Have you ever stopped to take a look at your life and wonder: "How did I end up here?" This question never gets asked when life is going according to plan. This question only gets asked when "here" is a point of confusion, involving conflict, bewilderment, and, too often, emotional pain.
As we grow up we all develop plans for how our lives will be in the future. We plan for what we want to accomplish. And we generally look forward to life's potential for joy. Although we may be naïve or misguided in these plans, nobody ever says, "When I grow up, I'm going to be lazy and unmotivated," or "I can't wait to be married to a woman I love, and bicker with her constantly over issues I don't even understand."
Unfortunately, many people live painful lives that they do not understand, and they lack the tools for understanding their own behavior.
Voice Dialogue is one of the many interventions used by psychotherapists and counselors for exploring unconscious thoughts and emotions, and bringing greater clarity to one's life. The creators of Voice Dialogue, Hal and Sidra Stone, assert: "We are made up of many selves, identifying with some and rejecting others. This over-identification with some selves and the loss of wholeness that comes from the rejection of others, can create imbalances and blind spots. This work is about embracing all the selves."
Voice Dialogue encourages discussion between the various selves - or sub-personalities - in order to make conscious the emotions and motives that are in conflict, and in turn resolve those conflicts. This newfound self- awareness then allows the patient to function better in his/her relationships.
Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP)
Neurolinguistic Programming is another method therapists use to help someone change his behavior. The scientific basis for NLP is too technical for a full explanation here. In a nutshell, however, NLP studies how human beings experience and think about the world. By closely examining highly successful people, NLP practitioners can develop models of thought and behavior that will promote similar success for others.
At this point, the therapist can use any number of techniques, such as hypnosis or talk therapy, for instilling "a model of thought" in the mind of the patient. By thinking differently, the patient behaves differently and ends whatever behavior that is causing pain.