Introduction - How do you measure the effectiveness of inner self work?   
A pragmatist's approach to Inner self and self-awareness - and how to use them to
make changes that make a difference

I would like to affirm from the outset that inner self work and the voice dialogue process are in my opinion, the most real, the most positive and powerful tools for making changes that I have ever come across. They’re not the only tools, but combined with others they really make things happen.

Whatever I say below is intended, not as a criticism of the inner-self or self-awareness process, but as a way of enhancing it. Although some of the techniques I suggest may differ from what I would call "Classic Voice Dialogue" they are still very much based on the extremely sound teachings of Dr Hal Stone and Dr Sidra Stone and all the other people to teach and train in this work.

I have only come across one problem with Classic Voice Dialogue, and that is the time that it takes most people (often several years) to make significant changes in their lives. By significant I mean applying  their self-awareness to make changes,  changes that lead to real and positive differences in the person's life, changes that can be observed by others, and changes that are reasonably long term or even permanent.

Apart from the time it takes , before people are able to do this, there is a second problem, arising from the first. That is that many people expect to get results quickly, which is understandable. When this doesn't happen they all too often, lose interest, stop doing voice dialogue and self awareness work and try something else.

I have been searching for an effective solution to this loss for a number of years and I believe that here in SE Queensland we may have uncovered a practical answer.

But for a start, I need to acknowledge that I and the characters inside me are a bunch of pragmatists. When I talk about things like "making things happen", "significant results" or "effectiveness" I mean real results.  So since this is an experiment, we needed some  criteria to measure results and see how well our alternative storytelling approach is working.

Here are the "measuring sticks" that I and my pragmatic inner characters like to apply to see how quickly an individual is gaining effective results

How do you measure the effectiveness of inner self work?

Is inner self work, self-awareness or voice dialogue really getting results for you ? You can tell by looking at:

Looking from the outside:

  1. how much these changes make a real difference in your life. That includes not just practical differences but also how much your life looks and feels more positive after you make the change.
  2. whether the changes are temporary or permanent. That is, how long the positive changes last.
  3. the time and amount of work it takes you to achieve a positive change or shift.
  4. whether you sound positive and look happy while you are making changes and while you are shifting old habits or old patterns.
  5. how much other people can see these changes in you and can tell you what they see. (positive feedback).

Looking inside:

But to achieve the outside results you also need to be able to do some deeper work on the inside. To be more confident about how well you are doing at making changes you need to look at:

Old patterns and old habits

Opposite patterns and opposite villagers

"I can do it" versus "I can’t do it"

Growing Awareness – the more time you spend climbing Awareness Hill, the easier all this becomes.

Changes in terms used

By the way, you will notice, quite soon, if you start reading these new 2004 pages, that I generally avoid  using classic terms such as "inner selves" "primary selves"  and even "voice dialogue". Instead, for example,  I refer to the characters as "Inner villagers" and the place they live and work inside us as the "inner village".

We talk, have discussions, maybe even dialogue informally with these inner villagers, rather than "doing voice dialogue". There are a number of practical reasons why we do this.  

The one reason that I mention this now is that small changes of this kind appear to have a major effect in speeding up the effectiveness of inner self work. I will explain why I think this is happening, in later pages.

So this next page is a good place to start. It lists the old and new terms side by side. It will make it easier for you to follow the other pages if you read it first.

 Growing Awareness and Classic Voice Dialogue - Similarities and Differences (updates and additions 21 February 2004)  How the terms used in Growing Awareness differ from Classic Voice Dialogue

A search for a way to speed up the changes and to make them last longer - 2004 

Life in the village

A fable about using fables

Does it Work?

We are finding this simplified storytelling approach helps people see more quickly what their inner selves are doing and how and why they are do it. This in turn speeds up the development of practical everyday skills for balancing opposite selves and dealing with disowned sub-personalities. There are some very sound reasons why this alternative storytelling approach seems to work so well, and I'll be explaining these in several of the new articles.

More and more we are finding how well it works when we integrate inner self work, voice dialogue and self awareness work with a wide range of other  processes and modalities particularly inner child work. We also integrate core belief balancing (amazingly effective), CBT, schema focused therapy and even EMDR  to help people clear clamps and blockages that prove resistant to classic voice dialogue and many of the other more usual self awareness methods. 

We know that other people around the world are also trying similar alternative approaches. If you are reading this and would like to make contact please e-mail us: 


See also an earlier article about alternative approaches to voice dialogue written in 2000  


Copyright © John Nutting 1996- - 2007  and   ©   GROWING AWARENESS   All rights reserved World Wide   LAST UPDATE  Thursday, 07 February 2008 17:31

Don't worry about those copyright notices at the foot of each page. It just means I want to hang on to legal ownership of what I write for use in future books.  Until that day, please feel free to copy, adapt and use them to your heart's content as long as you don't charge anyone for them. If you want to use them commercially (charge a fee for them) I would appreciate an acknowledgment and if they go well and you make a profit out of them, I would appreciate an appropriate sharing.


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