Does this describe you?
You discovered for yourself what a wondrous tool Focusing is for self-awareness and transformation.
You enthusiastically imagined turning your clients on to it and having them be as profoundly impacted by Focusing as you have been.
But when you tried to bring it to your actual clients, you found ….….….that things didn’t go as smoothly as you thought they would.
Boy have I been there! Twenty years ago, I was a psychologist and mother with two small children maintaining a full private practice. I barely had time to do my own Focusing! What’s more, my practice was in an area where few potential clients were psychologically minded. Getting most of my clients to enter into that vague inner bodily-felt space from which felt shifts emerge – and to trust their felt process enough to stay there for ten seconds, much less a few minutes – was, to say the least, difficult. I probably would have had an easier time getting them to stand on their heads.
To help myself, and them, I developed the ABCs of the Inner Voice – Acknowledging, Being With, and (Self)-Compassion – as a quick and easily understandable way to “tune in” to what was going on inside and bring to it nonjudgmental and compassionate presence. It could be done easily in the middle of a therapy session, or waiting for a long traffic light to change, or before someone shouted “Mommy!”
Over the years I developed many more ideas and techniques for helping my clients achieve inner and outer changes using a Focusing-oriented stance and approach. With my husband, fellow FOT therapist Larry Letich, I wrote I Know I’m in There Somewhere (Gotham Books, 2003), which spelled out these ideas and others and offered “Innercizes” to help people access their inner selves.
In the two decades that have passed since then, many more somatic, emotion-based and experiential theories and approaches have come along. Even cognitive-behavioral approaches, such as Acceptance and Committed Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), have become more emotion-based and experiential. Their insights and techniques have contributed profoundly to my work. But I still believe Focusing-Oriented Therapy forms the best foundation for good therapy, because it aligns you and the client from the start with the client’s own true bodily-felt inner experience.
FOT training can deepen and enrich your work in whatever other therapeutic modalities you have training, including Somatic Experiencing, Internal Family Systems and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. As a Focusing-Oriented Therapist and clinical supervisor for more than 20 years, it would be my honor and pleasure to help you help your clients develop greater access to and trust in the transformative power of their own inner experience – and to help you in all ways to help your clients live better, happier and more fulfilling lives.