“Suddenly you are King Solomon”: Multiplicity, transformation and integration in compassion focused therapy chairwork
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractChairwork is a psychotherapeutic method that frequently focuses on self-multiplicity and internal relationships. Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) uses chairwork to generate and apply compassion towards threat-based aspects of the self. This study explores self-multiplicity in a CFT chairwork intervention for self-criticism. Twelve participants with depression were interviewed following the intervention and the resultant data were analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Three super-ordinate themes were identified: differentiating selves; mental imagery of selves; and integrating and transforming selves with compassion. The results highlight how the intervention enabled clients to differentiate internal aspects of themselves in a way that was accessible and helpful, increasing self-complexity and introducing the potential to observe and change patterns of self-to-self relating. The process of bringing compassion to self-criticism was shown to integrate both aspects of the critical dialogue, transforming the ‘critic’ by understanding its fears and function. The use of mental imagery was also shown to facilitate clients’ experience of self-multiplicity and to symbolize the kind of changes generated by the exercise. Implications for clinical practice are discussed.
CitationBell, T., Montague, J., Elander, J. & Gilbert, P. (2020). 'Suddenly you are King Solomon’: Multiplicity, transformation and integration in compassion-focused therapy chairwork'. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, pp. 1-20.
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association (APA)
JournalJournal of Psychotherapy Integration
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