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Voice Dialogue - Inner Self Awareness

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Instead the integrated parent selves work with and along side the aware adult/aware ego. Inner parent selves like these can be grown or created within us as explained below.

There seem to be several reasons why there needs to be two of inner parents one of each need gender. The characteristics below could just as easily be found in either parent but at least one inner parent should be present to look after the following.

Inner father - Protects in a quiet yet firm way, avoiding intensity. Encourages experimenting and exploring, sets limits on our behavior (boundaries and moderation) to help us and our other selves avoid impacting others.

Inner mother - nurtures and helps the vulnerable or wounded child. Sets boundaries to protect from impact from others. Gives the inner child messages about being special, lovable, good enough and worthwhile. Helps counteract negative core beliefs.

Guidelines for Growing or Facilitating an Inner Parent

Because there is no fully formed self on board you may need to grow one. It is best if you have a facilitator to guide you through the growing process but if you need to try doing it yourself.

1. The process of inducting or growing an Inner Parent should be conducted as a “ceremony”

2. The ceremony needs to be visualised. (best if the eyes remain closed)

3. The ceremony needs to be visualised as taking place  in a ceremonial setting, on a stage, around a fire (with drums beating or people chanting) in a cave, in a magician’s laboratory, in a church, at the top of a hill, on a beach..... You get the idea?  Some people visualise performing the ceremony on a cloning laboratory which is surprisingly appropriate.

Picture the scene.

1. Think of some of the characteristics you would like to have in an inner parent within you.

2. Think of some other person you know or have known in the past (a big sister, uncle, teacher, neighbour etc.) who showed some of the characteristics you would like.

3. However, when you are doing this make sure the new inner parent’s characteristics are not based on those found in your own dysfunctional natural or step parents or physically resemble these people.

4. Think of a film, book or movie character who had some of the characteristics you would like in your inner parent.

Facilitator might then ask client to move (or client moves themselves) to a place where  an  inner parent can be facilitated, and dialogue with that parent about whether it can provide these kinds of protection and how it might do this.

Discuss other ways the parent self might want to help to provide protection.

Check to see if other selves are comfortable with the role of the inner parent.

If appropriate dialogue afterwards with inner child to discover what it thinks or feels about the new inner parent.

Inner Parents

Everybody has some kinds of inner parent selves inside already but as long as you are not aware of them you can’t make much use of them. A few like the inner critic are not the kind of inner parent selvs you really need anyway.

A better kind of inner parent are the ‘integrated’ selves meaning that while similar to ordinary selves in some ways they differ in that you are aware of them and they are less likely to be:

(a)  judgmental or polarised

(b) either too impersonal one above or too personal one below.

"I don't agree." said Kate (speaking with considerably more insight I had been using). "Lots of inner selves in my inner village love getting me into new relationships. The trouble is the kind of relationships they get me into!"

And that started me thinking.

Of course, she was right, there are many inner protector inner selves (inner selves) who know a great deal about particular kinds of relationships and about getting in and out of them.

Power and Control

It's safe to say that nearly every character in the average inner village is concerned about a core issue related to our sense of vulnerability or safety.  That issue can be summed up the in a couple of words "Power and Control".

Parent-child relationships

Most of our inner village inner selves, being rather young emotionally, know lots about "parent-child relationships", that is relationships where one person is stronger or more in control than the other one.  In this kind of relationship there is a constant struggle as to which partner' s village is going be in control (theirs will be the village dominated by a parent character) and which partner's village is going be the home of the controlled person (theirs will be the village dominated by an under-age character).

Reward-punishments relationships

Lots of other selves are experts in handling relationships based on a mixture of rewards and or punishments as a way of controlling someone else.  Come to think of it , although this relationship is a may appear to involve a different "power and control" set-up it's still more or less a parent-child relationship, except that there is more wheeling and dealing going on. But in the end, it is the parent character who were usually win the deal anyway and therefore continue to maintain power and control.

Conflict--based relationships

And if regular bouts of fights or arguments between two people who say they love each other can be classed as a "relationship" then I have to agree with Kate.  The inner selves who live and fight in these two Inner Villages need to know lots and lots and lots about getting into conflict-based relationships and about how to behave when they are in them, otherwise the relationship would not continue!

What I meant to explain to Kate, and it is now coming clearer, is that that none of the different kinds of inner protector inner selves described above are really "grown-up" enough to recognise that there is another different kind of relationship, one which is not based on power or control and where neither person is stronger or weaker than the other.  This is understandable because they are so young emotionally.  It takes a lot more maturity to appreciate what a truly "grown up" relationship would be like or how it could possibly work effectively. 

And as you come to understand more about the inner selves in a typical inner village you cannot help but notice that one of the things that most of them lack is a "grown-up" outlook on life.

This is not their fault and we do not criticise them for it it's more that they came into existence, for most of us, when we were children and they did what they had to do to protect us at that time.  But they did it in an under-age way.

Feedback - please e-mail  me John Bligh Nutting -   at

Copyright © John Nutting 1996 - - 2008  and   ©   GROWING AWARENESS   1996 - - 2008

All rights reserved World Wide   LAST UPDATE  Thursday, October 30, 2008

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Inner selves are often under-age

But they are trying to do a grown-ups' job


"You know," I remarked to my friend Kate (speaking from one of my more knowledgeable and rather authoritarian inner inner selves) "One of the troubles with each and every character who lives in our inner villages  (our inner selves) is that each time we start a new relationship it means more work and more worry for them. No wonder so many of them really don't want us to get into relationships at all."