Cognitive Behavioural Chairwork: Distinctive Features, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Cognitive Behavioural Chairwork

Distinctive Features, 1st Edition

By Matthew Pugh


152 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780367109257
pub: 2019-08-15
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Cognitive Behavioural Chairwork: Distinctive Features provides a practical, accessible, and concise introduction to both the theory and practice of chairwork, one of the most powerful and exciting methods of intervention in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and is the first book to synthesise its many applications in CBT and allied therapies.

Part of the popular 'CBT Distinctive Features' series, this book contains a wealth of effective experiential procedures for working with automatic thoughts, emotions, behaviours, core beliefs, ambivalence, strengths and well-being, and cognitive processes such as worry and self-criticism. Readers will also learn how chairwork is applied in other areas, such as clinical supervision and associated psychotherapeutic approaches including Compassion Focused Therapy, Schema Therapy, Positive Psychotherapy, and Motivational Interviewing. Techniques are presented in an easy-to-understand format and illustrated using clinical examples and therapy transcripts. The result is a comprehensive guide which demystifies chairwork and places it at the heart of CBT’s continued evolution.

Created for practising clinicians, researchers, and training therapists, Cognitive Behavioural Chairwork: Distinctive Features will appeal to both individuals who are new to chairwork and those who are familiar with its techniques.


"Occasionally a book is written that fills such a big hole that you wonder how it hasn’t been written before. When it is also so practical and written with such clarity, you know it is something special. Cognitive Behavioural Chairwork is such a book. Of all experiential processes in CBT, chairwork is amongst the most powerful, yet least well articulated. Dr. Pugh has produced an elegant, beautifully constructed book that traverses the history, theory and practice of chairwork in an extraordinarily accessible way." - Prof James Bennett-Levy, PhD, University of Sydney, author of Experiencing CBT from the Inside Out: A Self-Practice / Self-Reflection Workbook for Therapists.

"Part of the role of psychotherapy is to help clients differentiate, tolerate and integrate different processes within themselves. Inviting them to adopt, become, and enact different parts - be they emotions, motives or even memories – is increasingly recognised as a core therapeutic process. In this exceptionally insightful, clear, and useful book, Dr. Pugh skilfully guides the therapist through the history of chair work, and its different forms and functions. Full of fascinating clinical insights and wisdoms, along with step-by-step guidance in this way of working, this text is a must read. I will return to the book many times." - Prof Paul Gilbert, OBE, Founder and President, Compassionate Mind Foundation, author of The Compassionate Mind.

"Cognitive Behavioural Chairwork is an invaluable resource, especially in enhancing your ability to help clients change their cognitions, at both the intellectual and emotional level, in order to bring about enduring change in their mood and functioning. Excellent case examples illustrate the rationale for chairwork and teach you how to use your conceptualization to integrate specific evocative techniques. I highly recommend this book!" - Prof Judith S. Beck, PhD, President, Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Clinical Professor, University of Pennsylvania, author of Cognitive Therapy: Basics and Beyond.

"In this important volume, Dr. Matthew Pugh has integrated his vast knowledge of the Cognitive Behavioural therapies with what he has learned from his Chairwork practice. Filled with succinct and compelling vignettes, this book will empower therapists to help patients heal their internal conflicts, reduce their self-hatred, work through traumatic and disturbing memories, confront difficult interpersonal challenges, and overcome their fears of self-expression. For those interested in Chairwork and/or CBT, this book is a gift." - Scott Kellogg, PhD, Transformational Chairwork, New York City, NY.

"This state of the art book gives the most comprehensive overview of different forms of chairwork that can be used in CBT, covering working mechanisms as well as practical applications. A must read for therapists who want to extend their repertoire with this powerful experiential method, that reaches the emotional core directly." - Prof Arnoud Arntz, PhD, University of Amsterdam, author of Schema Therapy in Practice: An Introductory Guide to the Schema Mode Approach.

Table of Contents

Part One: Theoretical features of cognitive behavioural chairwork 1. A brief history of chairwork 2. Chairwork in cognitive and behavioural therapy 3. Forms of chairwork 4. Forms of facilitation 5. Forms of perspective-taking 6. Lights! Self-multiplicity (principle I) 7. Camera! Embodiment and personification (principle II) 8. Action! Dialogue (principle III) 9. Process skills 10. Mechanisms I - Information-processing 11. Mechanisms II – Emotion 12. Mechanisms III – Imagery 13. Mechanisms IV – Retrieval Competition 14. Other mechanisms 15. Evidence-base Part Two: Practical applications of cognitive behavioural chairwork 16. Applying chairwork in CBT 17. Using chairwork to socialise clients to the cognitive-behavioural model and allied approaches 18. Using chairwork to address negative automatic thoughts 19. Using chairwork to address problematic emotions 20. Using chairwork to assess and modify behaviours 21. Using chairwork to address dysfunctional cognitive processes 22. Using chairwork to modify negative core beliefs 23. Using chairwork to develop and consolidate positive core beliefs 24. Using chairwork to resolve ambivalence and enhance motivation 25. Using chairwork to develop compassion for the self and others 26. Using chairwork to modify schema modes 27. Using chairwork in positive CBT 28. Using emotion-focused chairwork augment CBT 29. Using chairwork in CBT supervision 30. Addressing common obstacles when using chairwork

About the Author

Matthew Pugh is a Clinical Psychologist, Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist, and Advanced Schema Therapist. He works with the Vincent Square Eating Disorders Service (Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust) and is an Honorary Clinical Lecturer with University College London.

About the Series

CBT Distinctive Features

This exciting new series asks leading practitioners and theorists of the main CBT therapies to write simply and briefly on what constitutes the main features of their particular approach.

Each Distinctive Features book will highlight the thirty main features – practical and theoretical – of its respective approach. The series as a whole will be essential reading for psychotherapists, counsellors, clinical and counselling psychologists of all orientations who wish to learn more about the range of new and developing cognitive-behavioural approaches.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)