Feeling Conflicted? Gestalt therapists have been using this technique for decades

Feeling Conflicted? Gestalt therapists have been using this technique for decades

Do you ever have conflicting ideas about something?

Say, your mind is telling you to take your relationship to the next level, but your heart disagrees. Or maybe there is a part of you that wants to apply for that promotion at work, but another part is too scared to move.

This happens to everyone, and its not a bad thing, its just a part of life.

So often we struggle trying to figure out which of these parts is really us, and which of these parts we should listen to, when the truth is – It’s all of them!

Each part represents an aspect of you, and as such needs to be given a voice.

Have you ever had an annoying little voice in your head that kept nudging you to do something, but because it was too scary/ inconvenient/unknown you ignored it, and only later understood how valuable its message was, but by then it was too late?

Yea, me neither;)

So how do you give these different parts of you a voice without feeling like your head is spinning out of control? You have them talk to each other.

Here is how you do it:

  • Sit comfortably on a chair and place another chair in front of you (as if you were having a conversation with the person sitting on the other chair). Take three deep belly breaths and relax your body. Choose which part you want to start with, and speak as if you are that part. For example, “I just don’t think its a good idea to ask for that promotion right now, what if the boss says no? its going to make me feel weak and rejected, i hate that feeling”.
  • Next, move yourself to the other chair (it may seem silly but it will help your physical body align with your mind in embodying a different identity). Sitting in the other chair, pretend that you are that other part of you that needs a voice. “Yes, I know that feeling of being rejected -it sucks.  But I feel determined and strong. I want that promotion and I deserve it. I’ve worked hard for a long time for this promotion, and if I don’t go for it now I’m going to regret it”.
  • Continue the conversation back and forth until you get clearer on a choice of action.

Another cool way to use this technique is to ask the different parts clarifying questions. For example: sitting on one chair, taking on the role of your rational mind, ask you heart “what are you trying to tell me about this situation?” or “what is it that I need to know right now?” Then sitting on the opposite chair and taking the role of your heart, let the answers come. This technique is bound to give you more insight into who you are, and where you are going.

Still confused? Write to our Advice Column for Free professional advice. take care:)



Tamar (Tami) Amit, M.A. RCC

About Tamar (Tami) Amit, M.A. RCC