Make an Appointment: [email protected] | (281) 888-8721

Compassionate Chair Work

Compassionate Chair Work


An effective way to deal with a low amount of self-compassion is by finding a way to relate  differently to the inner critical voice. This works best by arranging a triangle of chairs around yourself when possible.



Think of something that has recently caused you to criticize yourself.  each chair represents a  different perspective to help you understand your self-criticism. 

  • The first chair represents a voice of self-criticism. 
  • The second chair represents the emotionality or sensation of feeling judged. 
  • The third chair takes the perspective of a supportive friend or wise counselor.  

Your job is to play the role of each voice represented by the respective chairs. There’s no need to feel silly.  Learn through accessing different perspectives. 


  • First, sit from the perspective of the inner critic. Now, express out loud in words or sound how you think about  the issue that you have been dwelling on. For example, “I hate that I am so lazy and can’t seem to get anything  done.” Try to understand the tone you use. Notice the emotions your words evoke. Notice your posture or  general demeanor.


  • Now move to the chair that represents the sensation of being judged (by yourself). Express out loud in words  or sound how it feels to encounter criticism. For example, “I feel hurt” or “I do not feel supported.” Notice the  same things you did before (your tone, emotions, posture, etc.).  


  • Now, engage with yourself in a dialogue between the last two perspectives (the critical voice and the emotion  voice). Try to understand how each perspective feels.


  • Next, move to the chair that represents the friend or wise counselor. Drawing on a sincere sense of  compassion, confront the critical voice and the critiqued voice. Address both perspectives out loud. What do  you say? What advice do you give? How do you relate to each perspective from a more detached point of  view? Notice your tone and demeanor.



Allow yourself enough time to express everything you need to from each perspective. Make sure you leave  time to reflect on the experience. Try to understand how you think, and how you could benefit from the perspectives you explored. How does that inform your inner critic and your experience with self-compassion?  Ultimately, you are already capable of using a more supportive voice. Next time you find yourself being  negative and self-critical, try to locate the compassionate voice.


Have any thoughts, questions, suggestions, or comments on this article? Wondering how to this can be applied, modified, or adapted to your polyamorous, swinging, kink/ BDSM, or otherwise interesting relationship? Feel free to reach out to us here.