by Agnieszka Konopka & Huiyan Zhang
Dialogical Self Theory (DST) presumes that dialogue lies not only between, but also within people, between different self-aspects, termed in this theory internal I-positions, and between them and internalized “voices” of others, conceptualized as external I-positions. Including multiple positions in the dialogue enhances the democratic organization of the self and enlarges possibilities of giving a constructive answer to any significant life change, loss, or transition. Some I-positions are not easily accessible through a verbal or a narrative account. However, accessing those not yet known, implicit positions, and including them in a dialogue can become an important source of new meanings, necessary to take constructive steps in the process of transition. This paper presents a method of art therapy/coaching, Composition Work, which helps to access the not-yet-verbalized, bodily felt multiplicity of I-positions and include them in a dialogue. Following a case study, we discuss methodological and theoretical aspects of work with implicit I-positions and its consequences for the process of significant transitions and losses in work and private life.