Thursday, December 17, 2015

Focusing

Eugene Gendlin discovered that. . .  successful clients. . . allowed themselves to experience and tolerate feelings that were vague, blurry, and unclear; and they allowed these feelings to unfold in their own time and way. They attended to their inward, bodily-felt world, rather than spinning their mental wheels. Dr. John Amodeo
"Focusing," wrote Dr. Gendlin in his book of the same name, "is a process in which you make contact with a special kind of internal bodily awareness. I call this awareness a felt sense. . . when it comes, it is at first unclear, fuzzy. By certain steps it can come into focus and also change."

The six steps to focusing:
  1. Clear a Space - Relax and pay attention in your body; ask yourself: What's going on with me right now?
  2. Felt Sense - Select one problem, stand back from it, and let yourself feel a sense of it.
  3. Handle - Let a word or phrase or image arise (e.g., heavy); hold it along with the felt sense.
  4. Resonate between the felt sense and the word, phrase, or image; let either change, if it does, until it feels just right (e.g., As if I weigh 300 pounds).
  5. Ask yourself, What is this sense of weighing 300 pounds (or whatever word, phrase, or image fits for your felt sense)?
  6. Receive whatever comes up and notice what happens, even if it's only a slight release.

It doesn't matter whether the body shift comes or not at a given time. It will come on its own as you practice sensing where and how your body holds its concerns.
"If nothing happens, back up and slow down! The most likely difficulty is that you are pushing too hard, expecting too much. See if you can hold the attitude that you are primarily building a trusting relationship with the inner senses in your body. Any information that may come is extra. Be there and be interested." Ann Weiser Cornell, Ph.D., The Power of Focusing: A Practical Guide to Emotional Self-Healing, p. 38.

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