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Transformational Chairwork

Using Psychotherapeutic Dialogues in Clinical Practice

Scott Kellogg

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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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 216Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2
978-1-4422-2953-2 • Hardback • December 2014 • $65.00 • (£44.95)
978-1-4422-2954-9 • eBook • December 2014 • $64.99 • (£44.95)
Scott Kellogg, PhD, is clinical assistant professor in the New York University Department of Psychology.
Chapter One: Speaking One’s Mind
Chapter Two: External Dialogues: Grief, Loss, and Unfinished Business
Chapter Three: External Dialogues: The Treatment of Trauma and Difficult Relationships
Chapter Four: External Dialogues: Assertiveness and Behavioral Rehearsal
Chapter Five: Internal Dialogues: Multiplicity and Inner Conflict
Chapter Six: Internal Dialogues: Inner Critic and Negative Schema Voices
Chapter Seven: Inner Dialogues: Polarity Work
Chapter Eight: Substance Use and Addictive Behaviors
Chapter Nine: Feminist Therapy, Internalized Oppression, Somatic Concerns, and Working with Psychosis
Chapter Ten: Deepening Your Practice
Kellogg has clearly done a lot of research into the origins of Chairwork and the various uses and different interpretations of the technique. . . .For practitioners who are interested in the Chairwork technique and want to expand their range of using this method, they may find Kellogg’s book a useful source as there is a wide and varied number of script examples and a chapter included near the end of the book on ways of developing the technique to take the work to a deeper level.
British Gestalt Journal

Scott Kellogg is a masterful psychotherapist who brings intelligence, passion, creativity, and love to his commitment to reducing suffering in the world. His inspiring and useful book, Transformational Chairwork: Using Psychotherapeutic Dialogues in Clinical Practice, resurrects and refines the lost art of Chairwork, as originally pioneered by Jacob Moreno and Fritz Perls, and makes it accessible to clinicians of all perspectives. However, the book is much more than this. It brings us into the room with Kellogg and his patients as he models and teaches the reader how to blend the use of self with exquisite therapeutic technique in an effort to help people heal and grow. The book offers applications for working with loss, trauma, assertiveness, inner conflict, inner critic issues and addiction. This book should be on every clinician’s bookcase.
Andrew Tatarsky, PhD, The Center for Optimal Living

Chairwork will greatly enhance any therapist’s repertoire of effective techniques.

F. Michler Bishop, PhD, The Albert Ellis Institute

In this fascinating book, Scott Kellogg demonstrates how psychotherapy can be artwork and effective at the same time. In a very enriching way he reminds us about the fundamental nature of polarities in our lives and shows us how we, through sophisticated Chairwork, can deal creatively with them to promote healing and change. The book invites us to see psychotherapy as a living enterprise and to understand the deep existential meaning of polarities. It revitalizes and develops the art of Chairwork with elegant clarity. It transforms our ways of looking at chairs as beholders of perspectives.
Jan Tønnesvang, PhD, Aarhus University

Transformational Chairwork: Using Psychotherapeutic Dialogues in Clinical Practice is highly instructive, and is certain to become the standard in helping therapists to use a highly experiential and effective approach known as ‘empty chair.’ Indeed, its rich and instructive dialogues may transform both therapists and patients' lives.
Irismar Reis de Oliveira, MD, PhD, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil