Focusing Comes to Cambridge Meeting (Quakers)

In the early part of the 90’s I started a Focusing “Changes” group at a Quaker meeting in Cambridge, MA. A “Changes” group is a regular gathering where people practice Focusing partnership. In a Focusing partnership one person does Focusing while another does empathic reflective listening. Then they change roles. Focusing itself is a process of listening carefully and deeply to oneself so the two roles (Focuser and Listener) are intricately related to each other. A ¨Changes¨ group is self-directed and no one receives a fee. This article is written 5 years after the group stopped meeting (1992). My purpose is to make a record of this event so that others interested in bringing Focusing to Quaker meetings, can benefit from my experience.

I organize this story into four parts–1) the preparation that led to the group’s formation; 2) the training in Focusing and the group’s structure in its early stages; 3) issues in the group’s development and its termination; and, at the end, 4) an evaluation of the whole process with ideas on how to proceed in the future.

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