Counseling Do-It-Yourself Relationships self-help sex tantra

Talk to Someone Who’s Absent–Gestalt Self Therapy

From TEACH TANTRA*1  by Sasha Alex Lessin, Ph.D.*, Dean, School of Counseling & Janet Kira Lessin CEO, Aquarian Radio)  (for Chakra 5: Communication)


Think about an absent lover. Speak aloud to her or him as though she or he sits before you.

Sit on a chair that faces an empty chair. Invoke an absent lover; say her or his name aloud.  Imagine s/he sits on the empty chair before you.

Then sit in her or his (empty) seat and identify with her or him.   Assume this lover’s physical posture and emotional state.  Roleplay this lover and state your existence.  Say what, as s/he, you’re like.

Next, return to your chair and express your feelings toward her or him.   Say the unfinished emotional business you have with this lover to her or his empty seat, as though s/he sits there.  Say what you’ve withheld from her.

Express your resentments, demands and appreciations to the empty seat, which represents her or him.

Take her or his seat and again become her or him and reply.

Alternate enacting your absent lover and speaking as yourself.  Switch seats to mark which role–yours or the absent lovers– you play.  In each seat, react to what you said on the other seat.


Any past event you remember exists as a current experience–you remember it now.  Any planned, expected or anticipated future event exists also as a current fantasy.

You defend against unconscious feelings: you deny you have them.  You think your lovers have the feelings you deny and you react to them as though they have emotions you have but deny.  Schiffman labels as pseudo emotions your inappropriate emotional reactions to others on whom you project hidden, unconscious feelings.

Pseudo emotions defeat you.  The emotions you hide struggle for expression yet you amp up pseudo emotions that hide your true feelings.  You fail to use your intelligence and experience to solve problems with them.

Your disowned fears and projections can create what you want to avoid.

You may want love and acceptance, express anger or boredom and then get your lovers to disapprove or reject you.  When you end an encounter depressed, anxious, obsessed with certain thoughts and feel tense, experience a headache, heart palpitations or breathing difficulties, you’ve expressed pseudo emotions.

Feel the pseudo emotion you have toward a lover but express it to a pillow, the sea or a nonjudgmental friend.  Have an imaginary, uninhibited, exaggerated dialogue aloud with this lover. Act out her or his role; emphasize the parts which triggered your pseudo emotion.

Speak as a lover when she or reacts a way you dislike.  Feel yourself in her or his place.  Experience the sub you projected on her or him.  Now you can get what emotions motivate your projection and up your awareness of the reality of your interaction.

Notice an intense or painful experience, a neurotic symptom, or a psychosomatic complaint a lover arouses in you, and experience, symptom or complaint you think may cover a hidden emotion.

Voice what both you and the lover you roleplay think and feel.  Roleplay your lover; say her or his thoughts and yours more than you and s/he would ordinarily.  Speak what you imagine s/he thinks, even if irrational.  Caricature, exaggerate gesture, move your whole body, make faces.  Escalate this roleplay encounter; feel it to the max.  Let your feelings crescendo.

When you’ve let out your emotions, change the lover you roleplayed. Imagine she or he becomes someone else, someone from your past.  Confront the person from your past in another roleplay.  Shift roles back-and-forth as you play yourself and the person from your past as you dialogue. Voice and exaggerate attitudes, projections and emotions as you alternate roles.

Now dialogue with two of your own subs.  You play the sub that you show the world, then you play a sub within you that resonates with your lover.  Enact a dialogue between your two subs.

Notice what inner conflict this experiment has made salient.

State a step you commit to take this week to express your hidden emotions and inhibit false emotions and projections.

*Lessin, S. & Lessin, J., 2017, Teach Tantra

** Schiffman, M., 1971, Gestalt Self-Therapy



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