(Endorsement from Hal Stone, Ph.D. and Sidra Stone, Ph.D.)

INTERNATIONAL VOICE DIALOGUE AGREEMENT

Premise

The following document aims to provide an orientation for Voice Dialogue facilitators and teachers. The knowledge of these guidelines will help clients and students interested in receiving Voice Dialogue facilitations and courses in choosing the people to work with.

Introduction

In developing Voice Dialogue, Hal and Sidra Stone were looking for an open system, without any hierarchy; therefore, not to certify practitioners was a choice they made very early in the process. Consequently, the method could be applied in combination with other methods and integrated into different disciplines.

As a result, the work has spread, and is leaving its mark in a growing number of fields. To name a few: personal development, psychotherapy, psychiatry, coaching, organizational development, counseling, relationships, conflict resolution, creative and performing arts, meditation, writing, intercultural communication. Voice Dialogue is now – in different degrees of depth – taught in a great variety of educational trainings, including University Master’s programs.

The work continues to develop in many countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Korea, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, USA.

All this is very satisfying, however, there are several drawbacks. Because of the lack of certification and quality control, more and more people offer Voice Dialogue sessions and courses after minimal or outdated training. This causes problems for someone who is looking for an experienced Voice Dialogue facilitator/teacher, and for many committed facilitators who have been involved in the work for years.

So, for clarity and to protect the credibility of the term "Voice Dialogue facilitator", a need is felt for the establishment of guidelines for maintaining quality criteria. However, we want to be aware of the pitfalls of rigidity, certification and hierarchy. What is important here is to use an Aware Ego process in order to strike a balance between criteria and rules on one side and freedom and creativity on the other.

Another set of opposites is similar but even deeper than these. They are the opposites of form and spirit. With Hal and Sidra, we hope that over the years the spirit of this work will continue to shine through the facilitators and teachers. At its deepest, the development of an Aware Ego Process is a mindful practice – a psycho-spiritual practice. So, in the setting of standards of quality, we are concerned about not killing the soul of the work.

Over the summer of 2008, a "Think Tank" developed with the support of Hal and Sidra Stone. This group was formed by:

In the fall of 2008 at the NY Convergence of International Voice Dialogue Teachers organized by Martha Lou Wolff, these issues were discussed further and suggestions from the Convergence as well as many other senior teachers and facilitators contacted by the IVDA Think Tank were incorporated into this final document.

Criteria for Quality Of Voice Dialogue Work

A Guideline

  1. For a Voice Dialogue Facilitator

    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 one’s own primary and disowned selves as an on-going.
    • 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 – one’s own bonding patterns in relationships.

    Developing:

    • Contact with one’s 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 one’s 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 one’s own process of consciousness, and should also have a sound basis in theory and training.

    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 client’s Aware Ego process.
    • Staying conscious of bonding patterns that may arise between client and facilitator (transference and counter transference) and taking responsibility for one’s participation in the pattern.

    The process of becoming a skillful Facilitator is a process of learning, which is not linear, and includes the following steps:

    1st Step

    • 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.

    2nd Step

    • 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 forms.

    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.

  2. For a Voice Dialogue Teacher

    It is not essential for facilitators to become teachers, but in order to do so, one first has to be committed both to use Voice Dialogue in one’s own personal process and to facilitate others. According to our experience the process of becoming a Voice Dialogue teacher includes the following elements and development of skills in addition to those needed for facilitation:

    1. Be an experienced facilitator (at least 3 to 5 years).
    2. Be a teaching assistant in Voice Dialogue training programs.
    3. Practice teaching of parts of a training under supervision.
    4. Have experience and skills in using energetics in groups.
    5. Have didactic and group dynamic skills.

Ethical guide-lines

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:

* 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.

IVDA guidelines for Resource Directories

The following points, in line with in the Agreement, to be listed in Resource Directories, are:

It is expected that members will take responsibility about the information they put on this list and will update it annually. All data should be verifiable.

*****

This document was accomplished through an intensive international cooperation.

To contact the IVDA members of the Think Tank:

Geneviève Cailloux, France, genevieve@osiris-conseil.com
Pierre Cauvin, France, pierre@osiris-conseil.com
Giovanni Civita, Italy, giovanni.civita@tiscali.it
Maria Daniels, Netherland, maria@mariadaniels.nl
Miriam Dyak, USA, miriam@thevoicedialogueinstitute.org
Franca Errani, Italy, franerra@tiscali.it
J'aime Ona Pangaia, USA, vdcnw@comcast.net
Robert Stamboliev, Netherland, info@voicedialogueworld.com
Judith Tamar Stone, USA, Judith@voicedialogueconnection.com

*****

Hal and Sidra Stone about the IVDA Agreement:

"We applaud the tireless effort and the continuing commitment of the original IVDA "Think Tank" team in spearheading and taking responsibility for the development of these documents. This represents a tremendous effort on their part. We are pleased that they have taken steps to include the cooperation and input of the wider international Voice Dialogue community and we understand that they have done their best to include this additional input.

These efforts have produced excellent results. We feel that these documents maintain the basic spirit of the work – and the underlying psycho-spiritual values that it represents – even as they present criteria to protect the quality of facilitation and teaching. The spirit of the work is protected by the sense of continuing process, the space for the evolution of consciousness (or the expression of the organizing intelligence of the universe), and the avoidance of rigid requirements because each individual's path - and Aware Ego Process - is unique. The commitment to quality and proper safeguards are well represented by the presentation of ethical guidelines and an enumeration of recommendations both for the basic skills and the ongoing process necessary for competent facilitation and teaching."

Hal Stone and Sidra Stone
Albion, September 2009

*****

Below are the names of Voice Dialogue Teachers, Facilitators and Students who agree with the International Voice Dialogue Agreement. This is not a referral list. If you are interested in working with someone on this list, it is your responsibility to inquire about the depth and length of their training and their level of experience. All members of the Associations represented in the list are in agreement with the IVDA.

Gisèle Abécéra (France),
Fernanda Abiuso (Italy),
Marco Mura Alberti (Italy),
Donna Armstrong (Canada),
Murray Armstrong (Canada),
Suchadaa Assawaharutai (Thailand),
Associazione Voice Dialogue Italia (Italy),
Association Voice Dialogue Nord (France),
Paul & Robin Gale Baker (Australia),
Catherine Balazot (France),
Eleonora Baratella (Italy),
Marina Bargellini (Italy),
Maurizio Barilli (Italy),
Ana Barner (Australia),
Bonnie Beaty (USA),
Sonia Beghini (Italy),
Chiara Bellardi (Italy),
Anne-Cécile Benezech (France),
Zohar Berchik (Australia),
Ruth Berlin (USA),
Bonnie Bernell (USA),
Donatella Bertagnin (Italy),
Monique Beulink (Netherlands),
Rijk Binnekamp (Netherlands),
Héloïse Blain-Kaltenbach (France),
Nona Blanchard (USA),
Sherry Blossom, (Canada),
Elisabeth Bogaard (Netherlands),
François Boizot (France),
Artemisia Bonaldi (Italy),
Trudy Boonman (Netherlands),
Silvana Borile (Italy),
Véronique Bouhafs-Blanchard (France),
Nancy Bragard (France),
Petra Brand (Netherlands),
Nadine Bret-Rouzaut (France),
Karin Brugman (Netherlands),
Hind Brunel (France),
Judith Budde (Netherlands),
Pierfrancesco Bussetti (Italy),
Geneviève Cailloux (France),
Frédéric Calmettes (France),
Elisa Cappelletti (Italy),
Rosella Capra (Italy),
Bernard Carrère (France),
Dorsey Cartwright (USA),
Carmela Casciotta (Italy),
Pierre Cauvin (France),
Beatrice Cavallucci (Italy),
Serena Ceccaroni (Italy),
Giancarla Cestaro (Italy),
Somphol Chaisiriroj (Thailand),
Benoit Charron (France),
Emmanuelle Chaulet (France),
Marie-Agnès Chauvin (France),
Catherine Chemière (France),
Stefania Cimatti (Italy),
Giovanni Civita (Italy),
David Clark (USA),
Lorena Colarusso (Canada),
Judith Collignon (France),
Stephanie Colony (USA),
John Cooper (USA),
Cassandra Cosme DePree (USA),
Katina Cremona (Greece),
Morena Cremonini (Italy),
Céline Czadja (France),
Mauro Dal Maso (Italy),
Valéxie Dalmon (France),
Maria Daniels (Netherlands),
Véronique De Casteja (France),
Tiziana De Grandi (Italy),
Martin De Waziers (Belgium),
Carole Dehais (France),
Flore Delapalme (France),
Peter Dellensen (Netherlands),
Isabelle Demeure (France),
Hélène Dercourt (France),
Vincent Devianne (France),
Lucia Di Pietrogiacomo (Italy),
Leslie Dietz (USA),
Mary Disharoon (USA),
Ann Dobbertin (USA),
Linda Doornweerd (Netherlands),
LeAnne Dougherty (USA),
Elena Dragotto (Italy),
Françoise Dubreuil (France),
Gwenaëlle Ducoudré (France),
Laurence Dutoit-Bonte (France),
Miriam Dyak (USA),
Marion Elichalt-Roesink (France),
Nessa Elila (USA),
Franca Errani (Italy),
Jenna Eyerly (USA),
Pascale Faivre (France),
Annaguya Fanfani (Italy),
Gianluca Fantini (Italy),
Gerhard Fasser (Netherlands),
Sandrine Favre (France),
Alessandra Ferretti (Italy),
Maria Grazia Ferretti (Italy),
Laetitia Ferriole (France),
Giuliana Fili (Italy),
Susan Filley (USA),
Christine Fisette (France),
Celie Fox-Cabane (France),
Charlotte Frizon-Hémard (France),
Nora Fusillo (Argentina),
Thomas Fyot (France),
Manuela Galassi (Italy),
Paul Gale-Baker (USA),
Robin Gale-Baker (USA),
Wanda Gallo (Italy),
Gloria Gandini (Italy),
Marina Gentile (Italy),
Roberta Giorgetti (Italy),
Madeleine Giovachini (France),
Theres Grau (Germany),
Sarah Gregson (Australia),
René Grimbergen (Netherlands),
Johanna Grosgurin (France),
Daniela Guerrieri (Italy),
Danila Guidi (Italy),
Yael Haft Pomrock (Israel),
Philippine Hakkert (Netherlands),
Gautier Hankenne (Belgium),
Charles Hauser (Italy),
Aude Hauser-Mottier (Switzerland),
Judith Hendin (USA),
Caroline Herault (France),
Diane Himmel (USA),
Dassie Hoffman (USA),
Ria Hopman (Netherlands),
Rien Hordijk (Netherlands),
Jolanda Hutte (Netherlands),
Roberta Ianni (Italy),
Viviana Insacco (Italy),
Anna Ivara (USA),
Eric Jacquot (France),
Gabrielle Janssen (Netherlands),
Daniel Jaspar (France),
Hélène Jeannet (France),
Kitty Kater (Netherlands),
Gordon Keating (USA),
Florence Kehrer-Bory (Switzerland),
John Kent (England),
Ann Kerr-Linden (Canada),
Frans Kocken (Sweden),
Marie-Danièle Koechlin (France),
Zilla Kooij (Netherlands),
Jerien Koolbergen (Netherlands),
Yolanda Koumidou-Vlesmas (USA),
Yves Lacomblez (France),
Sara Lacroix (France),
Myriam Ladeuze (Belgium),
Chris Lankwarden (Netherlands),
Drue Larson (USA),
Jacques Laurent (France),
BJ Levy (USA),
Marijke Leys (Belgium),
Philip Ljubicich (USA),
Rosalba Losito (Italy),
Bruno Luirard (France),
Konrad Magnus (Norway),
Vittoria Mamoli (Italy),
Jennifer Manlowe (USA),
Morena Manzini (Italy),
Catherine Marissiaux (France),
Jérôme Maroni (France),
Frédéric Marquet (France),
Gesualda Mascali (Italy),
Christelle Masson (France),
Dal Maso Mauro (Italy),
Eric Maury (France),
Isabelle Mazur (France),
Marzia Mazzavillani (Italy),
Cordula Mears-Frei (Germany),
Rene Meijer (Netherlands),
Neil Meili (Canada),
Jane Mery de Montigny (France),
Céline Meyrignac (France),
Yves Michel (France),
Brenda Miller (USA),
Chris Miller (USA),
Fauso Minesso (Italy),
Gloria Mog (USA),
Michèle Montagnon (France),
Deborah Morris (USA),
Jean Motte (France),
Luce Mottier (France),
Claudine Mousseau (France),
Jennifer Mullen (Australia),
Sandra Muzzi (Italy),
Brooks Newton (USA),
Rod Newton (USA),
Astra Niedra (Australia),
Chris Nunan (Denmark),
Rosamond Nutting (Australia),
Adelheid Oesch (Switzerland),
Jos Olgers (Netherlands),
Annie d’Oliveira (France),
Lina Olteanu (Italy),
J'aime Ona Pangaia (USA),
Herma Ottevanger (Netherlands),
Janny Padelford (USA),
Alberto Paoletti (Italy),
Nick Papadopoulos (Greece),
Giuseppe Pappalardo (Italy),
Giulia Parisi (Italy),
Gerd Parquin (Belgium),
Ugo Patelli (Italy),
Lucia Paulazzo (Italy),
Silvia Pelle (Italy),
Alberto Pellegrino (Italy),
Lucas Peltier (France),
Lietje Perizonius (Netherlands),
Caterina Perna (Italy),
Christèle Perrot (France),
Jocelyne Perrot (France),
Bonnie Pfeiffer-Winkler (USA),
Bianca Pierni (Italy),
Desirée Pieters (Netherlands),
Dominique Pillerel (France),
Peggy Pitwell (Netherlands),
Paola Poluzzi (Italy),
Franck Potié (France),
Laurence Potié (France),
Silvia Pretto (Italy),
Manuéla Prouvost (France),
Cecile Purcell (Italy),
Patricia Radcliffe (USA),
Annarita Raffi (Italy),
Cecile Rost (France),
Gabrielle Rotach (Italy),
Camilla Rovelli (Italy),
Paola Rubatta (Italy),
Silvana Ruggi (Italy),
Els de Ruyter (Netherlands),
Jésahel Sabatier (France),
Eliana Sabatini (Italy),
Cecilia Sacchi (Italy),
Isabelle Saint-Macary (France),
Marie Saint Marc (France),
Edy Salvadori (Italy),
Liv Dons Samset (Norway),
Silvia Schiano (Italy),
Lionel Schwartzmann (France),
Susan Schwarz Senstad (Norway),
Roberto Seghi Rospigliosi (Italy),
Caroline Serré (Netherlands),
Trilby Shaw (Netherland),
Haesook Sim (South Korea),
Alice Morgan Simmonds (USA),
Pierre Smilovici (France),
Julie Smircic (USA),
Luisa Sorrentino (Italy),
Simona Spisni (Italy),
Robert Stamboliev (Netherlands),
Francesca Starr (USA),
Suzel Stiffel (France),
Judith Tamar Stone (USA),
John Swaner (USA),
Ilona Ten Boer (Netherlands),
Bruno Thévenin (France),
Catherine Thomé (France),
Pavel Tkachev (Russia),
Neva Tolloi (Italy),
Antonella Tomasso (Italy),
Romuald Troxler (France),
Victor Troyano (France),
Marino Tuveri (France),
Marion Twiesselmann (Belgium),
Giusy Ulivieri (Italy),
Wilco Van Brandenburg (Netherlands),
Lucie Van De Voorde (France),
Martine Van Den Bosch (Netherlands),
Jasper Van Well (Netherlands),
Bertien Van Woelderen (Netherlands),
Donna Varnau (USA),
Ginetta Vasini (Italy),
Paul van t Veld (Netherlands),
Michèle Vayn (France),
Luisella Ventura (Italy),
Isabella Venturi (Italy),
Barbara Veraldi (Italy),
Steve Verbist (Belgium),
Chantal Verzaux (France),
Paolo Vezzali (Italy),
Federica Vignoli (Italy),
Variwan Vitayathanagorn (Thailand),
Donatella Volturo (Italy),
Franciska Kali Von Koch (Sweden),
Dave Waugh (Canada),
Bill Whittier (South Africa),
Sytze Wierda (Netherlands),
Jane Winter (USA),
Olwen Wolfe (France),
Yvonne Wolsink (Netherlands),
Marion Wolters (Netherlands),
Catherine Wuillaume Ferris (Netherlands),
Melissa Yeary (USA),
Nancy Young (USA),
Esther Zahniser (England),
Ilaria Zamboni (Italy),
Cinzia Zanier (Italy),
Angela Zanotti (Italy),
Marcus Zeven-Jansen (Netherlands),
Michael Zimmerman (England),
Monique Zomer (Netherlands),
Luisa Zoni (Italy),
Hilde Zuurman (Netherlands),
Ruud Zuurman (Netherlands),