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What does The Empty Chair mean?

The empty chair technique is a key method in Gestalt Therapy. Gestalt Therapy is a client-centered approach to psychotherapy, formulated by Fritz Perls, Laura Perls, and Paul Goodman. The therapy focuses on the here and now. Gestalt therapy believes in seeing a person with all parts of their environment. It believes that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

What is this technique really about?

In this technique the client is sitting in front of a chair that is empty and begins to communicate with themselves or another person. They have to imagine that other sitting in that empty chair and with the guidance of the counsellor the client speaks to them and there is an emptying out of all the emotions, thoughts and experiences that were left unsaid.

Why did I choose this name?

I personally resonate with Gestalt Therapy and I use the Empty Chair Technique in many of my sessions. I believe it works well when people want a closure with another person or even with themselves. I believe this is a technique which can be used to get hurtful feelings and thoughts out of one’s system in a healthy manner without hurting oneself or others. This technique gives the client a new perspective to the traumatic or hurtful event and helps them heal from that painful, uncomfortable situation.