FOCUSING AND EMBODIMENT APPROACHES
WHAT IS A FOCUSING SESSION ?
It is a space where a person can focus on the whole of themselves, in a paired work format, the Focuser and the Listener.
It is an opportunity to reflect and notice what is happening in ‘present time’ in the physical and emotional body as well as in thought processes. It is a place where sensations can be felt and where feelings can be ‘heard’ and experienced. These sensations and feelings often merge and become what we, in Focusing, call a ‘felt-sense’. A felt-sense is a potent place of change. It is a place of connection between what wants to emerge and the possibility of a release. This felt-sense is an opening to understanding and letting go. Eugene Gendlin, the Father of Focusing, described this approach as ~
"Spending time with something in your experience that is not yet clear".
He understood that merely talking about one’s problems was not enough, merely feeling one’s emotions was not enough
but that the answer was there somewhere underneath it all in the body.
In my sessions I sometimes use painting, drawing and/or movement, in fact, whatever may help bring the Focuser
into relationship with their issue. With these ‘tools’, together we can explore what it is that wants to emerge and become
THE LISTENER AND THE FOCUSER
The most important attribute the Listener brings to the session is the quality of presence. They also:
- Set up a safe space for the session. This could be a session room or an online arrangement with a telephone line backup.
- Guide the focuser into the session with mindfulness and embodiment approaches.
- Listen, paraphrase and make suggestions when helpful.
- Are responsible for time keeping and leading the session to an end ‘for the time being’.
In the space provided, the Focuser can safely explore their issue, at their own pace in the presence of a mindful other.
There is no necessity to arrive with a clear issue.
Sessions can be used to ‘check in’ with one self and to see what requires attention.
It is also a potent way to work with physical pain.
The session is a Focuser led process.
We will conclude with a few words from Harville Hendrix, author of 'Getting The Love You Want'. ~
“Learning to access and dissolve personal problems by focusing on the language and wisdom of the body was a historic discovery. Gendlin’s genius has stood the test of time…”