Positive Disintegration
Positive Disintegration Podcast
Voice as a Mirror of Inner States

Voice as a Mirror of Inner States

Join Emma Nicholson and Chris Wells for Episode 52 with Laura Stavinoha

In episode 52, Chris and Emma talked with Laura Stavinoha, who offers singers and speakers coaching and counseling about the voice and personal development through her company, Use Your Voice. Laura is the author of the book Voice: A Multifaceted Approach to Self-Growth and Vocal Empowerment and editor-in-chief of the Dutch Positive Disintegration website. She will join us in Denver this summer to present her work at the 2024 Dabrowski Congress.

The human voice is a tool for communication, and a reflection of our inner state. Laura discusses how the voice can provide insights into our emotions, stress levels, and personal development. She says our voice is connected to the nervous system and can be influenced by our emotions. When we experience feelings such as nervousness, excitement, or anger, our voice can undergo changes. This connection between emotions and the voice is well-known, as many of us have experienced our voices trembling or becoming shaky when we are anxious or stressed.

We talk about the role of overexcitabilities in the voice. Overexcitabilities are heightened sensitivities and intensities that can manifest in different ways, including in the voice. For instance, individuals with psychomotor overexcitability may have rapid speech patterns or a tendency to talk compulsively. Individuals with imaginational overexcitability may experience rapid shifts in thoughts and ideas during conversation.

Laura describes how the voice can be a symptom of the conflicts and tensions that arise as we strive for personal growth and self-actualization. These conflicts can manifest in our voice—e.g., feeling constricted or unable to express ourselves authentically. Dynamisms are inner forces that can manifest as inner conflicts and tensions that arise during the process of positive disintegration. These conflicts can be reflected in the voice, through hesitations, inconsistencies, or changes in tone.

Laura explains that the autonomic nervous system influences the voice in the same way it influences other bodily functions like heart rate and breathing. Regulating the nervous system through practices like meditation or yoga can have a positive impact on the voice. The human voice can provide valuable insights into our inner state. It can reflect our emotions, stress levels, and personal development. By paying attention to our voice and working on its development, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and enhance our communication with others.


00:03:34 How Laura discovered the theory

00:07:34 Laura’s path to authenticity

00:14:23 The importance of purpose

00:17:00 Reflection on developing one’s voice

00:18:39 Do you like the sound of your own voice?

00:22:33: Chris’s voice issues

00:27:11 Tension and the voice

00:28:28 When Laura’s voice failed her

00:30:28 OEs and the autonomic nervous system

00:34:26 How OEs manifest over time

00:37:12 Jamie’s case and ADHD

00:39:45 Overexcitability and neurodivergence

00:42:00 TPD as a liberating theory

00:43:54 Coexistence of unilevel and multilevel dynamisms

00:47:03 Voice as an indicator of well-being

00:51:09 Going beneath the surface

00:55:05 Doing the developmental work

00:56:51 TPD and polyvagal theory

Overall, working on the voice goes beyond simply improving vocal techniques. It involves understanding the connection between the voice and the nervous system, addressing underlying emotional and psychological factors, and developing a holistic approach to voice development.

Resources from this episode

Use Your Voice (Laura’s website)

The book Voice: A Multifaceted Approach to Self-Growth and Vocal Empowerment by Laura Stavinoha (Amazon)

Voice Problems as Signs of Positive Disintegration (Laura’s 2022 Congress presentation on YouTube)

Positieve Desintegratie (in Dutch)

2024 Dabrowski Congress page. Registration opens later this week!

Connect with us

Positive Disintegration [Substack]

Visit the Dabrowski Center website

Positive Disintegration Podcast [Facebook]

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The Positive Disintegration YouTube Channel

Dabrowski Center [LinkedIn]

Adults with Overexcitabilities group on Facebook

The Tragic Gift blog by Emma Nicholson

Email us at positivedisintegration.pod@gmail.com

Please consider supporting the podcast to help fund this work through the Dabrowski Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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Positive Disintegration
Positive Disintegration Podcast
What can be positive about disintegration? Join us for an exploration of positive disintegration through conversation and shared stories. It’s a framework for understanding a variety of intense experiences that often look and feel like mental illness, but which can also be viewed as building blocks for creating an authentic personality.