Talk to a Chair? What? Why?

The “empty chair technique” is a valuable tool to release pent-up emotions and free the ongoing regret; “I should have said this!”, “why didn’t I say that” and “I can’t get a word in edge-wise.” We question ourselves when we have unfulfilled or incomplete conversations. Conversations are unfinished because when a partner/friend/family member starts to get angry, the other person shuts down and doesn’t get the opportunity to speak. Others are dissatisfied because they freeze and cannot say what they want. Sometimes, we have unfulfilled conversations with someone who passed away, but we need to express thoughts and feelings to heal. These are just a few reasons to talk to a “chair.”

The “empty chair” technique is simple as the name implies you sit comfortably in one chair and have another in front of you. You can imagine the person in the chair or use the chair as an object to focus on while talking. Feel free to vary up the “chair.” My place of peace is my car, so I often use this technique in my car, and the passenger seat becomes the “chair.” You can make anything the “chair.” For example, a picnic table where the opposite seat is your focus, a spot on the horizon when you are hiking, and a picture (be careful this doesn’t bring back negative memories), are all excellent options to replace the “chair.”

Once you have your “chair” or visual point, start sharing your thoughts and feelings with the other person. Say what you want to say, complete the conversation.
A therapist can help you work through what you want to say and can provide an empty chair for you. While you can do this on your own, the value of doing it as part of counselling is that the therapist will aid you in working through your feelings, beliefs, and thoughts before, during, and after using the empty chair technique.
Talking out your feelings, emotions, and left-over conversations is not crazy! It’s a well-known part of emotional healing – that’s why we chat with friends and enter into therapy. We need to eliminate those things that hold us back, and talking them out is a great way to do this! Get them out of your head, so there is space for new positive and healing thoughts. Contact us today. Let’s move forward together.

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