Do-it-yourself and long distance voice dialogue
Sometimes you want to find out what your own inner selves are doing or thinking and there is no one around who can facilitate you. If you have had even a little experience as a facilitator then there is really no problem. Even if you have only read this section and are yet to begin learning to facilitate there is nothing to stop you trying self-facilitation.
All you need to keep in mind is that the role of facilitator is to remain positive and very much neutral while clearly believing in the existence of the selves. You might compare the role to that of the conductor of a large orchestra, helping the overall process but not playing any instrument nor favouring any one player over others. So the facilitators part can actually become so minimal that dialoguing without one need not be a problem.
Here are just a few ways you can facilitate yourself and still create a useful dialogue even when you are alone. See also separate page on using opposite hands for do-it-yourself written dialogue (actually one of the oldest and most powerful forms of voice dialogue).
Self facilitation using empty chairs
Set up a number of chairs as you would for a normal session. Place an empty chair where the facilitator would normally sit.
Start by sitting yourself in the middle or safe chair and then move left or right to other chairs. After sitting in a chair talk from that position, out loud if you want to. Return to the safe chair after each voice or self has spoken and before moving to any other chair or self.
This kind of session works well if you find yourself being drawn towards any one particular chair. It does not matter that (until you get there) you usually will not know which self is going to speak. This often leads to greater spontaneity than when another person is present as facilitator.
If you have had even a little experience with interviewing selves and being facilitated by someone else, you will find this form of do-it-yourself dialogue as easy and fruitful as an ordinary session.
Self facilitation using a desk or table
Prepare six or more large sheets of paper or cardboard. Seat yourself at the desk or table and spread the sheets over the surface at random.
When a self wants to talk write down its initial comments on one sheet. If possible use these words to make some kind of identification or select a working name for that self. Continue, allowing different selves to comment each on its own sheet of paper. Gold Coast facilitator Ron Bass goes one step further and actually balances the energies of polar opposite selves by moving the sheets around the desk.
Inner self family meetings
Sit at a table, choose one chair for the facilitator, then move round from chair to chair and let each self speak in turn. Go back to the facilitator chair after each self speaks and make a short note about what it said. Then move on to the next chair and the next self. There is no need to identify in advance which self is in which chair. Just go there and whichever self is ready to talk will begin either to speak or at least have a feeling or point of view on something important to you.
Facilitating by telephone facilitating by telephone
Its not really necessary to have the facilitator in the same room. Facilitating by phone works quite well for many people and is worth trying.
I know of a number of people who now use internet chat systems to facilitate each other. Its a bit slower, having to type in all the words but it does give you access to experienced facilitators anywhere in the world.
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