Transformational Chairwork:

Using Psychotherapeutic Dialogues in Clinical Practice

Transformational Chairwork - book by Scott KelloggTransformational Chairwork: Using Psychotherapeutic Dialogues in Clinical Practice is an exposition on the Art and Science of Chairwork. It is also a practical handbook for effectively using the Chairwork method with a wide range of clinical problems. Made famous by Dr. Fritz Perls in the 1960s, Chairwork has been embraced and re-envisioned by therapists from a wide range of perspectives. Transformational Chairwork builds on this rich and creative legacy and provides a model that is both integrative and trans-theoretical.

The book not only familiarizes clinicians with the essential dialogue strategies, but also 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, combating the experience of self-hatred, working with dreams and nightmares, expanding the self through polarity work, and developing self-compassion.  Combining the two, there is a central chapter on working with addictions.


“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. …. 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 and The Danish Gestalt Forum

“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