(as developed by the International Voice Dialogue Community)
We are aware of the need for some way to help people to evaluate the proficiency of facilitators and teachers of Voice Dialogue and the Psychology of Selves while at the same time protecting the soul of this work. On the one hand, we believe that rules and regulations - anything that hints at accreditation or codification - is antithetical to the self-organizing principle that is at the heart of the Aware Ego process. On the other hand, we see the need to provide some guidance for those who do not know this work to begin to make choices.
We reaffirm our belief that there is no way to credential an Aware Ego process. And, at this time, there is no way to create specific guidelines for the evaluation of an Aware Ego process. It is true that there are basic principles to be learned and basic training to be received. But the amount required will vary from one person to another. And it is of the utmost importance that teachers and facilitators continue their own process in one form or another. We see this as basic requirements. But individuals are different; the form this will take will be unique for each. And the amount of time this will take will vary depending on the individual.
In an attempt to reconcile these opposites, a set of guidelines has been developed. We see these as just that - guidelines. Not rules, not requirements to be met, not precursors to credentialing. The move towards developing this set of guidelines began in 2008 in Europe with the IVDA group. They began to examine what was necessary in the training of someone who worked with Voice Dialogue professionally. This group began in Holland with Robert Stamboliev and Maria Daniels, in France with Geneviève Cailloux and Pierre Cauvin , and in Italy with Franca Errani and Giovanni Civita. They invited Jʼaime ona Pangaia from Portland, Miriam Dyak from Seattle, John Cooper from Chicago, and Judith Stone from Boulder to join them. This initial group solicited additional input from the larger Voice Dialogue community - both by email and in person from interested parties at the New York Convergence led by Martha-Lou Wolff. The result of this is a set of guidelines that they call the International Voice Dialogue Agreement and that we call the IVDA Guidelines.
We see the following IVDA guidelines as a contribution to an evolutionary process; an ongoing and never-ending process - much like the evolution of the Aware Ego. We see them as providing some initial structure and content to aid you in evaluating the listings in this Resource Directory.
However, we submit these to you as guidelines only. Although we have supported the development of these guidelines, we do not view them as absolute requirements for competent Voice Dialogue facilitators or teachers. We do not require anyone to sign any documents - including the IVDA - as a prerequisite for listing in our Resource Directory.
Hal & Sidra Stone
CRITERIA FOR QUALITY OF VOICE DIALOGUE Facilitator: A Guideline
What makes Voice Dialogue work effective? What skills are needed to become a Voice Dialogue Facilitator?
The Voice Dialogue Facilitator is well versed in the theory of the Psychology of Selves and knows and understands its different elements: primary and disowned selves, vulnerability and power, instinctive and transpersonal energies, bonding patterns in relationships, dreams, archetypes, energetics and facilitation skills. In addition, the Voice Dialogue facilitator has been in and continues to be in an extensive process by working with these elements, experiencing them deeply and integrating them over time.
The guidelines we will describe here live within a process rather than a stationary condition. They may be developed and polished without limit; on the other hand, they can be lost if one does not continue one's own personal process (even if one is experienced in the work). To become and continue to be a skilled Voice Dialogue Facilitator, it is highly recommended to have an active practice of being facilitated on a regular basis. This supports the facilitator to really surrender to one's own process, and find out, from one's experience of being facilitated, what does and does not actually work. This will also allow the Facilitator to personally experience a wider assortment of inner selves that can later be drawn upon through an Aware Ego process when facilitating someone else.
Because Voice Dialogue work is a process to which each facilitator brings a unique set of skills, talents, and life experiences, there is no hard and fast rule about how long such a developmental process will take. It is our experience that it can generally take between three to five years to become an experienced and transformative Voice Dialogue facilitator, if the person is already experienced with working energetically or psychologically with others. If the person has not yet developed good listening and interpersonal relationship skills, either personally or professionally, the process may very likely take more time.
We have found that the development of the individual process includes the following elements:
Being facilitated regularly in order to:
• Be aware of oneʼs own primary and disowned selves as an on-going discovery
• Work with an ever wider range of selves
• Separate from a number of core polarities
• Be aware of one's own vulnerability
• Have awareness of – and accountability for – oneʼs own bonding patterns in relationships
• Contact with oneʼs own body, breath and voice.
• A relationship with the Unconscious through dreams and daydreams, as well as exploring
the deeper layers of the archetypal and transpersonal levels of the psyche
• Experience with energetics – such as being centered, alert, relaxed, aligned - as well as
having an ongoing practice in paying attention both to the energy of oneʼs own selves and
to the energetic connection (linkage) between oneself and others.
In looking at the skills needed to be a Voice Dialogue Facilitator, we see that these are partly the
result of oneʼs own process of consciousness, and should also have a sound basis in theory and
These skills include the following:
• Being able to assess which clients to accept and which to decline or refer to a competent
specialist. This is the first safety mechanism for good practice and is particularly
important for those facilitators who are not psychotherapeutically trained.
• A practiced ability to facilitate from an Aware Ego process, as the premise for a true
unconditional acceptance of the client and for holding/modeling the clientʼs Aware Ego
• Staying conscious of bonding patterns that may arise between client and facilitator
(transference and counter transference) and taking responsibility for oneʼs participation in
The process of becoming a skillful Facilitator is a process of learning, which is not linear, and includes the following steps:
• Receiving initial and ongoing training in Voice Dialogue theory and practice
• Receiving sessions from an experienced facilitator on a regular basis
• Observing experienced facilitators doing Voice Dialogue facilitation
• Practicing Voice Dialogue facilitation with peers under supervision
• Facilitating Voice Dialogue with clients on a regular basis.
• Making arrangements for an ongoing process that affords objective feedback
regarding facilitation and personal process. This arrangement can take many
Being a seasoned, experienced Voice Dialogue facilitator is a developmental process. There will
be a moment when the skillful facilitator feels more and more comfortable with the work and has a
sense of embodiment, knowledge and skill. Then s/he can work independently, while still
maintaining his/her personal process and continuing education in the work.
Ethics refers to the facilitators’ and teachers' behavior both with clients, students and also with colleagues. The following are what are considered to be some of the most important values for a Voice Dialogue Facilitator or Teacher:
▪ Continuing one's own Voice Dialogue process
▪ Maintaining confidentiality around client's identity, issues, and work
▪ Working in accordance with one’s own competence and the client's needs
▪ Being clear with the client about the facilitator’s professional orientation (such as coaching, counseling, therapy…) and about what the client can expect
▪ Referring clients to specialists if needed*
▪ Not using the relationship with the clients or students to one’s own advantage or benefit
▪ Respecting the right of the client or student to terminate the relationship at any point
▪ Being aware of one's own limits as a facilitator and referring the client to another facilitator if required
▪ Not getting involved in a romantic or sexual way with a client or current student
▪ Being committed to deal with any of one's own interpersonal issues amongst colleagues
▪ Respecting the client's former facilitators
▪ Maintaining transparent and clear professional relationships within the Voice Dialogue community
▪ Complying with the laws of one’s own country and state regarding practice taxes, professional obligations, legal structures
* Voice Dialogue practitioners/teachers, especially those who are without formal training in clinical psychology, need to learn to recognize the warning signals of mental illnesses/disturbances – psychosis, depression, personality disorders, etc. This knowledge helps Voice Dialogue practitioners/teachers, among other things, to determine when they ought not to work with/train someone but instead refer that person to a competent specialist. In any case, Voice Dialogue cannot be a replacement for medical care.