With a Focusing Partner, one often feels more known than by the people one has lived with for years. This is odd. In a few short hours one develops a life-affirming bond to which the body responds with eagerness. We say only what feels safe. It can be very little and yet we expand, breathe and take up space.
Ellen and Joan: Reading My Work Aloud
Another way I've been using Focusing with writing is to spend whole Focusing sessions reading my work aloud to my Focusing partner. When I do this I stay with my felt sense and check (just like in "regular" Focusing) whether the words and images resonate precisely for me with the felt sense of what I'm trying to say. My partner from time to time reflects back from her felt sense what she's getting from what I'm reading, and that way I also get to see if my words are conveying the felt sense of what I'm writing to a "reader." We're still at the experimenting stage with this, but so far it has been VERY effective.
Carol and Lisa : She Knows Me Better Than Anyone Else In My Life
I have been in a focusing relationship with Lisa for the past five years. I met Lisa through Luke Lukens, who taught both of us the focusing process. When Lisa and I started, we met every other week for about two hours, and for the past two years, we have been meeting about once a month. We meet in each others' homes, alternating every other session. At the beginning, we decide who will go first, according to what each of us feels is right for that particular day. We usually have hot tea during or after the session, which adds an additional calming effect to the evening.
I have derived enormous benefit from the focusing sessions. It has been like therapy for me. It was just what I needed to take the next step in my personal growth process. I was feeling stuck in some areas, and traditional therapy, I felt, couldn't help me. Focusing gave me a method of looking deeper into myself, finding things I never knew were there, and getting some movement and change in very "stuck" areas. This has been a blessing.
My relationship with Lisa has been another benefit. Lisa knows me better, in some ways, than almost anyone else in my life. She knows the deeper parts of me that I rarely share with others, and this means a great deal to me--to have another person in the world that understands and values my inner life, my deepest thoughts and feelings. Because of her steady and caring presence, I can safely look within. I must say that I have tried focusing with one or two other partners, and it was not as gratifying because I did not feel the other person's presence in the way I feel Lisa's--and this makes a big difference for me.
Robert and Ellen: Painter and Writer
Gena, a friend of Robert's says: "Robert is a painter. In his turn, one of his focusing partners will accompany him as he is actually painting or drawing, saying back to him what he says as he speaks from his on-going process. I did this with him once. It was totally fascinating and such a privilege to be with him as his process was unfolding. Then, in his partner's turn, Ellen reads one of her sentences and, Robert reflects it back, and if it sounds dead or like a cliche to her, she will go in and get a felt sense of what she was trying to say--going, deeper--under the cliché for the original felt sense."