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Entries by scg
My primary interest is yearlong training of practitioners in a new kind of change psychotherapy which I call Macro-Domain Focusing. There are several ways yearlong training can be carried out including a mixture of the following: Four cycles of six classes (1.5-2.5 hours/ for 3-5 person) online courses. The first cycle serves as a trial with […]
Many times you come to focusing early on and you work on dilemmas and you get a shift and something changes. You continue focusing and further shifts come. Eventually, bigger changes come out of these little changes. It works just like the “Focusing” book suggests. Little changes lead to bigger changes.
These are blessings and indeed we must sustain these blessings. However, many times dilemmas do not change so easily. You don’t get a shift at all even as an experienced focuser. Or you get a shift initially, but then the subsequent shifts and movements do not come. Or you get a series of shifts and things are changing and moving along splendidly and suddenly you find yourself back at the beginning.
Robert calls things which change with great difficulty, the things which seem “unchangeable”, “macros”. He calls the dilemmas which respond relatively smoothly, “micros”. Micros are not small or inconsequential. Think macro-economics and micro-economics, both are very important.
So macros are things which change with difficulty. It’s that simple, things that change with difficulty. And I’ve been defining micros as things that change more easily. So they’re both defined very simply and they are defined in a way that you could make something a micro because you think of it that way even though it took you five years of concerted effort it actually unfolded fairly systematically and so you think of that as a micro. Whereas a macro typically you work on it and you think you’re in it and you might not get anywhere and then you work further and you start to feel like you’re getting somewhere and you’re back at the beginning or you think you’ve solved it and then you haven’t and it’s just that kind of thing.
“Guard dogs” is my name of a phenomenon that sometimes arises when a person is trying to change at a deep level, and she/he is getting somewhere and there is a sudden backlash or setback. The guard dog is protecting the status quo; it is protecting the structure bound process from opening to life. Also implicit is the notion that the guard dog may be protecting you from a premature change in a deep structure, the new supports may not yet be in place so that the “bearing wall” (another key piece of my approach) can be dismantled.
Domain Focusing in the initial 1-2 years has more boundaries by a listener in partnership than any other focusing style I know. This includes the limitation of process suggestions like “maybe you want to stay with that”. That is partly because DF gives more freedom to guide as a practitioner than any other style so someone must be great at following and at listening in partnership or they cannot learn to guide in this system. Each guiding suggestion in DF comes out of a new implying generated by an authentic reflection. It is also because listening without any need to fix or help is one of the skills requiring the longest most sustained amount of practice. It is also for having the happy differentiation between egalitarian and practitioner. It also is for safety in an egalitarian setting.
With difficult feelings or problems like rage, obsession, addiction, anxiety, grief, depression, dissociation, disorientation, trauma, lovesickness, and social isolation, it can be very hard to do focusing. The feelings are too intense. Rather than getting a felt sense of the whole of the situation in a way, from outside the situation, you get a feeling of the intensity of the situation—a possible entry to felt sensing but not necessarily a felt sense (a feeling of the whole). The intensity or strength of the feeling overwhelms what little felt sense is there. For example, rather than getting a whole sense of the depression which necessarily brings hope, you feel the spreading devouring all encompassing intensity of the depression and just feel more depressed. Rather than feeling the whole of your issue with anxiety which is, by definition, “more than” the anxiety, and which, by definition, brings the promise of a way forward, you only feel accelerating debilitating anxiety. This is NOT felt sensing, but it can be quite challenging to make the distinction.