How to create inner harmony around
any subject in 2 – 3 hours
Have you ever wondered whether it’s ‘normal’ to hear different voices in your head? To experience an ongoing internal dialogue between various facets of your personality? In Ego State Therapy the answer is definitely yes.
Hearing different inner voices isn’t unusual and it isn’t pathological. We all do it most of the time, whether we’re aware of it or not. After all, our personality isn’t a unified field! It’s made up of numerous ‘ego-states’ – parts of the psyche that have different desires, memories, fears, and ways of expressing themselves.
That’s why experiencing some inner conflict is also perfectly natural. Resolving them is how we grow and evolve. But what happens when we don’t reconcile our various points of view?
Here’s another way to ask this question…
Have you noticed that problems arise
in your life when conflicting ego-states
cannot agree on an outcome?
For example, the ego-state that emphatically states one night, “Enough is enough. I’ll start looking for a new job tomorrow”, isn’t the same one that says in the morning, “Yes, my job is terribly stressful and I hate it, but I won’t quit. Anything is better than the unknown, that’s for sure.”
To which a third voice might add something hurtful, such as “You’re such a loser – only an idiot would put up with these dreadful conditions.”
How about a fourth ego-state, the victim? This one is pretty universal and usually also has something to say. “Oh! poor me… Why do I always attract people who take advantage of me?…”
Such a tug of war is painful – as we all know. It leads to doubts, uncertainty, stagnation, paralysis, increasingly frequent self-deprecating comments and/or self-sabotage. When ignored or poorly handled, such conflicts can also lead to physical illness or depression.
Which areas of life can be helped by an Ego State
The short answer is all of them:
- Addictive behaviours, such as smoking, gambling, alcoholism, over-eating, etc.
- Self-worth & assertiveness
- Body-image, etc.
Whatever the area of life, we need to resolve our internal conflicts in order to achieve happiness and fulfillment.
What happens during an ego-state therapy session?
A session usually takes 2-3 hours. It starts with a short conversation around the issue to be addressed and the desired outcome. This is followed by a progressive relaxation that induces a light hypnotic trance. In this relaxed state, the client can easily access the different voices involved in the conflict.
The client is perfectly conscious of everything that is said and remains in charge of the conversation at all times.
The role of the practitioner is to ask respectful questions and make suggestions leading to a harmonious resolution.
In many cases, one session is enough, and positive results are usually immediately noticeable.
What about really destructive, abusive, and/or
Some people hear voices that are terribly distressing. These voices might abuse the hearer, or tell them to commit a crime or to hurt their own body. They might become so paranoid, or so noisy that they overwhelm the ego to a point of dysfunction.
If this is the case for you, please seek help from the closest Voice Hearers group in your area.
The Hearing Voices Movement is a serious organization that helps people in such distress. They work with psychiatrists who understand that voices are meaningful. They run groups that support people living with voices. They also have well-trained peers who have gone through similar experiences and are now living full and enjoyable lives.
Some people benefit from medication, others don’t. Remember that it’s your choice. Whatever your preference, don’t accept a diagnosis of mental illness without getting a second, third, or fourth opinion. And do your own research – see below.
From the ‘Hearing Voices’ perspective,
offensive voices are a cry for help
As such, they’re part of the solution, not part of the problem. These voices want to bring your attention to a part of your psyche that hurts so much it needs urgent attention, love, and healing. In most cases, the hurt goes back to childhood abuse or other traumas.
So yes, there’s hope. Voices can be treated in such a way that their messages eventually shift from hostile to friendly. And ego-state therapy (or Voice Dialogue) is one of the techniques used successfully to create such a shift.
For help with disturbing voices, please go to www.intervoiceonline.org, and from there to local organisations in your area.
You might also like to read my three blog posts about the Voice Hearing Congress 2013.
And please watch the following video: Eleanor Longden 14 minutes
Finally, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to write to us.