Voice Dialogue holds that we all have a personality, which is composed of many parts, called sub-personalities. Each part has its own unique assets and gifts. All of us have countless parts, but there are typically a few parts that are dominant in your life. If you become overly identified with any one part of your personality, it can begin to take over your life and cause you distress. When this happens, other parts of you get ignored and life becomes imbalanced, resulting in a broad spectrum of concerns, including anxiety and depression, addictions, relationship troubles, and health problems.
For example, at times you may be aware of a "perfectionist" part of you that wants to do everything just right. Your perfectionist may drive you to become obsessed with doing things flawlessly, sabotaging your capacity to derive any pleasure from your life. This is the part of you that wants to get things perfect, usually with the hope of gaining approval.
At other times, you may be aware of a "pusher." This is the part of you that is not comfortable resting. The pusher always wants to be busy and active and it is driven to accomplish whatever is left undone. The pusher gets a lot done, but at the cost of continual stress and anxiety around unfinished projects. Pushers are very common in our culture and they're at the root of many symptoms including backaches, insomnia, fatigue, depression and anxiety.
You may also be aware of a "pleaser" part that wants to make other people happy. The pleaser is typically motivated by the fear of being abandoned or rejected. While the pleaser is very helpful to others, it often leaves you feeling emotionally drained and resentful that you are not getting your needs met or that you are being taken advantage of by others.
Typically, when one part of you is over-functioning, there will be an opposite side that under-functions. This imbalance causes distress. For example, if you are strongly identified with taking care of other people, the part of you that takes care of yourself may get ignored. In result, you can burn yourself out by helping others because you lack the capacity to regenerate yourself.
Voice Dialogue, which is rooted in Jungian psychology and Gestalt therapy, is an experiential technique that is very effective for expanding awareness of your inner parts, allowing you to bring each part back into balance. As you get to know these parts more deeply, your self-awareness expands, creating greater clarity and allowing you to access the gifts and talents of these parts.
One of the major benefits of this work is that as your awareness expands, you will have the power to make choices, as opposed to simply reacting to whichever part is most dominant in your life at that time. Awareness creates choice and choice creates empowerment, putting you in charge of your life.
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