Voice dialogue is the latest in alternative medicine, offering a new approach to exploring oneself.
It involves engaging oneself in a personal dialogue to explore the variety of voices one has with which they speak to themselves as well as to others. The technique is used to explore one’s personal psyche with one’s own promptings or by the questions of a person playing a role of “the aware ego.
I recently sat down for a session with Othman Young at his Imbaba art studio to understand what he finds so useful about the practice of voice dialogue.
The objective of voice dialogue is somewhat similar to psychotherapy, to help people understand themselves a little better and help to resolve personal and emotional issues.
“The journey is about growing in consciousness, explained Young.
Young is a professor of art at the American University in Cairo and is part of a small community that practices homeopathy. He is a self taught instructor of Voice Dialgoue.
He explains voice dialogue as a tool to expand egos so that people may grow mentally by self-reflection.
“Voice dialogue is a practical tool that you in an hour [can learn] then go out and notice how people react to things, and start having a choice whereas before you might have been stuck in a pattern response such as with your parents or boss, he explained.
It is also a very good tool, he continued, for using as a parent with your children or as a boss with one’s employees.
There is a clear distinction, however, between voice dialogue and medical psychiatric therapy.
“The people who developed this [technique] – Hal and Sidra Stone – refused to make this a certifiable course. The intention of voice dialogue is to use it with the people around you and it’s simple enough to apply but is not designed for people with serious issues. They should go and get some high end psychiatric advice, he said.
“I have often referred people to do some therapy, and some have later come back after having done some other work.
Sitting on large cushions across from Young, he begins by asking me to describe who Heba is. Having referred to me in the third person, my response begins as such, and Young scribbles down notes silently only interrupting me with further questions to elaborate or clarify my answers.
Throughout the session, I was asked to sit in different spots, to walk about or shift positions so that I can engage in different roles and look at myself with objectivity in the third person. Somewhat amused and somewhat curious, I began to let go as Young helped me dip into my subconscious.
There are “dominant voices that often play large damaging roles in our lives, Young said. “If something is delivered in an angry voice, [people] feel judged and react to that voice. If you are angry and can recognize your own anger, ask yourself what is it I want to say?
“Balancing the tension of opposites . and disowning anger are objectives in a session, should such a personality trait become apparent.
“To own your anger doesn’t necessarily mean you have to express it, doesn’t mean you’re repressing it, but knowing you’re angry, he added.
Throughout the session, I was tugged between roles Young has identified within me: “Controlling Heba, “Playful Child Heba, and “Anarchy Heba, though the latter does not exist in a big way.
Attempting to help people balance their personalities, Young aims to focus on elements that could use further growth or rediscovery such as that of “active child, vis-à-vis “anarchy , which Young predicts could lead to my creative growth.
Internal roles run the gamut from “inner critic, to “beach bum .
The whole process is interesting, and his ability to have one reconsider their own habits is intriguing.
Young stays away from defining one’s roles within Freudian parameters. This is not emotional therapy as much as it is an intelligent conversation about one’s consciousness.
Young throughout is “the facilitator, playing the aware ego, a mirror watching where we can be when we’re not engaging unnecessarily.
Voice dialogue is enlightening, and has kindled further curiosity. Trying to catch myself acting in certain roles has been interesting to monitor since my session with Young. Since then I’ve been allowing a little more anarchy in my actions and a little more active child in my activities. The result?
My day is a little easier to get through in this city.
An hour long session costs LE 300. Contact Othman Young on: 010-619-9327.