that leap or they'll back away or faint or something!

So that example is quite an unusual situation but these kinds of conflicts are going on inside of us all the time. The self who says "Mmmm, doughnuts...." vs. the self who says "You are not seriously thinking of eating that number of calories?". The self who attends a family gathering and says, "How lovely to see you all" vs. the self who is wandering "How soon can I get away?". The self who yells "Go on then, get out, I hate you!" vs. the self who whispers "Don't leave me, I love you."

Everyone has a vast range of these internal voices. They originate in childhood when the child realises that some things about them are welcomed by the family whilst other aspects of self are rejected. For example, in most families, a child will get praise and approval for doing what they are told and they get blame and disapproval if they are disobedient. So that child might grow up with a very strong 'Pleaser' - a dominant aspect of the personality who is anxious to get approval and always tries to figure out what the other person wants. Or they might grow up driven by a very strong 'Rebel' who will react to any kind of instructions with anger - "Don't tell me what to do!" And, in a Voice Dialogue session, what we might find is that the person actually has both those voices running. The dominant sub-personality may be driven by the urge to please, be compliant and avoid conflict. But buried underneath all that there will be the voice of the Rebel Self who can't stand being told what to do but never manages to get heard. We call the dominant self a Primary Self and we call the rejected self a Disowned Self. There are also Vulnerable Selves, who are rooted in childhood experience and hold tender feelings such as sadness or fear that have been repressed by the Primary Selves. Vulnerable Selves are usually the most disowned selves in western culture.

In a Voice Dialogue session, a person starts to make an exploration of their range of sub-personalities by giving each voice a clear space in which to speak and be heard, one at a time. It sounds very simple, which it is, but people are often astonished, sometimes profoundly shocked by the sub-personalities they discover among their Disowned and Vulnerable Selves.

You can think about Voice Dialogue in three stages. I have written about them sequentially but actually they are all happening at the same time (e.g. you can't have an Aware Ego Process without Awareness). But we can say that we begin by just getting to know your own system of selves; which selves are running the show - the voices of the Primary Selves - and which ones are being repressed - the lost voices of the Disowned and Vulnerable Selves. Developing consciousness of the many different voices of the psyche is a lifelong journey referred to as developing an Aware Ego Process.

Most people have little awareness about their Disowned Selves and in their day to day lives they are run by what we call the Operating Ego. The Operating Ego is a conglomeration of mostly Primary Selves who feel safe and familiar and have habitual reactions to situations. Once we start allowing the voices of the Disowned or Vulnerable selves to come into consciousness, we realise that there is much more to us than our habitual range of selves. We step outside the limitations of the Operating Ego and move into the Aware Ego Process, allowing more and more of our Disowned voices to be heard and included. We become increasingly aware that we are not any one thing and we start to see how we have become identified with a small bunch of Primary Selves when actually we are so much bigger and more complex.

As we increase our understanding of Voice Dialogue we develop more and more ability to move between the old familiar selves and the new voices we have discovered through the Aware Ego Process. Then we become much more free in our choices of how to meet life, how to respond to situations. We are no longer trapped in the identification with the Primary Selves. Instead we go beyond those identifications and allow ourselves the freedom to try a new response, giving voice to our Vulnerability or speaking from one of our previously Disowned Selves. We become an 'energy dancer' flowing between the different aspects of self.

Identification is a key word here. Many people might think they know who they are, think they have figured out their personality but actually they have just learned to navigate their Primary Self system. It is a liberating moment of awakening when we become aware of the limitations imposed by our Primary Selves and stop identifying with them. It is as though we come out of the narrow caves and tunnels in which we have been living and find ourselves under the sky.

In Voice Dialogue there is no need to 'fix' anything. None of the selves we discover, not even the worst bully or the cringiest pleaser or not even the dreaded voice of the Inner Critic is required to be eliminated. And no self is required to behave itself and conform to the agenda of any other self. When a self emerges into consciousness and comes into the presence of Awareness then we find that the heart of every self is a dynamic living pattern of energy, an expression of divine consciousness.

The third aspect of Voice Dialogue is my favourite. In the early stages when we are strongly identified with one of our selves, we hold it close and it takes up a lot of our field of vision, it dominates our way of being. During a Voice Dialogue session, as we give this Self space to speak and be heard we start to separate from it. We may appreciate it's point of view and the ways in which it helps us in life, but we slowly start to understand that this is not "Who I am". We are not rejecting or abandoning any of our selves, all we are doing is separating from our identification with them. As we separate, from even our most favourite aspects of self, we move through the Aware Ego process and we touch into a vast space, which we can refer to as Awareness. In this space of Awareness we begin to experience the connection to our own divine core star, to the Mind of God-Goddess, to Universal Consciousness, to stillness and presence. Awareness is a place of transcendence, where we are able to hear from deeper, wider more expanded states of consciousness. On the journey of accessing Awareness we may encounter profound and powerful aspects of being such as the archetypes which are the building blocks of the psyche and the elements of the life force. And it is in the presence of Awareness that healing occurs, magical moments of release and the birth of new consciousness.

We are eternally grateful to Drs Hal and Siddra Stone who created Voice Dialogue in the 1970's and brought it to the world. They are the authors of 'Embracing Our Selves', 'Partnering', 'Embracing Your Inner Critic' and other books. and can be found at