Listening in a Focusing way
Listening in a Focusing Way will take place on Tuesdays, November 1 through December 13 from 1 to 3 p.m. Eastern (seven 2-hour sessions).
Mentor: Beatrice Blake, a Certifying Coordinator with The International Focusing Institute (TIFI).
Prerequisites: Focusing Level One or at least three Focusing sessions with a certified Focusing trainer.
To sign up, please fill out the contact form. If you haven’t worked with me before, we can schedule a free introductory session. Please sign up soon–class is limited to eight participants.
Investment: $370.00 (10% discount for TIFI members: $333.00) via PayPal.
CCEs: Qualifies for 13 Continuing Coach Education credits from the International Coaching Federation.
Source material: The Small Steps of the Therapy Process: How They Come and How to Help Them Come by Eugene Gendlin.
A fresh source of information
We live in a time of existential challenges to life on earth. Despite growing awareness and ever-increasing data about these challenges, there is a split between our experiencing and our ability to change.
When we allow the bodily felt sense of a situation to form, we have access to a fresh source of information about life. However, the felt sense has its own logic that can be quite different from the logic we are accustomed to. Listening in a Focusing way allows us to follow the felt sense so it can grow and develop.
A special kind of listening
In order for the felt sense to unfold, a special kind of listening is needed. It is not just “empathic listening”, though that can be helpful. Listening in a Focusing way involves reflecting back the essence of what someone is saying. When this essential meaning is heard and taken back in by a Focuser, a characteristic silence follows. In this silence, the Focuser is listening inside to the further unfolding of the felt sense.
In a normal conversation, there is no recognition of the importance of this silence. But in Focusing, we welcome that silence and give it space. We know that inside the Focuser, a certain kind of development is taking place. The felt sense is “carrying forward”.
In a normal conversation, this silence may look like spaciness, or disconnection. The silent person might feel they have to apologize for it: “Sorry, I spaced out for a moment. Where were we?” and thus the carrying forward is ignored or lost.
People who know how to listen in a Focusing way honor that silence, because they have experienced it for themselves as the source of inner knowing. They recognize the expression of inner attention that appears on the Focuser’s face. Often that expression turns into a calm smile of inner truth as the session comes to an end.
Being with what is unclear
This source of development and change is not widely known yet. For both the Focuser and the Listener, it requires a letting go into what is unknown, unclear, difficult to put into words. That lack of clarity is the way the felt sense often presents itself. As we give the unclear bodily sense our gentle attention, words and meaning arise from it. This is in contrast with the way we often address problematic situations, going round and round a set of known ideas in our heads. Given the amount of time we spend going round and round in our heads, if that could lead us to a solution, we would have found it.
Listening for the aliveness
But with today’s challenges, there are no known solutions. The bodily felt sense connects us to a new way of knowing. The felt sense of a situation is intimately connected to our sense of being alive, the way that plants and animals find the elements they need, without having the intellect we humans have. We need to balance our over-developed intellect with our very human sense of what is alive, growing, and developing inside. Learning to listen in a Focusing way engenders meaningful change.