Focusing is a simple and effective way to go directly to our source of intuitive wisdom. Our body holds our experience in a physical sense and if we can access that bodily experience we can discover more. In Focusing we call it a “felt sense”. So, What is Focusing – how does it work?
It is a 6-step technique that can be taught. Most people find it easy and natural. However, it may be a little awkward or unclear at first and it’s sometimes hard to put into words. The key is not to be concerned and not to give up if that happens. It’s like any new skill you learn. At first, it can feel strange and awkward but with good teaching and practice, it can become much easier and more familiar and therefore more useful.
We do it with a partner and there is something wonderful about being listened to in a caring empathic way.
A focusing session would normally follow these basic steps:
- We first settle ourselves using breath and or a grounding technique and then follow our breath into the inside of our bodies, mainly in our torso area.
- Then we ask: “What is getting in the way of feeling fine right now?” Or “What feels like it most needs listening to inside me right now?” Or you can focus on a particular issue you are struggling with. We can ask “What does this whole thing feel like?” or “What sense do I have of this whole something” and again we wait………PAUSE……. (1)
(People, especially young people, are surprisingly good at this and intuitively know how our body speaks to us)
- A physical sensation may come…a tightness in the chest, butterflies etc (or sometimes words or a phrase or metaphors or images or gestures or even sounds)
- A “felt sense’ starts to form (2 – felt sense)
- We wait and let that felt sense emerge and unfold. We make sure it is OK to spend sometime with it. We describe it and spend some time with it (3 – handle).
- We check if the description fits (4 -Resonates).
- We ask it some (process) questions and we let it respond (5 – Asking)
- We receive the more that comes (6- Receiving).
- We thank our body for what it has shown us
Often we discover more than we thought we knew and with that comes a settling – a “felt shift”. Something changes in the way we feel the sensations and in the way we feel about the issue we are dealing with.
The problem may not be solved but the process allows our body to show us the next forward step.
People often report feeling lighter, softer. (Research has consistently shown Focusing has great effectiveness and allows people to nurture and soothe themselves)
Focusing can be the crucial ingredient in a mix of skills and practices that allow clients and others who learn the method to sense the best way forward in dealing with a problem or anxiety or challenge. It can also be used to get back in touch with positive aspects in our lives. Our body also knows how all OK feels and using focusing can get us back in touch with this as well. It is a gentle, but powerful way to make sure that we can make progress and move forward.