The Art and Science of Chairwork

Transformational Chairwork is centered on the belief that there is a healing and transformative power in: (1) Giving voice to one’s inner parts, modes, and selves; and (2) Enacting or re-enacting scenes from the Past, the Present, or the Future

The Transformational Chairwork Training is designed to introduce therapists to the practice of Chairwork, in an active, creative, and clinically-useful manner using clinical story-telling, role-plays, and live demonstrations.

The topics covered in the workshops include:

1. Resolving Inner Conflict and Making Decisions; 2. Healing from Grief and Loss; 3. Voice Dialogue – Working with Parts;

4. Coping with Difficult Relationships; 5. Engaging the Inner Critic/Challenging Self-Hatred; 6. Imagery Rescripting (Internal Chairwork);

7. Vector Dialogues and Money Issues; 8. Overcoming Painful Experiences and Interpersonal Mistreatment; and 9. Developing the Capacity for Self-Compassion.

Each training also includes a module on understanding and effectively using the Four Dialogue Matrix in clinical practice.

The Four Dialogue Matrix:

Giving Voice: Working with patients to access and speak from their both their owned and disowned inner parts, modes, or voices.  “There are stories within me that have never been shared.” “There is a deep grief within me.”

Telling the Story: Creating a space for patients to tell the story of what happened to them and what they have been through.  This can be especially important in trauma work.  “I told a few people about the accident when it occurred, but I do not feel I ever really talked it through.”

Inner Dialogues: Helping patients to re-organize and re-balance the forces and polarities within themselves. “I feel like I am of two minds about this.” “I have this voice in my head that keeps telling me how bad I am.”

Relationships and Encounters: Moving to the interpersonal realm – both past and present – patients are given opportunities to express their feelings of love, anger, fear, and sorrow.  They are also given the opportunity to re-work past situations and to claim power through the development of their assertive voice.  “I know that it has been three years, but I am still grieving the death of my mother.”;  “My father was very cruel to all of us when I was growing up.  I am still very angry about that.”  “Imagine him sitting there and tell him directly.”

An introductory lecture on Chairwork can be found here.

Please Note: The Transformational Chairwork trainings are open to Mental Health, Addiction Treatment, and Harm Reduction Professionals, Students, and Trainees.  All others must obtain specific permission from Dr. Kellogg ( to attend.  Thank you.

Follow me on Twitter: @Chairwork ; #TransformationalChairwork

Kellogg Chairwork Psychological Services, PC