Monkey Mind or Mindsight – Which One Do You Choose?



What qualities do happy people have?

There are important qualities in people which make them harmonious and happy. Abraham Maslow described them perfectly with these characteristics:

·         The ability to perceive reality efficiently

·         Tolerate ambiguity or uncertainty

·         Accept themselves and others for what they are

·         Creativity

·         Autonomous and independent

·         Compassion for humanity

If we lack these qualities, is there anything we can do? Yes, there is! Each and every one of us can develop these qualities by cultivating self-awareness: we can practice mindsight and mindfulness.

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Ego states can be used as mindsight tool.

Mindsight is a concept which has become well known by the psychiatrist Dan Siegel. According to Siegel, mindsight is your capacity to perceive the mind of yourself and others. He is not the first one who uses mindsight concept, though. Philosopher Colin McQuinn writes about two sights: Body’s usual way to see and to see with mind’s eye. With the latter he refers to human ability to use imagination. It is the faculty which creates our conceptual understanding, too.

I use mindsight to describe our ability to use imagination to sense, describe and integrate our inner worlds, including emotional experiences. This sensing is work we do with our inner images.  The better we get in interpreting our inner world’s messages, the better we get in seeing other persons as they are. Imagination is a very important, and undervalued, part of us. It is a part of each and everyone’s true existence.

One simple tool for starting to develop mindsight is to map your ego states. These ego states are parts of your ego; they are emotional and cognitive conscious states and they are somatic as well. They often represent different kind of memories and belief systems inside of you. By listening in altered conscious states (hypnosis, self-hypnosis, creative trances, meditation) to your emotions and feelings, we can get cues about our deepest ego states.

Our body may hold several negative emotional ego states, sometimes filled with hatred and fear, which in the long term can damage to our health and (social) surroundings. To become the authentic YOU, you have to heal these states. Unfinished narratives have to get their resolutions.

You are not just one of your ego states. In a healthy state, you are your body and you are the integration of all of them. Both mindsight and mindfulness practices enhance your ability to get in touch even with your unconscious core beliefs. In this healing process you can exploit your ego states. They can be seen as gestalts of your Inner Theatre, which you can use for experiential learning. They and you! With imagination they help you to categorize and integrate your thoughts, emotions and bodily feelings. Ego states can be used in therapy, coaching and counselling. They can become tools for self-actualization since ego states can enhance the above mentioned Maslow´s qualities.

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First – find your Meta State.

In Ego state journaling process (Inner Theater) you cultivate your drama intelligence. When you get in a dialogical drama process using ego states, you can become a true architect of your own ever-flowing experience.

Your imagination and ego states can create smaller or bigger miracles in your life. Reflection with our Inner Theater can offer you mindsight, a path to true existence. Too many people in the Western world have as executive ego states transformed introjection of their peers. When you are not who you really are, it makes you conflicted and easily suggestible by authorities. Many of us are not walking the paths with our own feet.

With the ego state process, you can find a new center of your consciousness, called observer or meta state (third person’s view =“director state” outside all the other states). That makes a new kind of inner drama possible. In other words, within the meta state you can start to make a mindful self-inquiry for developing your mindsight. Your feet start to carry you to your own path of life and this makes you feel happy and more congruent.

You can turn off the autopilot of your mind and become the producer, the director and actor of your own inner play. And actually with this imaginative work, you integrate and create new connection in your neural networks. This makes new real life actions and experiences possible.

You have to be able in this self-actualization process to forgive your old hurts and disappointments. The negative emotional ego states (for example, anger and fear filled ones) are not negative in short term, they are invitations for new drama dialogues and new insights. The message of your ego states (especially faded states) has to be listened in an atmosphere of nurturing for resolution. It can be best done in therapeutical groups or in therapy. Getting to know and heal your parts is a reflexive, therapeutic creative process, which can utilize many kinds of wisdom traditions and their metaphors. In Inner Theater you can integrate the ones that resonate to your inner feelings.

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Ego states are always somatic reactions.

In new integrative health views (using both science and old wisdom traditions), as in Meta Health views, emotional blocks can be mapped from your body. Certain negative emotional ego states cause stress in your bodymind system and that is why they should be healed. You can get cues from their origin from Meta Health maps.

Gregg Braden writes that with each nonphysical feeling, emotion, and belief that we create within our bodies, there is the physical equivalent of that experience that becomes the makeup of our cells.

Many of our physical illnesses are impacted or connected to our conflicted or faded ego states. It could explain why some people with same genes do get certain illnesses and others not.

Here is a chart from Louise Hay of our emotional pain. It can give you clues to where your somatic problem’s emotional root is located, but most of all, you have to trust on your own experience. You are the best professional regarding your own identity narrative.

Kuva: Louise Hay

How to begin?

Jan Sky from Australia, author of “The Many Parts of You” has developed a very simple and clever tool for mapping your go States. You can map your conscious and sometimes even some pre-conscious ego states with a therapeutic tool, called ESI (Executive State Identification).

After mapping, you become already more conscious of yourself. It opens you to meta state. People get a lot of unnecessary problems in their lives because they use inappropriate ego states in current situation time and place. The ego state may have been appropriate in past situations, but the array of minds have not been updated.

So in ESI® , we map our ego states. We all have at every moment one ego state active. It is called executive etate. In addition we have some non-executive states in which we have easy access. They support the executive state and these states in certain social situations can be easily activated. We can carry these so-called retro states, which can sometimes pose inner conflict. Additionally, we have underlying states which rarely come to the surface. They have often been created in our childhood for your protection. They can be traumatic faded states, which carry difficult feelings and an image of a forgotten person or thing.

Introjections are very important part of being. By modelling you can even create new introjections. Actually in successful therapy, the therapist becomes your new healing introjection. We can start to consciously and emphatically use our mirror-neurons to mimic and imitate other persons as new introjections. That gives us a great possibility for change.

In my experience ESI® is a simple method which we can use in therapy, coaching, counselling and in therapeutic artistic methods, like reflexive journaling (Inner Theater). Ego states can be great tools for “contemplative learning”, cultivating self-awareness. In the journaling process we must first make sure that we have nurturing, mature and realistic adult ego states. If you haven’t got such, you have to find them first. If you have serious mental problems, it is always good idea to consult your therapist, before starting journaling. The mature adult states are best developed in hypnotherapy or in therapeutic group.

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In Inner Theater, you exploit ego states in journaling.

As I mentioned, in Western culture there is, in philosophy and contemplative practices, a long tradition of creative reading and reflexive writing.  In Ego state journaling process we first map our ego states and then cultivate creative writing in self-hypnosis.

Self-hypnosis means just that you encourage yourself to be able to close your mind from disturbing stimuli and start to use your mindsight: self-listening and imagination. With your adult, nurturing, realistic parts you can become little by little a therapist of yourself.

Reflection happens by reading different kind of healing traditions and self-help books (a good book to start with is Gordon Emmerson’s Happy Parts, Happy Self and intuitively finds new subjects to write about from the texts you have previously written. You intuitively find new ideas to journal, trusting your new knowledge and body messages.

If you succeed in your self-hypnotic journaling process, you can reach even your underlying states, so you cultivate self-awareness by making unconscious material conscious. This also means that, at the same time, your destructive ego states can be transformed or replaced by life-affirming ones.

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Free yourself from Monkey Thoughts!

Hypnotherapist Alex Parker writes that there are two ways to get in touch with your unconscious material:

1.  Relax or distract the conscious defences and Free Radical Thoughts through focus and the control of arousal.

2.    Bombard the Array of Mind with a consistent and repetitive stream of new information (affirmations, religious study).

Before starting the therapeutic journaling process it is important that you can make your monkey thoughts (Free Radical Thoughts of your introjections) visible by practicing mindfulness. I personally did this by being mindfully in nature.

After finding your observing meta state by practicing mindful exercises and mapping your ego states, you can start to bombard the array of mind with a repetitive stream of new information. This is created by different beliefs of your ego states involving various memories, views and belief-systems (including the ideas of your nurturing adult ego state). You use your ego states to improvise play in your Inner Theater. You exploit spontaneous flow of different ego states, which makes your parts verbally more visible and conscious. Within their dialogue, in a respectful atmosphere, you promote their integration. All of your ego states must be treated with compassion. During this “contemplative learning work”, you can utilize different kinds of visual symbols and verbal metaphors.

Your ego states are your helpers. You have to listen their voices, which sometimes are heard just as subtle inner whispers or felt by tiny little cues of your body. By practicing mindsight, emphatically listening to yourself, your chosen peers and their new introjections, little by little, you find the way to listen yourself and other people more honestly. Your mindsight gets more and more exact with your imagination.

When you bombard your unconscious mind with the existing ego states and their ideas, new views and sometimes even old, underlying states start to emerge. Your ego states represent different parts of your brains and body. In the field of hypnosis, we have for decades known that body and mind are not separate unities – actually, you might even say that your unconscious mind is your body. The deepest parts of you can be subtle somatic feelings, which can be verbalized by using your imagination. To know your self is to integrate your ego states. After integration, your states are not faded, retro or conflicted. They are normal. You know yourself; you have integrated your parts.

As Parker writes, the new information which arises in the process has to become assimilated as part of the individual’s whole. It needs to be accommodated by an adaptable array of mind, otherwise they will be incongruent and will cause serious anxiety as the individual struggles between the values of opposing introjects. So in the person’s mind there has to occur a systemic change. This happens through guided-imagination negotiations, providing your faded states what they need.

My suggestion is that you start the self-awareness process by setting as a goal the above-mentioned Maslow’s characteristics of a self-actualized person. It is a huge goal, but with support of your therapist and/or coach you can work to accomplish it.  Complicated? No, it really is rather simple: Healthy Parts = Happy Self!

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Is cultivating self-awareness by Inner Theatre journaling dangerous?

Difficult emotions can arise in the process. If you are not sure about your personal resources, it is best to start the process in a therapeutic group or in therapy. My opinion is, that life is about taking risks and challenges. Too many people have quite foolish ideas about their inner worlds with rigid, restricting core beliefs. This can be dangerous for your health. You can choose to allow the fear of unknown and introjected, unquestioned core beliefs guide you through your whole life, but that means you never get to know who you really are.

Another possibility is that you become autonomous and authentic. You start to listen to your emotions and body; you accept the responsibility and gift of creating and defining your inner world. This gives you resources to protect yourself and live purposefully and compassionately your own authentic life for the benefit of yourself, and for your local and global community.

The transformation of your mind can sometimes result in drastic alteration in your physical reality. I have witnessed it happen in many persons, including myself.


Emmersson, Gordon, Healthy Parts, Happy Self

Parker, Alex, Hypnotherapy with Hypthetical Mindfulness in Counselling and Hypnotherapy

Sarvela, Kati, Sisäinen teatteri – luova kirjoittaminen tietoisuustaitona

Sky, Jan, Many Parts of You


Navigate the Social Landscape of your Brain, Part 2

Maximise the performance of your corporate team by uncovering the barriers that get in the way of high performance.

– Jan Sky –

(Part 1 here)


How good would it be if someone could increase the performance of individuals within your team and also increase the strike rate of the entire team? Most of us are influenced by habits and their early warning signs; strength in your team can be turned counterproductive very easily. ESI™ (Executive State Identification) Teams will explore your team through multiple lenses to gain insights into overall team performance through creative and exciting yet simple frameworks.

It may be as simple as taking the right steps to identify barriers and supports within the team called inhibited and supportive cognitive states. Identifying how inhibitive cognitive states can impact upon the workplace performance causing negative actions and reactions, and how supportive cognitive states that drive peak performance, can accelerate advancement within teams and be a positive change in organisational culture.

These states associate with individual’s behaviours, habits and beliefs and are embedded in the neural pathway of the brain and form part of the brain’s social landscape. These beliefs and habits tend to shape our decisions based on our interpretation of that belief and how it equates in a given situation. Sometimes there is a difference between what we say or do and what we think or feel. Our feelings and thoughts can be masked by the right words or actions, but our feelings and intentions are always true.

Feelings and intentions relate to your ego and will cause you to feel a particular warning sign. Understanding these warning signs supports and enhances our primary emotions and attitudes. A feeling of ‘that’s about right’ will feel very different to a feeling of ‘the line has been crossed’.

An overview of the primary emotions or attitudes related to early warning signs that will support positive behaviours in teams

Early Warning Sign 1 – Being Comparative

‘That’s about right’ – ‘I want and expect to win’.

‘The line has been crossed’ – ‘I see everyone as a rival or feel uncomfortable when others receive recognition for their performance’.

Beliefs that could be tested:

  • Do all your team members value competition equally?

  • Will competition discourage talented but less competitive people?

Some primary emotion or attitudes exposed could be aggression, envious, demoralised and uncooperative

Early Warning Sign 2 – Being Defensive

‘That’s about right’ – ‘I feel good ideas are worth defending’.

‘The line has been crossed’ – ‘I feel I shouldn’t have to defend my ideas’.

Beliefs that could be tested:

  • If people challenge the idea, are they challenging me personally?

  • Will the challenge take away any credit I deserve for my effort?

Some primary emotion or attitudes exposed could be accusing, inflexible, evasive, and judgemental.

Early Warning Sign 3 – Showcasing Brilliance

‘That’s about right’- ‘I have unique perspective and expertise’.

‘The line has been crossed’ –‘I have all the answers and I give advice when not asked’.

Beliefs that could be tested:

  • Is my advice that is given true, or is there a bias?

  • If my opinion is given, do others always hear it and value it?

Some primary emotions or attitudes exposed could be patronising, superior, annoyed or insensitive.

Early Warning Sign 4 – Seeing Acceptance

‘That’s about right’ – ‘When people disagree with my ideas, it can be productive’.

‘The line has been crossed’ – ‘A disagreement on my point of view is a form of attack’.

Beliefs that could be tested:

  • If the idea is disagreed with, does that mean the whole idea is bad?

  • If the idea is disagreed with, does that mean they will have a better idea?

Some primary emotion or attitudes exposed could be embarrassed, rejected, offended or insecure.

A Case Study – using ESI™ Mapping Tool

A group of four senior ‘subject matter’ experts headed up a major function within an organisation, but they were having difficulty working together as a collaborative team.

The problems they were experiencing were disharmony, conflict, poor attitude, inappropriate workplace behaviours and a total loss of cohesiveness.

When I was called in I brought the team together to firstly debrief previous occurrences, and secondly, to develop a goal that focussed the way forward.

The developed goal was: ‘Modelling diversity by respectfully valuing differences within our team’.

Individual members were mapped to ascertain their drivers as well as to identify what was holding them back in relation to the goal. Whilst these drivers and inhibitors may appear common behaviours, without using ESI™ they are not always openly acknowledged.

We met again to debrief the collective outcomes, plan a way forward and curtail behaviours that were not supportive of the goal.

Some of the Cognitive Supportive Drivers identified:

  • Conscientious

  • Work Ethic

  • Committed

  • Respectful

  • Passion

  • Innovative

  • Driven Values

Some of the Cognitive Inhibitive States identified:

  • Disrespect

  • Childish

  • Judgemental

  • Shut Down

  • Frustration

  • Challenges


Disrespect was acknowledged as the major inhibitor within the team and behaviours identified were defensiveness, confrontation, disengagement and repetitive behaviours. These behaviours are associated with beliefs and attitudes evolving from disrespect and depending on the reason behind the disrespect, varying values can be challenged. It was thought that if this major inhibitor was addressed, other challenging behaviours could be rectified. Dialogue was identified as a problem for some team members both within and external to their own team.

Brainstorming identified several steps to move the team into an environment of respect:

  • Open, honest communication

  • Understanding

  • Boundaries

  • Accountability

  • Challenge the idea not the person.

A strategic plan was developed to address these issues and each team member was kept accountable for their actions through coaching. A future team meeting was set as a follow up to agreed actions.


Today’s business environment is complex and chaotic. Increasing the solution capacity of your organisation can be as simple as understanding the variables that present with difficult situations and with your workforce.

Navigate the Social Landscape of your Brain (Part 1)

by Jan Sky

Maximise your performance by uncovering the barriers that get in the way of your high performance.

How good it would be if you knew exactly what those barriers were? Imagine if you could identify these barriers locked away in your brain. How easy it would be for you to take the right steps to overcome these barriers?

What are these barriers and where exactly do they exist? Continue reading and you will discover a whole new concept of your brain – an easy working model that you can use on a daily basis.

Barriers that get in the way of your success are simply called inhibitive states. Fortunately, you also have supportive states that create a balance of function. These states are associated with behaviours or habits embedded in the neural pathways of your brain. They form part of your brain’s social landscape which represent the many different parts of you.

Ego state theorists call these parts ‘ego states’, while I will refer to them as ‘parts of you’ or ‘states’. There are states that support or inhibit you when working towards achieving a goal.

Let’s start at the beginning and understand where these neural pathways began and how they formed. From the moment you were born and maybe even prior to that, you began to learn how behaviour elicited reactions from others. As a baby you cried and your needs were met. As you grew and developed, you learned to apply the same principles to meet your needs. Neural pathways are developed through repetition of particular behaviours until they become intrinsic within the brain.

Let’s say a young boy named Paul decides to perform in front of his parents and his parents applaud and praise him. Paul will quickly learn by repetition of that behaviour, that it’s OK to do that performance or behaviour, and more importantly that he is OK. A ‘performance’ neural pathway in his brain is formed.

Now, Nick down the street, decides to behave in the same way. His parents tell him not to be silly and to go to his room and do his homework. Nick quickly learns that being a performer is not what he needs to do (certainly not at this point in his life) and he doesn’t form the ‘performance’ neural pathway like his friend Paul. Nick may develop a ‘study’ pathway that could enhance his performance throughout his life.

Neural pathways are embedded with behaviours and contain a dialogue that supports our actions. These pathways are referred to as states and their identification is key when wewant a change in behaviour to occur and particularly if that change is necessary in order to achieve a goal.

It is repetition of a behaviour that embeds a new pathway in the brain hence creating the social landscape of your brain.

Neural pathways form most rapidly during early developmental years, throughout our teens and early 20’s, and less as we grow older. Neural pathways can be developed in our mature years as we learn new behaviours, such as learning a musical instrument in our 40’s. To understand the pathways of your brain isn’t important as we mostly accept our ‘way of behaving’ as part of who we are. Our friends and family accept us and our lives continue.

So, when would it be advantageous to understand your brain’s social structure? I’d suggest when behaviours are inhibiting your performance or sabotaging your journey towards achieving a goal, it is time to understand your brain’s social structure.

Recently a client presented with the issue of ‘having a sweet tooth’ as she described it. She is a young mum with three small children juggling family life, healthy lifestyle and a career. Rationally she knows to and does, eat healthy food and exercise regularly. Grabbing three chocolate biscuits as she rushes for the car satisfies her hunger as well as her ‘sweet tooth’. I suggested it was habit behaviour embedded at a younger age that was inhibiting her from achieving her goal of reducing the additional kilos she was carrying. (Sugar consumed by the body is not burnt off through exercise hence turning to fat.)

Her goal – to reduce 10 kilos

Next step for my client was to identify the states that supported achieving her goal, along with the states inhibiting or deterring her progress. To do this, I used a mapping tool I’ve developed called ESI™ – Executive State Identification. States are embedded with behaviours and internal dialogue that, when executive or dominant, consume our thinking and control our behaviour. Sometimes these behaviours support us, while at other times these behaviours are inappropriate and inhibit us in our daily actions.

My client’s map contained three states that supported her goal and one state that inhibited her. The states were named and identified entrenched behaviours were documented on the map. The one inhibitive state was a ‘little girl’ state that was formed in her mind many years ago. This state ate food without her mother knowing; it enabled her to take and hide biscuits from the cupboard. This state that she identified and named ‘Child’, was timid, naughty and appropriate when she was young; yet inappropriate now she is an adult.

Do you have states that sometimes become executive, acting like the boss running the show and dictating behaviours inappropriate in certain situations?

After identifying all the states on the ESI™ map for my client, it became easy to understand the associated behaviours and dialogue that was taking place. It was also easy to action a plan forward. My client became very aware of her identified behaviour and internal dialogue used and was also prepared to practice operating from only the states that supported her. Sounds very simple, yet without the ESI™ map, we would never have discovered this child state. The child state needed acknowledgement and also needed the opportunity to make an agreement not to inhabit the executive position.

How can you begin to make the changes you want to increase your full potential if you don’t have an understanding of what your mental landscape is like?

The recent discovery and amazing advances in neural science has opened a world of optimism and faith that says that changes to our brain patterningcan occur at any time of our life. In other words, we’re not ‘wired’ to perform a particular way because of past experiences or behaviour patterning.

It is important to understand that patterns of behaviour within the pathways of your brain (states) can change and/or new pathways can be created. States that have been inactive for some time never leave your brain; they become part of your social landscape. Such states are referred to as either non-executive or underlying states. Perhaps the ‘performance’ state in the young child Paul may no longer need to perform now he is an adult. If the ‘performance’ state no longer has a need to be dominant, it will become underlying to Paul’s behaviour repertoire.

However, in the case of my client, her ‘child’ state was dominant or executive and causing behaviour that was inappropriate. The ‘child’ state needed to be acknowledged and sent to the underlying position. This was done by using the ESI™ mapping tool to first identify the states and secondly to design an appropriate plan of action.

Part 2, we will explore the social landscape of your brain in relation to the workplace.


Jan Sky is the developer of the ESI® Mapping Tool and author of the book “The Many Parts of You”. Jan is a Corporate Trainer, Coach, and Psychotherapist.

She is in the business of creating a difference to the workplace! With over 30 years of experience, she specializes in the area of leadership and team development to those organisations who want to create an environment of high performing people.

Jan works in Australia and internationally and has spoken in Finland, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Indonesia as well as extensively throughout Australia.

Inner Theater – a Tool for Developing Drama Intelligence


In following text I mirror the ideas of David Keir Wright (The Pedagogy of Experience and Drama Intelligence) to my own experiences about Inner theater. I have developed Inner Theater from Ego state therapy. It is a self help tool for transformational therapeutic learning using primarly creative reading and journaling in a ”drama imaginarium” of mind. It is an improvised play of our ego states . (Italic type of text by David Keir Wright).


Drama intelligence is a feeling intelligence developed in processes of self-exploration, self-transformation and meaning making through individual creative imaginative action and cultural-aesthetic practice in a collective context. It is an intelligence all humans beings have the capacity to develop – an intelligence that is empathic, intuitive, spontaneous and imaginative. Its basis is man’s ”theatrical instinct”. The ability to play personal is essential.


I have been using ego states as a tool for transformational learning for some years. The process started during my hypnotherapy studies (2004-2007) . I  started to use ego states as a personal tool for self-exploration during my hard period of life (burnout and breast cancer). I have published this personal journaling process as a book (Mielentilojen treenikirja 2007 – The training book of Ego states). It is a kind of self-analysis book using ego states as a reflexion tool for self- knowledge and ”new me” actualization.

I wrote a drama using my emerging sixteen ego states to get new insight of myself. The book is not a pearl of literature. Actually the purpose of journaling is not that, allthough some of my students have written really beautiful poetry.  Instead drama journaling is used in Inner Theater  for increasing self-knowledge and for finding better harmony inside of you and in relation to your community. I created in my personal Inner Theater for example a depressed ego state Mrs. Wrinkle, ecological state Mielikki, an inner Scientist, an inner hypnotherapist Anna, sceptic Thomas, and two inner children etc.


Through personal play and the use of his imagination, the man transforms himself and transcends into another reality. A reality where he can be different, do something different, be somewhere different than in everyday life and see things in a different perspective.


After that I started experimentally use ego state with journaling groups. About use of ego states in journaling and  experiences about groups I have written another book (in English something like Inner Theater – journaling as cultivating self-awareness). I and many of my students have been able to reach this ”another reality” Wright mentions.  As a hypnotherapist, I would call it creative trance or self-hypnosis. By the way, it is interesting that in hypnosis history automatic writing is well-known. In this trance state of consciousness you can for some moments let your rational ego states to give open imaginal space to deeper ego states emerging from unconcious mind. By this way you can enrich your Inner Theater.


The development of drama intelligence can be achieved through the practice of playing, play acting and acting, of being characters real or symbolic created by the individual herself alone and in conjunction with others – through practicing living. In drama, as in life, the individual is both the creator and the medium. The material to be transformed is herself. As an artist and human being she is both the subject creating and the object created.


I have used in my writing groups in first sessions as a tool ESI® (Excecutive State indentification). It is simple but genius tool for maping some of your superficial ego states. The method is developed by Australian Jan Sky. The underlying ego states are harder to reach – to get in touch with them you must use your self-hypnosis skills, imagination. Some of your ego states can be archetypal like Inner Child and Inner Wisdom but basically ego states are who they are. They are your personal unique structures of your mind.

In the process you can sometimes notice that you may have introjections, too, internalized peers for example. In my Inner Theater journaling method,  you can in addition make consciously new introjections. For example you can create in the journaling process a new strong adult ego state, which you have made from a trusted, emphatic adult role model from real life or literature.

The director of your theater has to have in social situations a mature and well-formed sense of reality.  Adult mature ego states and reading for example scientifical articles help to develop it.  You have to develop an eye for distinctions of more realistic and imaginal worlds.  The writer knows that she is all the time working in journaling in metaphorical worlds. When you move to China for example, you can study its’ culture and create a Chinese girl as a new introjection. She utilizes different metaphoric forms of reality for increasing self-knowledge and understanding.


It is important in journaling not to associate in ego states carrying painful experiences. Instead you write as an observer or director of your play.  The more painful experience, the more fictional story. You can for example write a fairy tale of orphan little girl. The goal is to prison the emotional experience in soft,  symbolic form.  You can enrich the fairy tale by using strong adult ego states for repairing experiences.


Playing is life. Playing at living contributes the acquirement of self-knowledge, knowledge of humankind in general and awareness of the creative power of the imagination. An awareness that provides insight, strength and the will to change reality. Through his imagination man has the capacity to transform ”the given circumstances” and be in ” a continual state of becoming”.


In successful ego state journaling process you can really feel how you are in ”a continual state of becoming”. Your life becomes a process of continuing moving and changing. You kind of get your energy and information molecules in motion. Daniel Siegel talks about mindsight. Gordon Emerson writes about Happy Parts, Happy Self. Inner Theater is in my opinion a method for developing mindsight by drama intelligence. You can learn to perceive your mind better, and that helps you to see others more precisely, too.

In addition to ego state journaling, some people have used their ego state as personae of comics. The whole idea of the process is to get to know your parts in ever flowing drama atmosphere including resepct, humor and compassion.


Life is not life if there is no moving and changing. Drama intelligence is about life and living. It is the individual’s capacity to relate imaginatively, intuitively, emphathetically and consciously to other human beings and oneself as a human being. Drama intelligence is man’s ability to make symbolic universal meaning out of symbolic particular meaning and vice versa.


I encourage my students to be spontaneous. I actually encourage them to merge mindfulness and other contemplation activities in their self-awareness practices. Although mindfulness and hypnosis have different historical backgrounds, they have a lot of common ground. For many people, journaling process is a spiritual process, too. Journaling can be one kind of contemplation. As in contemplation, in Inner Theater, the epistemiology of new knowledge is love.

And ofcourse, you can use ego states as in traditional actual drama play. The group members can play your parts, and the writer, the creator of these ego states,  can be a director of this play. Hypnotherapist, is a facilitator of the directing process. The athmosphare must be gentle and all the ego states must be respected.

Of course the journaling group have to be made of people who trust each other. The ego states can be unethically used for bullying. When you make your parts known, it is a very intimate process and everybody are not ready for revealing themselves to foreigners or even to close team members. That can be sometimes a wise decision.

My intention is always to encourage participants, students etc. to be spontaneuos. I want them to trust their intuition and believe in their feelings and emotional states while searhchig for their aesthetic impulse. I want them to be engaged in identity making projects.

 The play in the potential space where they are given the opportunity of attain personal knowledge in the area of cultural experience between ”me” and ”not me”. I. The writer is both the playwriter, and actor improvising her drama. New characters, ego states, tend to be created in this meaning making process.

It is my belief that individuals are more inclined to have an excess of energy and desire to work constructively with others, when they are conscious of choice and their own continual state of becoming. Self-knowledge and self-awareness cultivates the soil in which collective collaboration, democracy and solidarity can grow.


That is my idea too.   People can get to know themselves better and they can make more conscious choices and in this way grow more responsible citizens. In Inner Theater it is a question about cultivating self-awareness. The life is full of traumatazing personal and public  news. The global world is multicultural, traumataizing and full of contradictionary information. In this kind of situation, it is for most of the people liberating to know, that they are plural selves. We have in different situations possibility to choose which is the excecutive ego state in our Inner Theater. Our bodymind doesen’t have to be directed by autopilot. Ego states give you possibility to learn to grow and know your ever-flowing and changing consciousness.


A process of personal investigation always reveals something old and new. The philosophy and methodology enables individuals to see themselves as both fixed and not fixed. It gives them the opportunity of discovering and trying out other possibilities and the freedom, power and confidence to perceive themselves, other and the world in a new way. A process of discovery and meaing making that is anchored to their creation of a character and a drama and using both as a transitional object. The purpose is to give participants adequate time and space to work reflexively and the possiblility of ”losing themselves” in the characters and the aesthetic experience in order to expand and deepen their self-knowledge, knowledge of human beings and the world through inner dialogues, contemplation in solitude and reflexive conversation.


It is imperative that each participants in this drama methodology creates her own representational form that comes out of her level of knowledge and experience, the present everyday themes and together given circumstances in the specific context. The participants are responsible for their own production of knowledge. They produce and transform cultural knowledge, which is their own knowledge, expressed in aesthetic form. This implies a theory of knowledge that links sensuous experience to theoretical reflection.


As a hypnotherapist I emphasize that ego states are not just emotional states, they are physiological states, too. The purpose of inner drama is to get your inner energy and information molecules in flow, which for sure have a positive effect in your holistic well being. Hypnotherapy can be a holistic, integrative method for healing. Mindfulness and hypnosis share a lot of common ground.

For me GMM (guided mindfulness meditation) is hypnosis, allthough they have different paradigmatic backgrounds. I think that is why I, as a hypnotherapist, feel myself confortable in the world of mindfulness. In my work I stress western contemplation, spiritual, philosophical and hypnosis traditions. Ego states give us tool to integrate different wisdom traditions. My favorite philosopher is Danish Soren Kierkegaard, whose whole philosophy was written by his colourful and wonderful alter states. I believe Kierkegaard would have had some benefits of knowing the principles of Ego state therapy. For me,  this genius  was quite merciless towards himself and traditional authoritian priests. His parts were not very happy.


Playing” is different from, but just as important as, presention of meaning and knowledge ” a play”. A differens stands between theatre as communication and a drama created as an investigative and experiential practice not dependent on an external audience. A ”third” space for sharing and communication is to be found in the more intimate and secure cultural community, the space that theories on ritual call ”communion”. The ”third” space has its own valuable contextual aesthetic, between everyday social life and the artistic public sphere. This ”third” space was an essential arena in the methodology of the Pedagogy of Experience.


Thank you for your ideas, David Keir Wright. They matched perfectly with my ideas of Inner Theater of ego states! I think our views complement wonderfully each other.

Inner Theater in facebook.

PS. Sorry about my English mistakes…. I should find a speller.


Neural integration is the heart of health

Self-reflective integration is the heart of health, says Daniel J. Siegel.

Not suprise for me!  I have teached reflective journaling and written about it (by using ego states) for years.   I  call reflective awareness by name ”Inner theater” in this journaling method.  We can formulate the ego states from our inner feelings, sensations and emotions. They are the parts of us which we create through out our personal history.

Ego states are learned, habitual, ways to react in certain situations. Ego states are reflections of our culture they are constructed in our relationships. The ego states can be physical body sensations, too. To know them and to direct them wisely is one way to integrate yourself!  Introjections, internalized other people, are especially interesting parts of us.

We are able to create new ego states thourgh our whole life. That increases our resilience. To know our ego states means that we open ourselves to our inner and outer dialogue. We can be in mindfully in dialogue with our bodymind and with our culture and people around of us.  We don’t let us to be  directed just by an autopilot.

The ego states represent different life styles and world views in ourselves. We can use imagination for integrating ourselves in a state which I call ”psychodramatic trance”. Creative reflective journaling with ego states can be a wonderful mindsight practice for self knowledge!

The inner theater is a psychoanalytical tool which uses creative state of mind for self-reflection. We can use our unconscious mind constructively for increasing self-knowledge and awareness. The skilled metaphor work and getting to know our projections is in the basis of creative work in which we  widen our self-awereness!

We can unload the burdens of our ego states and open their barriers between them so that the barriers between the states will be more and more permeable. A healing self is a free flowing ego state process.

By knowing our ego states, we little by little free ourselves from sticking to our ego and it’s states:  We can release ourself to our true beeing, free from any kind of ego states.