Some examples of guiding suggestions when a person is on the edge of a ‘felt sense’ are:
(When a felt sense comes the ‘I” becomes bigger in relationship to the “it” or something)
- “Let’s pause” or “perhaps we can pause” or “I invite you to pause”
- There seems to be “something about” this thing/issue that is getting you eg confused, angry, tight. “Perhaps you can just be with it” or “Maybe you can get a sense of it – the whole of it”
- “What is in the way of feeling all OK now”? or
- “Perhaps you can get a fresh feel/sense for this whole thing (eg about your father)
- “Perhaps you could just be with that something you are sensing that’s like anger” and see if anger fits or what might fit better or
- “I am going to say those things back to you, so you can sense how they fit”.
- “Perhaps you could ‘keep it company’ or say ‘hello’ or “stay with it a bit longer”. (The therapist is also holding the space and can let the client know)
- There is “something about” this whole thing that gets you eg upset.
- You might want to sense how it feels “from its point of view” or
- ask it “what it wants or needs” or
- ask what “it doesn’t want” or what it is afraid of
- Check if it has an “emotional quality” or mood
- Sense “what the crux of it is” or
- “What is the worst of it” or
- What is a “forward step”.
There is something about allowing, acknowledging and simply ‘being with’ the ‘somethings’ that come that brings relief. It is a worthwhile process to do in and out of the therapy room (Weiser Cornell 2013 Ch 4). Our experience does unfold in some way and carry us forward
Also Gendlin says “we are interaction,” so when sitting with people notice what is going for your too. Get a sense of your “felt sense” too.