Transformational Chairwork: Using Psychotherapeutic Dialogues in Clinical Practice is an exposition of the art and science of Chairwork. It is also a practical handbook for using the Chairwork method effectively with a wide range of clinical problems. Originally created by Dr. Jacob Moreno in the 1950s and then further developed by Dr. Fritz Perls in the 1960s, Chairwork has been embraced and re-envisioned by therapists from cognitive, behavioral, existential, Jungian, experiential, psychodynamic, and integrative perspectives. Transformational Chairwork builds on this rich and creative legacy and provides a model that is both integrative and trans-theoretical.
The book familiarizes clinicians with essential dialogue strategies and empowers them to create therapeutic encounters and re-enactments. Chairwork interventions can be broadly organized along the lines of external and internal dialogues. The external dialogues can be used to help patients work though grief and loss, heal from interpersonal abuse and trauma, manage difficult relationships, and develop and strengthen their assertive voice. The internal dialogues in turn focus on resolving inner conflicts, combatting the negative impact of the inner critic and the experience of self-hatred, working with dreams and nightmares, and expanding the self through polarity work.
Using both internal and external strategies, this book explores how Chairwork dialogues can be a powerful intervention when working with addictions, social oppression, medical issues, and psychosis. This is done through the use of compelling clinical examples and scripts that can be read, studied, and enacted. Chairwork’s central emphasis is helping patients express each of their voices as distinctly and as forcefully as possible. The book concludes with a review of the deepening technique—the strategies that therapists can use to help facilitate clarity and existential ownership.
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