Monological telling in the dialogical self

Ying Liu

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The Dialogical Self sees the self as a dialogical narrator with others in the
self-structure (Hermans et al., 1992). It argues that I can move between multiple
positions and these I in different positions interact with and have conversations with each other (Hermans, 2002). This paper argues for the therapeutic function of a monologue within the self-structure. Drawing on the author’s experience of working through a childhood trauma through an internal monologue that is addressed to an imaginary other after sandplay sessions, this paper explores the value of an other in the self that listens to, receives and witnesses the monological telling without active responses. This paper argues that the monological telling to instead of talking with gives space to the realm of human experience that is less coherent, inarticulate and fragmented. It gives this realm of experience a chance to be known without imposing on it a narrative structure which it lacks.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Cite this