Unfinished Conversations can be used to address incomplete parts of a client’s early life. They are usually done using “Empty Chair” work, in which the coach places an empty chair in front of the client, has the client imagine the person with whom they are incomplete sitting in the chair, and talks to that imaginary person while tapping or using another Energy Psychology technique. Examples of unfinished conversations from actual cases are:
- A 36 year old woman whose father died when she was 12 years old, after a series of illnesses that began when she was four. She has had a series of unsatisfying relationships with men, and in earlier therapy has come to understand that her sense of incompletion with her father is linked to her persistent relationship patterns.
- A 65 year old war veteran who was with his best friend when he was killed in a firefight. The veteran has never spoken about his feelings of loss and guilt, and the empty chair work allows him to get them out in the open.
- A 47 year old woman who was bullied and roughly treated by her brother when she was a child. She attempted to confront him about the abuse ten years previously but he was unwilling to engage in a “completion conversation” with her. Her brother is now dead, and she continues to feel incomplete about the past. The coach places the empty chair in front of her, and gives her permission to vent her rage and sense of betrayal. The coach then asks her to switch seats, and become her brother, speaking to her from his vantage point. The “brother” makes excuses and evades responsibility. The coach then asks her, still in the character of the brother, to speak the words she would most like to have heard him utter. In this role, “he” apologizes profusely and begs her forgiveness. She then switches chairs again and hears him and responds.
- A 26 year old woman reveals that she had an abortion at the age of 16. She never had another child and she’s afraid she never will be able to get pregnant again. In a series of sessions, the coach uses Empty Chair work to allow her to talk to (a) her 16 year old self, and (b) the aborted child.
Completing such “unfinished conversations” is a potent method of psychological healing. When combined with Energy Psychology, it’s even more powerful.
Unfinished conversations can be with younger versions of the self, alternate versions of the self (for example, the version that decided to have the baby rather than getting an abortion), friends or loved ones who died, people who betrayed or harmed us. A variant is to ask the client to switch chairs, and speak as the other person.
Here are a couple of videos on Unfinished Conversations:
Here are two articles on working with parts of the self:
- Working With Parts (Level 3 Comprehensive Training Resource p. 119-125) - download here
- Resolving the Frozen Forms of Parents and Children: Energy Treatment Focused on Archaic States and Their Triggers (Ch 13 of Clinical EFT Handbook Vol 1) - download here
Here are some videos on parts of self:
For this set of case histories, you’ll demonstrate your understanding using Energy Psychology to help resolve unfinished conversations and help clients identify and integrate various parts of the Self. You’ll practice Empty Chair work with at least two clients.
Each of the six cases, long and short, should include at least one instance of:
- EFT tapping
- Instructing the client to pause and breathe
The long case should include a detailed description of:
- A present day problem.
- A specific event that is typical of this problem.
- Using Empty Chair work to finish one of the client’s unfinished conversations.
- At least two Aspects of this adult event.
- The childhood event linked to the adult event.
- At least two Aspects of the childhood event event.
At least one of your five short cases should include: The Quick Coherence Technique. (Module 1, Week 3)
At least one of your five short cases should include: The Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT). (Module 1, Week 11)
At least two of your five short cases should include a description of:
- A dialog between the adult self and the child self.
- The imagery described by the client
- The physical sensations and shifts experienced by the client.
- An example of one or more of the client’s Core Beliefs. (Module 2, Chapter 7)
At least 1 of the short cases should include:
- A copy of the coaching checklists you completed for this session.
- A second one-page description of a session you had with a therapist or coach in which you were the client. Describe the problem you went to them with, the modalities you worked with (e.g. Cognitive Therapy, Imago Therapy, Business Coaching, EFT) what happened in the session, and any ways in which your problem shifted after the session.
For your long case history, use this long form.
Download the Session Notes for Energy Psychology Certification — Unfinished Conversations