On today’s episode, Duane speaks with Michelle Chalfant, host of The Adult Chair Podcast, about being our best selves by sitting in the adult chair and how our adult self can help us navigate all parts of our trauma, inner child, and ego. Michelle gives practical advice that can help you move forward in your life in a way that will create meaning and purpose. 

A therapist and coach, Michelle currently does coaching certification and workshops based on the Adult Chair Model, which was a culmination and combination of several teachers she has worked with over the last 25 years.

The Adult Chair Model is a manual for life. It helps you learn how to feel your emotions, something that many of us have not been taught to do well. Michelle says that a lot of us know how to be physically healthy and have a good understanding of that. However, when it comes to emotional health, humans aren’t great at it. Learning how to live as a healthy adult is the touchstone of The Adult Chair Model. When you begin to live with compassion, boundaries, and empowerment, and when you’re connected to your emotions instead of reacting to them, you become an emotionally healthy adult and the most authentic version of yourself. 

Growing up, Michelle was part of an Italian family and was raised with alcoholism all around her. 

She recalls moments in college when she felt unhappy and even had suicidal thoughts. As her way of escaping from pain, she resorted to three things: smoking pot, drinking, and overeating.

After consulting a psychiatrist, she got diagnosed with depression and was given four days’ worth of medication. Three days later, she stopped taking the meds and decided to find another way to heal herself. 

In this episode, you will hear:

  • Her addiction and recovery journey from depression
  • Turning towards the pain and learning how to feel your emotions
  • How to become friends with your emotions
  • Your body as your navigation system
  • Checking in with your inner child

Key Quotes:

[03:20] – “The Adult Chair Model is a manual for life.”

[03:40] – “A lot of us know to be physically healthy… but when it comes to emotional health, humans aren’t great at that.”

[14:46] – “You can only take people as far as you’ve gone”

[15:29] – “It’s pausing life temporarily and then you hit play again the moment all the effects wear off, and all of a sudden, you’re back in it and the pain is right there again. You have to turn toward the pain.”

[15:48] – “You’ve got to get to know your pain and we have to learn how to feel our emotions. And that is something human beings are not taught well how to do.”

[19:20] – “You’ve got to go in there and let those feelings come through.”

[22:30] – “I found that I had to become friends with my emotions.”

[26:54] – “When we tune into the body, we realize it’s a navigation system for us and it tells us when we’re off, when we’re on, when we’re okay, and when we’re not okay.”

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Supporting Resources:


The Adult Chair Podcast