“Have you ever argued with yourself? With whom were you arguing? Who was the other voice, or other voices?” ask the authors below who have contributed two essays on the theme of subselves, following their superb book tracking the history of multiplicity entitled, Your Symphony of Selves.
When we speak of being in ‘two minds’ about something, it does not mean we literally have two minds but that we may be holding two simultaneously different positions on something. These views may be held and expressed by different aspects of our selves, or subselves. The psychological idea that we are composed of different subselves, or different “voices” or subpersonalities, as well as other synonymous terms, has been posited by many psychologists and psychotherapists in modern history.
The Voice Dialogue work of Hal and Sidra Stone, with whom Brian trained, as well as Gestalt chair work and puppetry have long utilised the idea of interacting and intra-acting with our various parts – our subselves. Subselves are just one of many ways of describing these different parts. Other terms include subpersonalities, i-positions, archetypes, ego states, imagoes and more. For a comprehensive list, compiled by John Rowan, see Appendix IV in Almost Happy.