Empty Chair Case Study

862 Words4 Pages
Isabelle is a widow her husband Victor who passed away just 4 months ago died from pancreatic cancer. They had lived together for 53 years in an Italian American close-knit community. Isabelle was a stay at home mom, who now has four grown children with their own lives. After Victor was diagnosed Isabelle tried to care for Victor, but the majority of the responsibility fell to Paul because he was the oldest. Paul and his wife operate a small restaurant in a nearby suburb and have two young children. When it became clear that Victor was dying, Isabelle told her children that their father had not “wanted any extraordinary measures to be used to keep him alive in his final illness” (Broderick & Blewitt). Joseph is the youngest of the siblings and is not married, but has a long term partner. When Victor slipped into a coma and was having trouble breathing Joseph convinced his mother to let the doctors put him on a ventilator. The family was very upset at Josephs decision because they felt it…show more content…
This strategy is “employed to bring past conflicts into the here and now, where feelings can be re-experienced” (). Isabell would address the empty chair as if Miguel were present, and I would like her to talk to Miguel and tell her how his death has affected her and the family, I would then ask Isabell to sit in Miguel’s chair and talk to her as if she were him. I think this would benefit her very much because I sense she feels guilt over letting them put him on a ventilator, and she needs Miguel to forgive her so that she can move forward.

Beck, B. L. (2013). Gestalt therapy. Salem Press Encyclopedia Of Health,

Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2015). The life span: Human development for helping professionals (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Kennedy, A. (2008). Working through grief. Retrieved from
Open Document