We offer coaching, counseling
and systemic changework,
for improving relationships, emotions and limiting beliefs.
Focusing on Emotions & Unconscious Communication
Clinical explanations of why you are upset are
unlikely to help you, and cognitive problem solving rarely changes
Endlessly pondering a trauma or relationship disppointmment is unlikely to help you
and may worsen the consequences.
Focusing provides an effective way by
which you can communicate with your unconscious mind (body-mind) through
your feelings. We may use focusing
during our sessions to find,
stabilize and communicate with inner experiences.
In 1982, Eugene Gendlin wrote about inner communication in a
book titled Focusing. Gendlin's focusing
can be sorted into six steps:
- Identify your concerns
- Feel (a felt sense)
- Experience a shift of the
Focusing is one way to improve inner
communication, and you can find many more ways in our Systemic
Coaching. Why not add focusing to other methods that you find
useful? Let your results guide you about what works best for you.
If any step feels wrong in your body, stop and back up
until you sense what is wrong. This helps keep you safe. Focusing may not
work for you exactly as we describe, but it is not likely to hurt you.
If you sense something that does not feel right, just stay with it until some
information unfolds into your consciousness.
Yoga of Relationships .
Meaning of Life
. Mentorship & Integrity
Are you Damaged?
If nothing happens at all during focusing - it may be
that your unconscious body-mind does not trust your conscious mind. This is
often a result of trauma or PTSD, or
it may follow therapist abuse or
toxic training. Your mind may distrust your decisions.
If you trusted and opened yourself to
someone, (e.g. a parent, therapist or trainer), and
later you felt hurt or abused by that person, your body-mind may not allow you deep access until you remedy
that harm; we call this mentor damage.
Worse, you may become unable to recognize
healthy mentorship and your body may be unwilling to communicate
feelings about "What makes sense in life?" Our work includes solutions for the consequences of trauma,
therapist abuse, cult membership,
trainer damage and toxic mentorship.
The goal of focusing is to experience an awareness
called a felt sense. This is a body experience, more than mental nor
emotional. Examples are vague, general senses (men may talk about gut feelings
and women about female intuitions) that you may feel about
some situations, events or people.
Gendlin wrote that these felt
senses can indicate psychological and emotional problems which can be corrected. A change towards awareness or a solution
accompanied by a detectable "felt shift ". Your body seems to
know what makes sense and offer you an easing or loosening up.
Focusing can be described as six general steps,
although as you practice focusing, you may experience smooth
transitions from questions to revelations. If you
want to try focusing, take each step slowly and gently. If you
find difficulty, don't push - gently wait before moving on.
Step 0. Reality check
Is this an appropriate time to do this?
Are you likely to be distracted or disturbed?
Step 1. Find your concerns
Be silent, relax ... pay attention inwardly, in
your body, especially in your chest and abdomen. Ask inside, "How is
my life generally? What makes sense right now?" and feel whatever
comes. Just focus on feelings within your body. Let
answers come slowly from your senses.
When feelings come, give them space. Mentally say "Yes, I can feel that, there."
Then check what else you feel. Wait again. You
may find several things.
Step 2. Feel
From whatever came, select one feeling. Notice which part of your body
responds (often a chakra). If there are many parts to
the one thing you have chosen – you may feel all of those parts
together. Pay attention to where you feel it,
and you can get a sense of what this feels like. Let yourself feel a (probably
unclear) sense of all of that - a felt sense.
Step 3. Handle
What word or phrase or image might describe or summarize this felt sense? Let
it come up from the felt sense. It might
be a quality-word, like sticky, scary, stuck, heavy, or a
phrase, or an imagined image, smell or taste. Stay with the experience describing the
felt sense till something seems to fit it just right.
Step 4. Resonate
Go back and forth between the felt sense and the word
(or phrase, or image). Check how they resonate with each other. Check
if there is a body signal that indicates resonance. To do
it, feel the felt sense again, and remember the signal.
Allow the felt sense and the word or picture to change, if they do,
until they feel just right as symbols of the quality of the felt sense.
Step 5. Ask
Ask inside: what is it, about this whole situation,
that makes this quality (which you have named or pictured)? Find the
felt sense again, fresh and vivid (not just remembered).
When you sense it again, feel it and ask inside,
"What makes this problem so ___?" or, "What is
within this sense?"
If you get quick answers without a felt
sense, just let that kind of answer go. Return your attention to your
body and freshly feel the felt sense again. Then ask again.
Stay with the felt sense until something happens with
a small shift or release.
Step 6. Receive
Accept whatever comes and stay with
it. If you simply accept whatever comes, more can come. Now you can experience
something that you have not yet verbalized,
which can help you become more clear about what you want.
Online Life Coaching for Focusing
If you experience a felt sense ... you have
focused. A felt sense and release often provides information about your sense of life
and whatever blocks you.
Online Life Coaching, Counseling & Therapy
I thought you were just
another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.
Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 2000-2017
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