Focusers usually use one or two avenues into the felt sense and rarely use the others. Moreover, Focusers tend to integrate the relating to their felt sense into their regular process and to lessen the explicit use of felt sensing in partnership. Learning about many avenues helps sustain the explicit use of felt sensing in partnership. It makes you better able to get shifts. It allows you to work on more subtle issues. For a trainer or therapist, this self-training is more important. If you are not using different avenues in, you will not be able to recognize those avenues in others, you will not be fluid in helping the other go in there. Helping others use more than one avenue helps their depth as well.
Here are the 12 Avenues (please read the full article by downloading below):
Physical, kinesthetic, textural, temperature words
Emotional words like: angry, sad but also more subtle ones like shy, awkward, hesitant, guarded, full
FS Location and Shape : where (have a direct referent they can check back with) Body location (“a tension” may be on the way to a FS, but may not be an actual FS) Up/down, Narrow/precise, vague…then flares out this way. shape & actual body space don’t have to “fit”
Sound: with a word: squeaky, Damn it strong, Damn it without any consonant: Whooooooo a song: use FS to find the right song does not have to have “content”
Gestures-conscious gesturing to represent/fit with FS
Body Postures and Movement sequences: use whole body in posture or in a movement sequence to symbolize/represent/fit with FS
Relevance from the past: “this feeling reminds me of this time ….” Story being careful to not allow the story to too large a percentage of the time
Metaphor/Simile: It’s this/it’s like that
Imagery: Tricky: be sure to take the image and resonate it with FS — how does the image change when you do resonate it with the FS? Also tricky: something forms and quickly becomes an image-again, attention to resonating so that track does not become strictly the picture
Internal Dialogue: Parts/Dimensions within. They may be in conflict. Pick one “strand”- explore and see what comes. Then explore other. Experience the relationship between the two; feel the whole of it. What does this “strand” (part) want to say to me? Can be a way of dialog, as if it were someone in me (inner child, inner Teenager, inner jock…) Tricky like imagery. Remember to resonate.
Speaking from the felt sense. Tricky, be sure to check and resonate.
Conflict: “how are you feeling inside in relation to _______?…Punched, Pressured, Pushed, Stymied, Ruined, Contaminated. (______ed words which imply the other doing something to you. To disengage and own, move to texture. To be assertive, move to a “you” statement.
Note: Avenues 9, 10, and 11 are Tricky because it is easy to lose the felt sense referent and just be describing the imagery, just be doing internal dialogue, just be talking without the imagery fitting to the felt sense, the internal dialogue fitting to the felt sense, the speaking from fitting to the felt sense. The habit of regular checking for this fitting, and a clarity differentiating the image from felt sense, dialogue from felt sense, speaking from felt sense is quite essential. With awareness of the trickiness, these avenues can be quite profound.