You can find the original workshop description for this CPD event here.
As you can see from that description, I had originally suggested to run a series of 5 days (a weekend and 3 follow-up days), because past experience suggests that it takes at least a weekend to introduce the basic principles and the four recurring pitfalls, and several further days for people to become familiar with ways of addressing and navigating these pitfalls. This all depends, of course, how much experience you have with the technique to begin with.
This particular session was scheduled for 3 hours, and could only be an introduction to the general principles, rather than the detailed experiential exploration and practice proposed for the workshop series (which is necessary for anybody to become thoroughly acquainted and confident with the technique).
In preparation for the session, I suggest you read the following long paper, written many years ago (1995), on Working with Polarities / Dialogue / Two-chair work
. In many places, this paper is quite laboured, somewhat repetitive and obviously written by a German, but the basic principles and distinctions still seem sound to me after 25 years, and will form the basis and starting point of the teaching.
If you want to do more detailed preparation (especially if you are not that familiar with the technique), you can watch the following online videos, by a variety of Gestalt therapists, demonstrating two-chair work. I suggest you watch them with both an appreciative and critically enquiring attitude, experimenting internally with identifying both with the client and therapist. I suggest you watch for charged and significant moments in the interaction, and pay attention especially to the issue of spontaneity versus performance (how natural & emergent versus contrived & instructed does it seem). One of the main stumbling blocks in using the technique is that it very obviously is a 'technique', a therapeutic exercise and tool, that requires the client's collaboration and can therefore become artificial and contrived.
Agenda/Overview for Zoom call
Working with Polarities / Gestalt Dialogue / ‘Two-chair’ work © 1995 by Michael Soth
Summary: The Technique of Two-chair work © 1995 by Michael Soth
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