Listening in Focusing Partnership

Listening in focusing partnership involves cultivating the habit of wanting to understand without judgment just what someone is saying in their own terms, with good will. Learning to have an open accepting space for whatever focuser, is a lifelong project. It never ends. How much you bring there, always will affect the rest. Starting with a basic good will and being able to sustain that through the specific content and way of the focuser are so important. You cannot just do that in a general way. “From the white light I can be with anyone” is nice but not what I’m advocating. We want to be engaged with the specifics and with the person of the focuser while freshly generating an openness to that particular person.

As a listener you need to know that that being with a person in their terms is already a great thing to be doing. Otherwise you’ll be looking for something more to do instead of putting your heart into just that.

The Essential Role of Self-Empathy in Focusing

I want to posit that self-empathy and a felt sense that can be related to and symbolized, articulated by word, gesture, image, sound, are two ends of the same see-saw.

One of the ongoing problems of teaching focusing is the person who has great difficulty recognizing or acknowledging or relating to a felt sense. Moreover, even people who do know how to get a felt sense may have difficulty getting a felt sense in relation to a particular issue. Moreover, even people who can get a felt sense with a particular issue, may not be able to allow it to emerge to the place where it is moving through steps (Not Gendlin’s “6-steps” but the little changes that a felt sense goes through) and eventually, a qualitative change. Understanding the role of self-empathy and its intrinsic relationship to the felt sense, even it being part of one “self-empathy>>felt sense” process can help with these problems. Moreover, self-empathy has the potential to add elegance to the focusing process by linking many strategies to one idea. In addition it adds strategies that were hitherto unthinkable or difficult to think.

I want to elaborate on self-empathy theoretically, in practice, and in new practices.