Hi everyone! This video is going to be about ego-state therapy, or voice dialogue therapy. Ego-state therapy is a specific form of therapy that focuses on pieces of one’s personality, or ego states. Ego states are parts of our personality that make up our whole personality. The therapy allows one to discover their own inner voices and ego states, many times referred to as subpersonalities, and work on recognizing where the problem comes from within themselves. It is especially useful for those that have experienced trauma and abuse, have anger problems, and even cognitive or thought problems. And it works on recognizing and releasing those core thoughts as well as integrating these ego states, or rather allowing them to work harmoniously. I did a video in much greater detail about subpersonalities, switching, and integration in my “We All Have Multiple Personalities” video. So, I’ll have an annotation and a link in the description to that video if you would like to check it out. [Subpersonalities] In that video, you can get an overview of what subpersonalities are and how they can form, as well as how we switch, and just what integration is.
Anyway, we all naturally have different parts to our personality. It can be something as simple as your work and home personality. You behave differently at work than you do at home. Or it can be much more dissociative and destructive in nature where the home personality is abusive and angry, and may not even be aware of the work personality, which is happy, kind, and generous. Perhaps deep down this person has a problem at home due to work stressing them out, and their family annoying them, stressing them out when at home. While at work it may seem like they are just fine, but they repress it within themselves and all that buildup of tension is released at home. They are on a very short fuse when at home and just the slightest thing can disturb them. This can, many times, even be associated with past experiences and trauma the person has been through in the past. So let’s look at a better example. Perhaps this person’s own father would come home from work and verbally and physically abuse them, which in turn they do the same to their own family to try and take control and overcome that abuse in the past.
This is where ego-state therapy can really come in handy. But there is a bit of a problem with this type of therapy. It’s not so much a problem as it is a rough patch that must be crossed before any help and progress can be made. Let’s say this person goes and sees a therapist. When they are seeing the therapist, their work personality is out, which is happy and kind. There is no sign of anger or frustration. The work personality is patient, unlike the one from home. If the work personality is seeing the therapist, then no progress can be made since that is not the one with the problems. Furthermore, due to dissociation, this work personality is not even aware of abuse that was done to them by their own father in the past, so that cannot be addressed. Maybe the work personality doesn’t even know about the home personality that is a reflection of their own father that was physically and verbally abusive. All this means that the wrong personality is in therapy. The work personality doesn’t need help, it’s the one from home. So, in order for this person to actually get to the root of their problem, they have to recognize and bring out this home personality in therapy and work on where the issue actually lies.
This is very common for many individuals that seek therapy, especially those that have experienced trauma in the past. They do not know their own ego states or subpersonalities and may not even be aware of them, or the abuse that was done to them. Yet, that very abuse from the past could be interfering with their life in a destructive way, which is why they are in therapy. Ego-state therapy is what will help in this situation. It will allow one to work on, number one, recognizing these ego states. So the personality going to the therapist, the work personality, would begin to recognize the home personality and see what they do. Once that barrier has been lifted, the person can work on getting better.
Maybe someone hears, in their head, sometimes out loud, an abusive voice. Ego-state therapy is about recognizing this voice, giving it a name perhaps, and most importantly, understanding it and discovering the origin of it. As with the previous example, perhaps the person may hear this abusive voice in their head telling them to hurt their family. They may identify this as their home personality, maybe even give them a specific name to distinguish them from the work personality. But perhaps this home personality hears a voice that is telling them they are worthless and they should die and don’t deserve to be happy or have a family, which turns into anger and frustration causing them, the home personality, to be abusive towards their family and themselves. This voice inside their head is of their father in the past. Their father is still there in their head because they have not been able to address and move on from what their father did to them in the past.
At this stage, progress has been made at identifying these ego states. But how can this person work on this home personality if the work personality is still the only one that goes to therapy. As was mentioned earlier, this home personality has to come out in therapy so they can get to the root of the problem since the work personality doesn’t know about or experience what the home one does. I did go into more detail about switching in my subpersonalities video, but bringing out another ego state, specifically if there is a lot of dissociation, can be a near impossible feat for some, primarily because they do not know how or try too hard. The key is to relax and allow it to happen. To allow the personality to come out on its own. Sometimes it may resist, and when there is that resistance, things can be even more challenging. To address this, hypnosis may be used by the therapist to intentionally bring out the one that needs the work and dissociate any other parts for the time being. It is necessary to bring out the part that needs the work since you cannot pretend to be them or force them out.
As with the previous example, let’s say the home personality comes out and is with the therapist. The source of this person’s issues is face to face with the therapist, which is then when the real therapy can begin to take place. While this person may not want to cooperate at first, progress may be made as the person may then begin to realize that their father was the source of their problems, and that they are trying to overcome their father’s abuse done unto them, by projecting that onto their own family. When that happens, a breakthrough is made where the person would’ve successfully realized the problem and can then work at better ways of coping with it and ultimately overcoming it. This certainly takes time and is not as quick as what was outlined in this example, specifically if there is a high level of dissociation. But, ego-state therapy can be highly beneficial for individuals such as the one I used for the example throughout this video.
So in conclusion, ego-state therapy focuses on pieces of one’s personality, or ego states. Ego states are parts of our personality that make up our whole personality. It is especially useful for those that have experienced trauma and abuse, have anger problems, and even cognitive or thought problems. And it works on recognizing and releasing those core thoughts as well as integrating these ego states. I hope this video was informative and helpful. Thanks for watching!
Ego-state therapy was something I also was doing to help myself recover from my past. I didn’t realize it at the time, but by me discovering my own personalities I was able to better understand myself, what I was in denial and about and repressed over the years, as well as allow myself to express myself freely and let go of the negative past experiences I experienced. To me it seemed like I was being a hypochondriac, and maybe I was a bit, but it ended up making such a positive difference since I truly learned about myself in the process.